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What are some allusions used by Ayn Rand in Anthem?

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meaganfortney | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 21, 2011 at 4:44 AM via web

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What are some allusions used by Ayn Rand in Anthem?

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:05 AM (Answer #1)

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One of the allusions used by Ayn Rand in the Anthem is "Saint of the pyre." It is used with reference to those who had understood the concept of a self identity and attempted to enlighten others by telling them about it. This was a grave transgression and was always punished by the Councils setting the offenders on fire in view of all.

There was no pain in their eyes and no knowledge of the agony of their body. There was only joy in them, and pride, a pride holier than it is fit for human pride to be...

What—even if we have to burn for it like the Saint of the pyre—what is the Unspeakable Word?

Another instance that I find where a very important point has been made with an allusion is when Equality is speaking with the Golden One about the importance of being able to differentiate oneself from others and refers to Prometheus stealing fire from the Gods and giving it to humans.

He took the light of the gods and brought it to men, and he taught men to be gods. And he suffered for his deed as all bearers of light must suffer.

How this taught men to be gods leaves no doubt about how powerful the concept of an ego is, and how a self-identity gives people an immense power which is in ways equivalent to that of the Gods.

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