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What was the main message behind Ayn Rand's Anthem?

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whiteowski | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:50 AM via web

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What was the main message behind Ayn Rand's Anthem?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:30 PM (Answer #1)

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The main theme behind Rand'sAnthemis the importance of self-discovery and self-awareness. Rand, like many in the twentieth century, was concerned with the loss of self if people were to give up personal rights that include the word "I". When people start talking more about controlling everyone else rather than themselves, society can get into trouble. Fear is a theme in the story as Rand shows that many people go along with society's ideas simply because they are too afraid to stand up for anything else. At the extreme side of the spectrum, people would lose a sense of self and the ability to question anything or anyone. When a person loses the ability to question and seek truth out for themselves, it is then that they can be fully controlled.  But her main character is able to set himself free as he continues to question everything and to discover things that he is interested in. By becoming self-aware, we set ourselves free and open to self-discovery and free agency.

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