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In Ayn Rand's Anthem, what was symbolic about the Uncharted Forest?

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whiteowski | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 4, 2012 at 6:32 AM via web

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In Ayn Rand's Anthem, what was symbolic about the Uncharted Forest?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:21 PM (Answer #1)

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The Uncharted Forest represents an individual's life not mapped out by the government, or in this case, the brotherhood. Every aspect of the people's lives was mapped out for them from birth, to school, to work, and up until they die in the Home of the Useless when they are 45 years old. The Uncharted Forest represents free choice, individuality, and open-ended options for life as opposed to city life. Some people are too afraid to venture out into this symbolic forest of life because they are afraid of the animals (just as people were afraid in the story). And even though there is risk in living in the Uncharted Forest, there is also individual choice and hope to live as one wants to live. The animals in the forest may represent  disappointment and failures that one might experience when they choose to follow their dreams or live as they believe, but the alternative is being enslaved to the mundane activities of a safety zone prepared and ruled by others.

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