In Ayn Rand's Anthem, how does Equality 7-2521 relate to Dylan Thomas's poem "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night"?
"Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas is a poem which he wrote when his father was in his eighties to encourage him not to give up life without a fight. The "good night," of course, is death, and he tells his father not to go gently but to "[r]age, rage against the dying of the light" (death).
Anthem by Ayn Rand is an allegorical tale about a future world in which everyone is equal in the worst possible way; equality has been achieved by eliminating the individual and mandating the collective. Equality 7-2521 is the protagonist of the novella, and he is not content to be what the government has determined he should be. He secretly does experiments with ancient items he finds, and he eventually discovers electricity. Thinking he is doing the world a favor, he presents his discovery to the council and is immediately force to run for his life because he and his thinking are threats to the status quo.
Equality 7-2521 manages to elude his pursuers, joins up with the woman he loves but was not allowed to be with, the Golden One. They trek up a mountain where they see an ancient house which managed to survive the Unmentionable Times. As he looks down from the top of the mountain, Prometheus (the name Equality 7-2521 has chosen for himself) says:
I stand here on the summit of the mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of all things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction. Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a sacrifice on their alters.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,Because their words had forked no lightning theyDo not go gentle into that good night.