In Ayn Rand's Anthem, what does Equality see for the first time in the forest?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the end of chapter seven, Equality runs away from the scholars who want to lock him up for having a brain and discovering electricity. He runs into the forest at night and realizes he's there because of the trees. Consequently, he falls asleep and at the beginning of chapter eight, he wakes up to a ray of sunshine on his face rather than to the ringing of a bell. For the first time in his life, he wakes up to the sun, the trees and the sky and he is overjoyed. He describes his literal awakening as a wonder because it is a unique and new experience. It is also symbolic because it is light that wakes him up, just like the light of knowledge has awakened him from his pre-conditioned sleep that the whole society lives in. He describes this light as it bounces off of the leaves of the trees, as if they "had edges of silver that trembled and rippled like a river of green and fire flowing high above us" (78).