What is ironic in Ayn Rand's Anthem?

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Situational irony occurs when events turn out the opposite of the way they were expected.

The central irony that run through this dystopian society is that its most important organizing principle, equality, brings the opposite of the happiness it was supposed to shower on its population. The principle of equality has not animated society and brought it to new heights. Instead, the society has gone backward in every way.

The most obvious devolution is technological. To move forward technologically, the society would have had to single out scientific geniuses, and this it refuses to do. Therefore, there is no innovation, and even the knowledge of old technologies, such as electrical lighting, has been lost, so that people now use candles for light.

Ironically, when Equality 7-2521 tries to show people in authority the power of electric lights, he is punished, not rewarded.

Social relationships have also gone backward. Because it would single out another person as special, nobody in the society...

(The entire section contains 6 answers and 1230 words.)

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