Discuss four of the council's reasons for rejecting Equality's invention in Anthem.

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The four major reasons that Collective 0-0009 (the leader of the council of scholars) rejects Equality's light bulb invention can be are: first, Equality is a street sweeper; second, the invention would "lighten toil" (74); third, it would ruin the department of candles; and finally, the department of candles cannot "be destroyed by the whim of one" (73). To address the first issue, Equality's social status is important because he's not supposed to think or to do anything outside of street sweeping; therefore, they shouldn't be listening to him anyway. Next, Equality argues that electricity would help to improve the society by lightening man's toil and labor. That idea is against their philosophy that work is the way to remain collective, so it was discarded immediately. Then, the department of candles took 50 years to be approved by everyone in the society, so getting rid of it because one person says so is not logical to them. All decisions need to be made by everyone in order to keep the collectivist society working in the "right" way.

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thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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Firstly, Equality’s invention was rejected because he had flouted all the laws. He has defied the street sweeper role assigned to him by the Council of Vocations and decided to venture into matters in the field designated to the Council of scholars. By demonstrating the contents of his glass box, Equality had gone against the grain in thinking he was wiser than everybody else and inventing a life changing phenomenon for mankind.

Secondly, it was expressed that Equality’s invention would destroy the department of candles whose benefits everybody proclaimed. By no means would they abandon that which benefits all men for a false declaration by one man who has anyway, broken all laws.

Thirdly, it was argued that since no other person shared Equality’s thoughts, then his invention was false. They upheld a philosophy that for an idea to be proclaimed as true, it must be thought of by all men. Alongside that, since Equality ventured in this discovery alone, then it must have negative implications as it goes against their belief that for something to be good, everybody must take part in it.

Lastly, Equality’s invention was deemed to be the ultimate evil as it would undermine the sole purpose of man, which is to toil for other men because it would ease their burden.

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