What is the resolution for the book Anthem by Ayn Rand?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The resolution of a story usually comes at the end when the major conflict is resolved. In Anthem, the protagonist called Equality 7-2521 struggles against a society that prohibits individual freedoms. For example, Equality has a sincere desire to improve his education by studying with the scholars, own personal property, improve the quality of his life through scientific discovery, and live a private life with the woman he loves. All of these desires are denied him by the government. Therefore, the resolution comes when these desires are satisfied. 

Of course, Equality must first fight his way through social and government obstacles that are also mentally and physically challenging. Ultimately, Equality is forced to flee the only society he knows and enter the Uncharted Forest in order to save his life. Because his girlfriend (Liberty) follows him, Equality is able to venture out into the wilderness with a companion. Fortunately, they find a house filled with books that he can learn from. He learns how to harness and use electricity, create a better life for himself and family, as well as find out more about all of the many things and ideas denied him from society. 

One of the most important discoveries that Equality makes, however, is when he learns the word "I." This word is not allowed in the society from which he flees; therefore, learning it empowers him to live a life fulfilling his personal desires. This realization means more to him than anything forced upon him previously, and it also sums up the resolution of the story. For Equality, the freedom to think, feel, act, and lead a life based on his own desires is the resolution that he achieves. Equality sums up his desires as follows:

"I shall live here, in my own house. I shall take my food from the earth by the toil of my own hands. I shall learn many secrets from my books. Through the years ahead, I shall rebuild the achievements of the past, and open the way to carry them further, the achievements which are open to me, but closed forever to my brothers, for their minds are shackled to the weakest and dullest ones among them . . . The word which can never die on this earth, for it is the heart of it and the meaning and the glory. The sacred word: Ego" (99-100 and 105).