Ayn Rand puts simple diction in the mouth of her narrator, Equality. He also frequently uses repetition. This reflects the simplistic education of the collectivist society in which he has grown up and which Rand critiques. Equality can only think using the stripped down and childish words that his society...
Ayn Rand puts simple diction in the mouth of her narrator, Equality. He also frequently uses repetition. This reflects the simplistic education of the collectivist society in which he has grown up and which Rand critiques. Equality can only think using the stripped down and childish words that his society offers. Individuality and sophisticated thought have been denied to him.
Rand is also making an argument that extreme individualism is preferable to a collective society. It makes it much easier for her audience to understand her points about the differences between individualism and collectivism to have Equality use simple language. Therefore, his diction also functions as a persuasive device.
We can see the simplicity and repetition in the following examples of Equality's diction:
But we loved the Science of Things. We wished to know. We wished to know about all the things which make the earth around us. We asked so many questions that the Teachers forbade it.
In the above quote, Equality (who always uses the "we" pronoun to describe himself because he is not allowed the individuality of "I") repeats "We wished to know" twice, which emphasizes his desire for knowledge. However, his childlike language, such as saying "all the things," emphasizes the ignorance in which he has been kept. It is the language of a society that has regressed to the point that students are taught that the earth is flat. The simple, repetitive subject/verb structure of his sentences—"We loved, We wished, We asked"—not only creates a sense of rhythm, it also shows that he uses very uncomplicated thought patterns. His diction reveals that he is only able to express one idea at time.
The following quote also uses repetition and very simple diction:
For men are forbidden to take notice of women, and women are forbidden to take notice of men. But we think of one among women, they whose name is Liberty 5-3000, and we think of no others.
We note the repetition in the words "men, women, notice, forbidden, think." Equality is groping his way to a notion of romantic love that is forbidden in his society, and he does not have a word to label it. Once again, a more sophisticated and better educated thinker would probably combine sentences in order to avoid repeating the same words. Equality, however, can only work with the slow, simple thought processes he has developed.