Why is Equality afraid of the Uncharted Forest in Anthem?

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price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter II of Anthem, we see our first description of the Uncharted Forest. The forest is outside the city and a place of the unknown. Equality is told by his society that it is a dangerous place to go, with wild beasts and “fearful secrets.” Equality also knows that anyone who ventures into the forest never comes back. The Uncharted Forest is a symbol of the fear Equality’s society perpetuates about the world in the past before a Great War destroyed an “evil” society. The myths and rumors that surround the Uncharted Forest are used as a scare tactic to keep the populace of the city afraid to venture out or rebel against the collective government. Equality’s curiosity keeps him looking towards the forest (especially after meeting Liberty) because he knows it may hold secrets to the society of the past that had electricity and other modern technology. At the end of the novel, Equality escapes to the forest, meets up with Liberty, and finds his identity in nature and through the books he reads in the house in the Uncharted Forest.