Anthem and Farenheit 451

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 14 September 2016

Anthem and Farenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 and Anthem Comparison Essay When a person is entrapped within a society that dictates their behaviour, thoughts, and opinions they are unable to grasp the realization of their societies corrupt nature. However, there is always the odd individual who willing and capable of uncovering the truth of their society. In the novels Anthem by Ayn Rand, and Fahrenheit 451, written by Ray Bradbury the main characters of the novels were able to find truth by, forming friendships that are banned by their societies, rebelling against the grain of society to gain knowledge or form ideas, and finding flaws within their societies.

Thus proving that, when one seeks truth within the confines of a controlling society it leads to self-discovery because they find the courage to escape. When one seeks truth within the confines of a controlling society by forming friendships that are banned it leads to self-discovery, because they find the courage to escape. For instance, Montag a character form the novel Fahrenheit 451. In the society that he lived in, any types of reading material was considered forbidden.

Those who took it upon themselves to embrace the reading material were considered to be just as harmful as the material itself, because it lead people to believe “all the false promises, all the second-hand notions and time worn philosophies” that people had (Bradbury, 76). However, Montag intentially befriended an elderly man named Faber, who in his younger days, before the revolution, was an English professor. Montag know that Faber was knowledgeable in literature, but he became his friend regardless of this fact because he was curious of the forbidden treasures that his society kept from him.

On the other hand Faber was aware of the glorious preachings, concepts, and ideas that literature held, and he was also aware of the error his society was making when it decided to eliminate reading material during its transformation. Although he was conscious of the valuable information that would be lost Faber did not speak out or fight against this decision, in turn he lost one of the most valuable things in his life: “I’m one of the innocents who could have spoken up and out when no would listen to the ‘guilty,’ but I did not speak and thus became guilty myself… Now it’s too late” (Bradbury, 82).

Faber’s misfortune friendship and his non-existent initiative to fight for literature inspired Montag to discover his true self, and his own beliefs that lead him to flee form his society in order to end up regretting the fact that he did not protest for his right to knowledge. Thus showing that by Montag forming a friendship that was not excepted by his society he found the courage to escape. A second example of one finding enough courage to escape a controlling society, because of a banned friendship is Equality 7-2521 of the novel Anthem.

In the society in which Equality 7-2521 lives feelings and emotions that one may have towards another are forbidden, because it makes that individual different and unique from others within a society where everyone is to be considered equal. Although this is a main law Equality finds himself being drawn to a young girl by the name of Liberty 7-2000. With his new found attraction Equality 7-2521 reaches out to the girl in hopes of grasping a relationship, and this is exactly what he achieves.

The relationship between Equaulity 7-2521 and Liberty 7-2000 helped him discover his true self. It made him realize that he was able to have love for someone else and that there was nothing wrong or improper about the feelings that he was experiencing and that this was not curse but an advantage, one that have him an individual. Equality’s self discovery, gave him the gallantry to escape form his society, because it made him recognize how corrupt and controlling his society was and it also made him realize that the only way he would ever truly be happy is if he were free.

Both characters with in the novels Anthem, and Fahrenheit 451 discovered themselves by forming friendships that were not excepted in their society, an din both cases they gained enough courage to escape. Montag’s friendship with Faber inspired Montag to escape and realize his true self only because he was afraid to become what Faber was; a coward, not willing to fight for his beliefs. In contrast, the friendship that Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 7-2000 shared inspired Equality to discover his self, and escape, because he was different and enjoyed being unique from the rest of his society.

This shows that although both characters were inspired by friendships, the reasons for their actions, and their self-discovery were different. Thus proving that, when one seeks truth within the confines of a controlling society it leads to self-discovery, because they find the courage to escape. A second factor that must be accounted for is the fact that when one seeks truth within the confines of a controlling by rebelling against the grain of society to form ideas or gain knowledge it leads to self revelation and it gives them the courage to escape. A good example of this is Equality 7-2521.

In the novel Anthem Equality seeks and finds truth in his society by discovering a source of energy. The process of Equality’s discovery was very long and strenuous and it consisted of disobeying the rules that were set, on many given nights in order to sneak away and work in his secretive tunnel on his invention. Because of what his society preached, he instilled in his thoughts that he was, “born with a curse” (Rand, 13). Equality 7-2521 believed this because he was curious about the nature of things and broke rules to explore the world in which he lived.

However, when he discovered that he was able to produce a light from a source other than a candle his thoughts and opinions towards himself and his society changed. His society did not want to recognize or accept the new energy that he discovered. The society’s ignorant towards Equality 7-2521’s discovery, that could have changed the way that the society lived and worked angered him. In result it made him discover that he was a unique individual that had thoughts that were far more indepth and surpassed the thoughts of others he was surrounded by.

Equality 7-2521’s search to gain knowledge helped him build the strength to escape the controlling society that he lived in because he realized that it and the individuals that it contained were just holding him back form discovering his true self and environment further. Equality 7-2521 sought truth within his society by rebelling against it and forming a new idea and that gave him the strength to escape. In addition, Montag from the novel Fahrenheit 451 was also in search of truth and did so by rebelling against his society and gaining knowledge that resulted in courage to brake free.

In the society of this novel people were restrained form reading literature, and to ensure that this law was not broken. It was the job of firefighters to burn and destroy all reading materials. Montag was a perfect example of a firefighter he ignighted books to ensure that the evil teachings that they held would never by absorbed by people of his society, until his curiosity overtook him: “there must be something in books, things we can’t imagine,… there must be something there” (Bradbury, 51). This interest Montag had in hat his society withheld from it’s people soon overwhelmed him and he found himself rebelling by secretly recovering and protecting book form homes that were being destroyed because of the literature that they contained; “Montag felt the hidden book pound like a heart against his chest’’ (Bradbury, 39). Not only did Montag rebel by stealing books, but he embraced the knowledge inside. The wisdom that he acquired from these sources of knowledge lead him to self-discovery, because he realized the corrupt nature of his society.

His society was so corrupt that he no longer wanted to take part and inhibit people form opening and expanding their minds. Montag’s self discovery is evident when “suddenly the odor of kerosene made him vomit,” although it was once such a great smell that only a true firefighter could love, and he could no longer fulfill his job as a firefighter and be happy (Bradbury, 49). Montag’s new found knowledge gave him the courage to escape because he recognized that if he stayed and continued to be controlled by his society that he would never be able to spread the knowledge and wisdom that he had gained.

Both Equality 7-2521 and Montag rebelled within their society’s and in result formed ideas or captured some form of wisdom. Furthermore, both discovered themselves and recognized from their discovery that they needed to break free form their society in order to have freedom and the will to share their advanced knowledge and ideas. Montag and Equality 7-2521 both made discoveries that could have and would have changed the way their society’s functioned and thought.

Although, what Montag realized had been recognized by individuals in his society before in contrast to Equality’s newly discovered light source that was unknown to his society. Therefore proving that when one seeks truth within the confines of a controlling society, it leads to self-discovery, because it gives them the courage to escape. The last factor that must be accounted for is the fact that when one presues truth within the confines of a manipulating society by finding flaws within, it leads to self-discovery, because they find the courage to escape.

An example of this is Equality 7-2521. The society that he lived in is very narrow minded and believes that conformity is essential in order for all to be content. Their Motto: “We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE, one, indivisible and forever,” is the basis of their ethics, and suppresses them form leading a typical lifestyle. No one within the society of the novel Anthem was permitted to have thoughts, pinions, or ideas of their own. Equality 7-2521 was silenced by the conformity that his society had.

Finally he came to the realization that his society’s flaw was depriving him and others of their individuality. This realization gave Equality 7-2521 a better understanding of himself. Him recognizing his society’s flaw gave him the bravery to escape, because he realized that his society would never learn from it mistakes and frailties, and that he needed to take action in order to provide a better and more fulfilling life for himself and others. Therefore, Equality 7-2521 investigation for truth within his society led him to the realization of flaws that it contained, and gave him the courage to escape.

In comparison, in the novel Fahrenheit 451 Montag uncovers imperfections within his society, that directed him to discover himself, because it gave him the courage to retreat. The society that Montag lives in confines the population by restraining them from any sort of reading material, in fear that the material will cause people to become unhappy, depressed, or angry, with the information that it consists of: “We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought… Don’t let the torrent of melancholy and drear philosophy drown our world” (Bradbury, 62).

This quotation proves that this society believes that it is truly making people happy by holding back, and not allowing them to have opinions and thoughts of their own, basically controlling them. Not only does the society of the novel control people by making it known that they can not enjoy the pleasure, and benefits of reading, but they also control them with parlor walls, which are giant televisions that take up an entire living room wall. These walls “tell you what to think and blasts it in. It must be right.

It seems so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn’t time to protest” (Bradbury, 84). Montag realizes that this is his society’s major fault, and the reason that they are in desperate attempts of controlling everyone is because they believe and want everyone to be alike: “We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitutions says, but everyone made equal” (Bradbury, 58).

Montag’s recognition of his society’s flaw leads him to self-discovery ecause he realizes exactly what his society is doing, and knows that it is not mentally healthy for any individual. Montag breaks free of his society by escaping, because he yearns for the knowledge and independency that his society refuses to provide and except. Both characters apprehend that their society’s have major obstacles that they have to overcome before it could ever become a well functioning and productive society with well functioning individuals. They also escape the societies, because they realize that nothing will ever be done about the blunders that they hold.

Furthermore, both Montag, and Equality 7-2521 conceive when free from their past societies that they want to take action, and establish a society of their own. Both societies in the two novels Fahrenheit 451 and Anthem find ways of controlling the humanity that it with hold by molding them into what them want them to be. Thus and thus proving that when one seeks truth within the confines of a controlling society it leads to self-discovery, because they find the courage to escape.


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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 14 September 2016

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