The book Anthem by Amy Rand is the first person story of Equality 7-2521, a man raised in a community where all men are equal and everyone is brother to their fellow man. But Equality 7-2521 was not the typical person, for he was very intelligent, and always felt that there was more to life to be discovered. He wanted to be a scholar so he could learn about his world, but instead he was assigned by the community to be a street sweeper. Upon finding an underground tunnel, Equality 7-2521 kept it to himself as a secret hideout, where he conducted many experiments to learn about the world. One invention in particular was a sort of electric device that he made, and there had never been electricity in his lifetime until then.
After much deliberation, Equality 7-2521 decided to try to present his invention to the council. He thought they would be awed by it, but instead they were angered, and wanted to put Equality 7-2521 in jail for learning more than the scholars. Equality 7-2521 then made a daring escape and ran away from the council, away from the community, as far as he can go, only to find himself in the Uncharted Forest. Soon after, he runs into Liberty 5-300, whom he had nicknamed The Golden One. She had followed him because she loved him, and he was very grateful to see her again. One day while they were walking, he told her, “Our dearest one.
Fear nothing of the forest. There is no danger in our solitude. We have no need for our brothers,” (83). This represented Equality 7-2521’s ideals of life. After living in a society that always taught men to believe solitude was wrong, that a man must live as a brother, Equality 7-2521 realized the immorality of these principles. He believed that a person is an individual, not just a brother to another. This portrayed the ideal of individualism, showing Equality 7-2521’s discovery of his own right to be his own person, rather than an unimportant link in the community.
Equality 7-2521 and The Golden One walked for many days through the Uncharted Forest together. One particular day, The Golden One suddenly stopped and told Equality 7-2521, “We are one… alone… and only… and we love you who are one… alone… and only,” (87). In saying this, The Golden One again stands for Equality 7-2521’s ideals, because she is trying to express her individual love for him, not using the word “we.” She was never taught the word “I,” therefore does not know how to say “I love you.” She instead refers to herself as “alone and only” to show that she means only she loves him. This represents independence, because that Golden One is trying to break away from referring to herself as “we,” which would imply her whole community. Now she has shown that she has separated herself from the community and no longer thinks of herself as “we,” but as “alone, and only.”
Once Equality 7-2521 and The Golden One had walked a long way in the forest, they found a very old house, from times long ago, and they decide to stay there, for the rest of their days. Their first night there, Equality 7-2521 found some old transcripts and books and read them, and learned about the word “I.” After realizing many things about how life was through the ancient books Equality 7-2521 wrote, “I am neither foe nor friend to my brothers, but such as each of them shall deserve of me. And to earn my love, my brothers must do more than to have been born,” (96). This is how Equality 7-2521 thought; this shows the ideals he stood for.
He believes that one must earn the love of another human being, not just be born as their brother and automatically be forced to love him. This represents Equality 7-2521’s independence, his final realization of his community’s corruption, for when everyone is forced to be everyone’s brother, and everyone must be equal, no individual can stand out. Equality 7-2521 believed that a man must earn another’s respect and love, not just be born into a community as just another brother who is equal to you.
Anthem tells the story of one man who learns individualism and independence. Through his journey, he said many wise ideas that would probably come to be realized in the future. Equality 7-2521, who finally changed his name to Prometheus, showed himself and The Golden One, who he now calls Gaea, how to be free from a community of complete equality and how to love one person more than all men. Individualism, independence, love… these are the ideas that Prometheus comes to learn and say for the world.