Concept of Ego in Anthem by Ayn Rand

Categories: Anthem By Ayn Rand

The book Anthem by Ayn Rand expresses the true meaning of the word “ego.” The definition says its meaning but the story itself shows it with actions. Ego means the self aspect of an individual that thinks, forms values, and makes judgments. In Anthem it refers to the need individuals have to be liberated from collectivism, free to use their own minds and express individual uniqueness. This word has a lot to do with the book and the purpose of the story.

It recounts to it in many ways, since this is the story’s main focus. Ego relates to the book Anthem because it is the theme, and is the lesson we readers learn from it.

Equality the main character of Anthem is our guided road to egoism. He is the one that leads the readers to understand the reasons his society is in need of ego. He goes after the solutions and takes dangerous risks as well. The world in which they live is so miserable, they are basically treated like robots.

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Equality felt like he needed to do something about it, that he needed to recover the ego that got lost in the web of dystopian inhumanities. There is where we see the relation between “ego” and the book. The whole reason why there is a problem in the story is because everyone is lacking of THE EGO that life grants each human being.

As it states on page 46, “There is fear hanging in the air of the sleeping halls, and in the air of the streets.

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Fear walks through the City, fear without name, without shape. All men feel it and none dare to speak it.” Meaning these men are scared of their society which is why they don’t stand up for themselves and they feel fear. It all happens because they don’t have their own ego. At the end when Equality discovers what had been hidden for many years. He starts to live life the way it should had always been, that is when he finds egoism. We now see how ego turns to be the theme of Anthem.

This book shows us how a different lifestyle/society can completely restrict us from the life humans are meant to have. That is the lesson I take away from this story. Ego is truly important in life and that is what Equality teaches us. He does so by showing how great his life can be when there is objectivism. He lives in the mountains in a two stories house by himself with the exception of Gaea. That is a big step towards the Unmentionable times and a better life for Equality and the ones that surround him.

As it states on pages 99-100, “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.” Asserting us he will make good use of his ego.

Overall the word ego ties in very well with the book and the story’s purpose. This word is the motor that carries on the book. It is also the teaching that readers obtain. “Ego” is the best good word to represent all the barbarities that are now long gone and banned from Equality’s life. It was known as “the unspeakable word” and it turn into the salvation word. Ego relates to the book Anthem because it is the theme, and is the lesson we readers learn from it. “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”


Updated: Dec 12, 2023
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Concept of Ego in Anthem by Ayn Rand. (2016, Oct 30). Retrieved from

Concept of Ego in Anthem by Ayn Rand essay
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