Near the end of the novel Anthem by Ayn Rand the main character, Equality, reaches one of the most important realizations of the entire book about the concept of individualism. In the quote form the text “To be free, a man must be free of his brothers” Equality comes to the conclusion that to be independent he must first become his own person and let go what keeps him from doing what he wishes to. There are numerous cases of being free in Anthem, including Equality’s struggle in school, his running away from society, and Equality learning the usage of the word ‘I’.
The scene in Anthem where Equality is writing about his school lessons, he could never forget no matter how hard he tried illustrates the idea of how different he is from the others. The quote “We tried to forget out lessons, but we always remembered. ” (Rand 21) is when Equality was talking about his struggle with his education; Equality always wanted to know more, but it was forbidden to ask questions. He was forced to conform to the laws that he only needed to know what he was taught. In addition to Equality being smarter, he is guilty of the great Transgression of Preference. Equality wanted to be a part of the Home of Scholars.
Instead he was made a street sweeper because of his intelligence. It was like this with all of the citizens. In example, International was an exceptional artist, but only the artists are allowed to draw. Because of his talent, he was sent to the Home of Street Sweepers never drawing again. Moreover, as Equality was running from his community he learned the value of independence as he fabricated his own thoughts and the value of freedom as he left altruism behind. One specific quote from the text “I am done with the monster of “We,” the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood, and shame. specifically exemplifies Equality leaving behind the servitude and larceny of his thoughts that the rulers prohibit him to use. Equality tried to help his brothers by discovering electricity, but once he showed it to the World Council, they cowered in fear. The World Council wouldn’t accept his invention because he did it alone without the help of another. Equality seized his glowing box and ran to take The Golden One with him and together they trekked into the Uncharted Forest. As this was happening Equality was wrapping his mind around the forbidden concept of not working or others, thus only working for himself. Last but not least, when Equality transitions from using the word ‘we’ to the Unmentionable word ‘I’ in the last chapter he is free of his brothers. He no longer thinks himself as part of the civilization he once was, but as a single person. He even gives himself and The Golden One new names that reflect their independence and freedom of the collectivist society they were once part of. Equality becomes Prometheus because Prometheus took the light of the gods and gave it to men; The Golden One becomes Gaea, the mother of Earth and of all the gods.
Also, Equality states this son will be raised a man; his son will learn and use the word ‘I’ instead of the word ‘we’. The protagonist, Equality, in Anthem by Ayn Rand flawlessly exemplifies the idea of sovereignty. The quote “To be free, a man must be free of his brothers” is the significant conclusion that Equality comes to once he breaks apart from his society and constructs his own thoughts. By being different during schoolings and running away from his community, Equality gains the prospect of individuality. Similarly, Equality shifts from a ‘we’ to an ‘I’ once he learns the principles of independence.