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Anthem Paper

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"We do not think of them as Liberty 5-3000 any longer. We have given them a name in our thoughts. We call them the Golden One. But it is a sin to give men names which distinguish them from other men. Yet we call them the Golden One, for they are not like the others. The Golden One are not like the others."

In Anthem, by Ayn Rand, the character Equality 7-2521 writes this passage about the female character Liberty 5-3000. He states that he (rather, 'we', since he still refers to himself in the plural) has given her a name, other than the noun and number she was assigned. Throughout the book, the significance of names is that, among other things, they imply independence, and freedom from the collective 'we' of society. A name is inherent to the person to whom it belongs, and by having a name, the Golden One automatically rises above the other members of the city. The fact that her name is given to her by someone else, as opposed to being chosen by herself, implies possession. By naming her 'in his thoughts', Equality has made her inherently his as well. Her name is a part of her identity which belongs to him, since he is the one who has bestowed it upon her.

The name itself is a statement of individuality for both Liberty and Equality. For her because it singles her out among the others as being better and worth naming. For Equality, it is a testament to how much he has progressed in his thinking. He calls her the Golden One, implying singularity and individuality in a society which forbids both concepts. It's interesting to note that despite taking this step towards the realization of the "I" and the "Ego", Equality still thinks of himself in the plural. Despite having singled out the Golden One by giving her a name, he still refers to himself as 'Equality 7-2521'.

The idea that 'it is a sin to give men names which distinguish them from other men' is fundamental to any society attempting to be conformist and generic. Names provide a sense of self, and with that, the concept of individuality. By giving it's members numbers, the society steals away their identity and the idea that a person is in control and possession of themselves. By naming Liberty 5-3000, Equality gives her more control and power over herself than is allowed to any members of the society.

'The Golden One are not like the others',



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