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Christian Response to Anthem by Ayn Rand

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Christian Response to Anthem

The center of the novel Anthem by Ayn Rand is around one’s ego. The basic root of the book the pursuit of happiness meaning that the end goal for Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000 is to follow the road in which they can be free on. However, the society in which they both are apart of conceal them to what only the authorities want them to witness and experience.

Religious language is easy to spot in Anthem. In fact the first sentence of chapter one, “It is a sin to write this” (pg. 17), gives a relatively good insight as to what the book will be about. The society in which Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000 live in use language that is often affiliated with religions such as transgression, evil ones, unspeakable word, unmentionable times, but none of those words are recognized as “positive” words in the religious life. Christians may view this as bias, almost as if Ayn Rand was saying that religion focuses so much what you must not do that it makes one want to rebel. She wanted to voice on how totalitarian societies take some of the trappings of systemized religions, and effectively become religion for the population.

The common theme of ego is strongly represented in the last few chapters. Equality 7-2521's proclamations about what and who he is – "I am the meaning…. I am the warrant and the sanction" (pg. 94) – also resemble Jesus' famous "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). The common similarity might not be accurate enough to call these allusions necessarily, but at the very least Rand's language is similar enough to be seen as a use of scripture. Ayn Rand is trying to claim a special kind of sacredness for the human ego. The Christian view of ego completely contradicts what Ayn is trying to say: that personal beliefs overrule everything, which is why in the book, Equality chose to pursue his desire of freedom as opposed to obeying rules. In fact, the exact opposite of ego serves as a pathway for Christians. Sin came to be because of Eve’s desire to focus on herself and better herself by trying to be like God by eating the forbidden fruit. Equality 7-2521's society has no understanding or appreciation of the sacred ego, and tries simply to destroy it. It only draws on religious language to make prohibitions, because it only has the oppressive guilt element of religion down. Once Equality 7-2521 leaves his society behind, he is able to discover what is truly sacred for himself, and preach about it to us.

When Equality 7-2521 chooses the name Prometheus for himself and Gaea for Liberty 5-3000, it is almost as if Ayn Rand is saying that The Creation is merely a false belief in the Christian faith. "And I have read of a goddess," I said, "who was the mother of the earth and of all the gods. Her name was Gaea. Let this be your name, my Golden One, for you are to be the mother of a new kind of gods" (pg. 99) entails that not only does Equality see Liberty as a new creator, but Equality does not acknowledge that God the Father is the one true creator of all things. Instead, Equality sees himself as the best there has ever been on Earth and worships himself instead



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