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Setting in Anthem Essay


Ayn Rands book, Anthem, contains many different settings in which Equality 7-2521 lives, works, and writes in his journal. They consist of the City, the Tunnel, and the Uncharted Forrest; they each impact the meaning of the story by providing a background and a visual in which the life of Equality 7-2521 takes place.

The City is home to Equality and his brothers. There are many houses in which they live, such as the Home of the Street Sweepers. The house holds one-hundred beds with white sheets and blankets. Equality described it as a grey house on a narrow street. There is a sundial in its courtyard, by which the Council of the Home can tell the hours of the day and when to ring the bell (27). The City resembles Equalitys life because it is bland and missing something.

The writing of Equalitys story mostly takes place in the tunnel from the Unmentionable Times, which Equality and International discovered. Its walls were hard and smooth to the touch; it felt like stone, but it was not stone. On the ground there were long thin tracks of iron, but it was not iron; it felt smooth and cold as glass (32). Equality makes a habit out of sneaking off to the tunnel nightly to journal and to engage in deep thought. It was a sin for him to go to the Tunnel but Equality did not care; he had also made a habit of committing sins. The Tunnel affected Equalitys life in more ways than one. While in the Tunnel, Equality discovered literal light and mental light.

It is dark here in the forest. The leaves rustle over our head, black against the last gold of the sky. The moss is soft and warm (68). Equality ran to the Uncharted Forest after he was criticized and threatened by the World Council of Scholars. The Uncharted Forrest, which was unknown and uninhabited by men, represented a new beginning, or clean slate, of Equalitys life. Liberty 5-3000 found him in the forest on the second day and promised to follow him anywhere. They hiked and camped for days until they came across an abandoned house from the Unmentionable Times. The house contained many things left behind, but the library, furnished with more books than imaginable, was of most importance. It was here that Equality rediscovered the word I and the importance of individuality and ego.

Each of these settings played a great role on the meaning of the story by showing the reader how misinformed Equalitys society was and how the history of his ancestors was forgotten. Every place in the book told a new story about Equality and his quality of life. Without the City, the Tunnel, and the Uncharted Forrest, it would be impossible for the reader to understand the meaning of the book and what the author was trying to say about Equalitys life.

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