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Dystopia in Anthem Essay


Anthem tells the story of a world that is dystopian, the opposite of utopian. This story focuses on a person named Equality. The world Equality was born into was one in which one person rules all and makes everyone act in a certain way. From birth they are taught to think of themselves as collective, as we, not I. Equality doesnt completely believe this though, and his curiosity leads him to unlocking the Unspeakable word of the city.

Whenever a child is born in this dystopian world, it is sent away from its parents to a school. These children are taught to think as a unit and conform to the rules without questioning. Equality was different from the rest, though. For his different behavior, he was punished. Equality was not normal in his society because he was an independent thinker, and was too smart and curious. He thought he was wrong for being different and tried to change his ways. He always strived harder to conform to the rules. Equality begged the council, which oversaw society, for forgiveness, but he never truly felt guilty for his wrong doings. This made him feel bad because he wasnt sad for what he had done. This, however, changed when a man was being burned at the stake for saying the Unspeakable Word. Equality could have sworn the man was looking dead at him. He got a vibe that the man was trying to tell him the Unspeakable Word, but before Equality could grasp what he was trying to convey, the man died from the burning of the fire. From that point on Equality knew he had to figure out the Unspeakable Word. It would explain everything.

Equality is committed to finding out the Unspeakable Word and he works hard to discover anything he can. Eventually, he makes/discovers electricity and is anxious to show it to the council. He thinks this will make up for all the wrong he has done. The council rejects his idea and, ultimately, Equality flees the city. Equality escapes the city through the Unchartered Forest. He traveled for several days and then he saw that the one he loved, called the Golden One by him, was following him. They walked further and further into the forest. They thought the further away from their birth city, the better. The next day as they were trudging through the forest they found a deserted house. They figured it was from the Unmentionable Times. Inside the house, Equality finds a library. The library contains numerous books from the Unmentionable Times. It is there that Equality discovers the meaning and the word that has been hidden from him all his life. The word is Ego or I. He looks back on all of the times he committed all of those crimes and times where he thought he was different from the rest. Back then, he thought he was a horrible person for going against the will of his brothers, but now he sees it as going against his will. Equality now knows he did nothing wrong to his so-called brothers; he was just following his heart.

Equality changed from being a part of the unit to being an individual person. Equality thought the rules of conformity had to be followed or else he was bad. He also thought that he should be more like everyone else by thinking collectively. Equality now knows that those rules were a bunch of nonsense made by a power-hungry leader. Equality has a new set of beliefs in which individuality and curiosity are normal. He and the Golden One now live by the rule that a man should live for the good of himself and not to please others.

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