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Even the so-called “robots” who submit to the authorities have free will; they are robots by choice – they were not forced to obey. They do so voluntarily.

The characters in Anthem are depressed, without hope or ambition. They make no effort to accomplish anything and merely go along with orders.

Ayn Rand holds that free will means “the choice to think or not.” Most of the characters have chosen not to think.

The main character in Anthem will rely on his own judgment rather than to take the beliefs of his leaders as automatically true. Therefore, free will is exercised.

Slide 11



A motif is a recurrent device, formula, or situation that often serves as a signal for the appearance of a character or event. The following motifs are present in Anthem.

The use of darkness and light

The presence of ignorance and knowledge

The idea of transgression and damnation

Slide 12

Motifs (cont’d)

Motifs (cont’d)


Fear in Anthem characterizes those social lepers who do not have enough sense of themselves to understand that each individual is the center of his or her universe.


In the society in Anthem, naming is a form of identifying one’s possessions as one’s own. For this reason, Equality 7-2521 names the Golden One on two separate occasions, names himself, and searches relentlessly for the word “I.”


Like fear, shapelessness in Anthem connotes evil because it illustrates a lack of willingness or ability to believe in something and to stand behind it.

Slide 13

Places of Importance

Places of Importance

Home of Infants

Home of Students

Palace of Mating

Home of Street Sweepers, Scholars, Leaders . . .

Home of Peasants

Home of the Useless

Palace of Corrective Detention

City Cesspool

City Theater

Uncharted Forest

Slide 14

Key Characters & Organizations

Key Characters & Organizations

Equality 7-2521 > The Unconquered >Prometheus

Liberty 5-3000 > The Golden One > Gaea

Fraternity 2-5503

International 4-8818

Solidarity 9-6347

Union 5-3992

The Transgressor of the Unspeakable Word

The Saint of the Pyre

Key Organizations:

Council of Eugenics

Council of Vocations

World Council of Scholars

Slide 15

Equality 7-2521’s New Name

Equality 7-2521’s New Name

Equality 7-2521

The Unconquered


In Greek mythology, Prometheus surpassed all in cunning and deceit. He held no awe for the gods, and he ridiculed Zeus. Prometheus was the creator of man. He stole fire from heaven and gave it to his human creations.

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