Reflection Paper on Anthem

Published: 2021-08-27 10:45:07
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Category: Identity

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This subject I am babbling about is not just a subject; It is the subject: Philosophy. ~ Well, at first look, this is how I comprehended the novella “Anthem”. Simple message relayed through tough words, when really that’s not the point of it. Anthem is about a boy who was born with the curse of knowing things more superior than most of his society—a society that does not accept progress unless approved by everyone. This boy then meets a girl with qualities like her, and later falls in love with her. Even though their society forbids a love like theirs, they didn’t mind and kept it a secret.
He tried to help their society through his discoveries, though ended up escaping it, and trying to create a new one of his own. It has a typical story line with a dystopian theme. Aside from that there’s nothing really more from it. Or is there? *
Learning was too easy for him because of his quick head. He asks too many questions that his teachers forbade him from asking. “He only wishes to know. Equality 7-2521 represents the superiority of a singular intellect to the homogeneity of the masses, who cannot think for themselves—the society of shapeless people who are indistinguishable from one another. At first read, I thought to myself, he (Equality) is too self-centered, thinking that he is far superior than his society, and that his only flaw is the society’s disapproval of him.
Also, I don’t like how he came up with his conclusion of his ego being the center of his universe (though, I’m not saying that the conclusion is wrong). It’s just so unthinkable how without knowing what the word “I” really means, he suddenly knows what it is and how to use it. On the other hand, I like how his curiosity always gets the better of him. I like how he is eager to know and discover things even though he knows that it is forbidden to do so. I love how Equality 7-2521 takes risks to justify his thirst of knowing more.
These character traits of Equality 702521 made me reflect more on the adventures of learning, rather than the concept of individualism. I like how his quest full of myriad mischief turned out to be an amazing discovery of the light bulb (which for me symbolizes progress and/or change). I love how he soon realizes that his learning is not really for the society, but rather for him and him alone. One thing I also admire about Equality 7-2521 is his love for Liberty 5-3000, that even though it is forbidden, they still chose to continue their love. Selfish indeed, but selfishness is not always a bad thing.
Another main character on the book that I have reflected on is Liberty 5-3000 (also known as “The Golden One” or “Gaea”) – This character is a peasant that has eyes with no signs of fear in it, whom Equality 7-25521 falls in love with. She is Beautiful, proud, and strong like Equality 7-2521. She loves Equality 7-2521 because he is different from everyone around him. And Equality 7-2521 loves her back for the same reason. For me, Liberty 5-3000 is a little bit too submissive. Her mix of independent pride and devoted submission to Equality 7-2521 seems contradictory.
Prometheus’ universe may have his own ego as its center, but for Liberty 5-3000? I don’t think so. Liberty 5-3000’s character is a perfect counter-example of Ayn Rand’s main thought of: “I is my god”. Gaea is more of a: “Equality 7-2521 is my god”. (Liberty 5300 to Equality 7-2521: “Your will be done…”). Although I hate how she submits herself too much to Equality 7-2521, I like her for standing out of the crowd. I like how fierce she can be trying to put what she loves first before what others dictate her to. I also like her show of courage by following the one she loves even though it might place her in great danger.
However, I think the author somehow just took a shot of presenting a true epitome of a perfect woman with great courage and confidence, but only with the weakness of her beloved. Unfortunately, Ayn Rand failed trying, for instead she just created a weak and submissive leading lady. Gaea apparently became just an object of Prometheus’ with no say on things at all. These two main characters made me reflect on how not all people are alike (which was the point of the whole story: Individualism). Not everyone is as strong or as smart as Prometheus. Neither are they all of beauty and devotion as Liberty 5-3000.
The story also made me reflect on the concept of solitude, and how not all people find happiness in solitude. In fact, even in the story itself, Equality 7-2521 is not alone, for he finds happiness in the presence of Liberty 5-3000. Absolute solitude is inconceivable. Different people have different purposes. They might find their purposes with others, or they might find their purposes of for themselves alone. And even if they find their purposes for themselves, still, it will influence their society, because one cannot live without another. No man is an island.
As for me, I find happiness in having loved ones beside me; I’m not saying that I let them think for me though. I am currently a conformist and non-conformist. I am a conformist in that I conform to my God and with His teachings. A non-conformist in that, like Liberty, I submit myself to my beliefs and resist things of its opposite (although at times, they may overlap with each other). I conform to my God, and so try not to conform to the world. I conform to my government, yet reject on them trying to take over me. I succumb to, yet I resist. Also, I could consider myself to have hints of Equality 7-2521 in my personality.
I love learning as much as I love taking risks. I remember the story of my 4 yr old self. My mom used to tell this story every time she remembers it and every single time we would laugh at it. So here’s how it goes: It was an ordinary day, we were travelling by a car. My mom was driving and her sister (my aunt) was in the front seat. I, my 2 sisters, and my cousin were at the back seat. I was the closest to the door handle, and that was when the inner curiosity of me sparked! “Now, what is this thing for? ” and voila, I was playing with the car door handle and suddenly I found myself rolling on the ground of an uphill highway.
While the action was happening, my mom and aunt were also caught in an intense activity: Gossiping. Yup, they were there chit-chatting while I was outside, rip rolling. Since my two sisters and my cousin saw my fall, they panicked and then started shouting, “Ma! Si Ima, nahulog! ”, but since my mom’s activity was more interesting than mine, they had to shut the kids up, “Kids, quiet! ”. Then my sisters started crying. That’s when my mom and aunt started to notice my absence. And at last, they panicked too. They went chasing for me, trying to save me from the rushing cars. But wait!
I know that I have done well, and I know that I could do more, and so the learning continues. Moving on from the main characters, another prominent concept in the novella was the society. The society presented on Anthem is so wrong. The people there are under so much fear and are dehumanized. Their society promotes absolute collectivism where they are all one and one is all. They accept few, if not none at all, changes. Everyone is of equal importance as everyone. Freedom of speech is cut off. Men can’t speak to women, they were not able to show their emotions to them, and they can’t even have houses of their own!

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