Dystopia Utopia Ego

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Questions and Activities for Anthem

  1. Below are a list of concepts that are helpful in understanding the themes existing within Anthem. Complete the following tasks (a, b, and c) for EACH of the terms below:

        • Dystopia

        • Utopia

        • Ego

        • Individualism

        • Objectivism

        • Prometheus (Character in Greek Mythology)

    1. Define the term.

      1. Example – Collectivism is defined as a societal belief where the “emphasis is placed on collective effort rather than individual action or identity.”

    1. Providing textual evidence with page number based citation, explain how Equality either demonstrates or confronts this particular concept within Anthem.

      1. Example – Rand exemplifies this concept through reference to Anthem’s societal values: “We are nothing. Mankind is all. By the grace of our brothers are we allowed our lives. We exist through, by and for our brothers who are the State. Amen” (Rand 21).

    1. Discuss how the term is significant in the readers understanding of the theme/message Rand is trying to convey about this particular concept.

      1. Example - Equality references the pledge that he and his brothers must recite in the Home of the Students at the end of each day. Much like American society, Anthem reinforces the core values of its society by creating a ritual where citizens pledge their loyalty to the ideals of the state. While Anthem’s rituals are similar to American society, it is clear that the values each culture possess are extremely different, with Anthem valuing ones contribution to state over any sense of individuality. Without a doubt, Equality has been raised in a civilization where its people have been trained from birth to realize that establishing any form personal identity is looked down upon by its ruling body.

  1. Anthem is written as a series of journal entries from the perspective of Equality 7-2521, however one typical word is absent from this narrative form. Identify the missing word in the vocabulary of Equality and speculate Ayn Rand’s reasoning for leaving this word out of his vocabulary.

Your response should include answers to each of the following questions:

          • Why would Rand remove this word?

          • What is accomplished through its absence?

          • Include and discuss how the absence of this word ties into the concepts discussed in question #1 (Dystopia/Utopia, Ego, Individualism, Objectivism and Collectivism).

  1. Equality 7-2521 possesses the “curse” of being more intelligent than his brothers, yet the Council of Vocations assigns him the job of Street Sweeper. Why do you think this is? Is it due to error, incompetence or a more sinister motivation? Explain.

  1. In a well-developed paragraph, explain the meaning and wider significance of ONE of the following quotes in the story:

      1. “To be free, a man must be free of his brothers.” (Ch. 12)

      2. “It is my mind which thinks, and the judgment of my mind is the only searchlight that can find the truth.” (Ch. 11)

      3. “And we thought that we could trust this being who looked upon us from the stream, and that we had nothing to fear with this being.” (Ch. 8)


  1. range (90-100%) – Essay answers indicate critical and close reading, thoughtful engagement and analysis. Very few if any grammatical or formatting errors are present. Academic voice. All directions are followed.

  1. range (80-89%) – Essay answers predominantly critical and close reading, and mostly thoughtful engagement and analysis. Some, although few, grammatical or formatting errors may be present. Academic voice. All directions are followed.

  1. range (70-79%) – Essay answers indicate some critical and close reading and analysis, although understanding of the text may be vague or superficial. Very few if any grammatical or formatting errors are present. Academic voice. All directions are followed.

  1. or F – (0-69%) These responses are not acceptable for high school level work. It is unclear whether the book was read, or understood. Multiple errors in grammar, voice and formatting may be present.

Due Date:

The assignment is DUE in class (hard copy) and submission to turnitin.com the third week of school: Thursday / Friday, August 11-12, 2016.

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