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Anthem by Ayn Rand

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Ayn Rand is the author of an amazing novel, “Anthem”. She developed characters that changed throughout the story not only emotionally, but also through their names. For example, Equality 7-2521 was her main character that showed the resilience of Prometheus, a great Greek God. The similarities with the two are what made her choose to rename Equality, Prometheus. In addition she also changed the name of Liberty 5-3000 to the famous mother of earth goddess, Gaea. The roles these two females play in their worlds are what Rand contemplated when renaming Liberty to Gaea. The main characters Rand created were ones able to change over time and much unlike her minor characters.
Equality grew throughout the story “Anthem” his thoughts changed along with his name. For example, in the end Equality was called Prometheus, “he suffered for his deed as all bearers of light must suffer. His name was Prometheus.” “It shall be your name,” said the Golden One” (“Anthem” 99). Rand used this god to represent her character Equality 7-2521 because they were both givers of light. For instance, the myth of Prometheus says that Prometheus stole fire from the gods just to give it to the humans, this created many problems for Prometheus. Also, Equality worked through the day and night to create an alternative light source for his brothers which eventually caused problems for him. Another reason Rand used the name Prometheus to represent Equality was because, they both wanted to do something good for their people whether it caused them pain in the process or not. For example, in the myth of Prometheus he was severely punished for giving fire to humans because it made them more powerful. His punishment was to be chained to the Caucasus so a vulture could eat his liver. Day after day it would grow back creating an eternal punishment, but he never gave in because he knew he did something good for the humans even if it wasn’t good for the gods. In addition, Equality was finally caught not with his brothers until many hours at night. He came in the house and he didn’t confess to where he was because he knew he had to protect his box of light (“Anthem” 63-66). Equality and Prometheus are quite similar they were both part of a group that worked toward itself, but they wanted no part in that so they disobeyed their mediocre life. Rand used the name of Prometheus for Equality because of the obvious similarities in light and persistence.
Along with Equality Liberty 5-3000 changed throughout the story distinguished by her names as well. For example, “And I have read of a goddess,” I said, “who was the mother of earth and of all the gods. Her name was Gaea. Let this be your name,” (“Anthem” 99). Rand uses this goddess to represent Liberty, because they were both to be mothers of a new kind. For example, the myth of Gaea was that she was the first goddess because she came from chaos or nothingness; this made her the mother of all gods. Also, Liberty ran away from the House of the Peasants to go in search of Equality. She soon became the mother of all the new citizens that Equality planned to bring in to their land. Another reason Rand used Gaea as the name for Liberty was because they were both unafraid and did what they must to help everyone. For example, Gaea’s myth says that she birthed monsters, and helped goddess’s keep their babies safe from awful husband gods making her fearless. Finally, Liberty was unafraid, she ran away from her home and traveled through the uncharted forest not bothering to stress about her well being only focused on Equality’s (“Anthem” 82). Liberty 5-3000 and Gaea show common similarities as they were both the mothers of a new civilization and they were fearless when it came to others needs.
Any Rand made the visibility of her character real. She designed them so that they could change in every humanly way and made the changes perceptible. For example, Equality was always the persistent giver of light so when she named him Prometheus the name fit well. Also, towards the end of the book Liberty’s surroundings changed her into a fearless mother of a new kind, just like Gaea. Rand’s characters may just be characters, but she made them human. They were filled with tangible changes in life, for example their names change as they become new people.



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