anthem chapter 5

Discuss specific textual references to light and dark in this chapter and how they reinforce the themes of individualism and rational thought

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In Rand's original drafts of Anthem, she opened the paragraph describing Equality 7-2521's invention of a primitive light bulb in a different manner: "The Light! . . . Here, under our hands, at our bidding, the light of the sky, the light to set the earth aglow, the Light smokeless and flameless and unquenchable!" (qtd. in Mayhew 35). The revised version states more succinctly, "We made it. We created it. We brought it forth from the night of the ages. We alone. Our hands. Our mind. Ours alone and only," thus shifting the emphasis away from the invention of the light itself and more closely to the achievement of Equality 7-2521. Similarly, she decapitalizes "the Light," and, in its stead, she equates light with the more basic idea of self. Equality consequently moves from the Enlightenment era to the period of the Industrial Revolution, further pulling out of the mental Dark Age of his rearing. He observes the light within the context of darkness, and he experiments with the glass box in order to provide a glimpse of knowledge in a world that has lost much of its technology and understanding of nature. In a feat of human ingenuity, he does so in an extremely oppressive environment.