discovering the meaning of the word "I"
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Chapter Eleven begins powerfully with the simple statement "I am. I think. I will." The contrast between the softer plural pronoun "We" and these short, sharp sentences is jarring in its intensity. In reading the books in the house's library, Equality 7-2521 has rediscovered "I," the Unspeakable Word, thus fulfilling his quest and allowing him to fully articulate the philosophy towards which he has strived. With "I" newly in his vocabulary, his internal conflict and search for a replacement to collectivism have resolved, reconciling his instinct with his consciousness. His society used words to restrain him, but now he uses words to free himself from collectivist doctrine, and he recognizes that he made an error when he sought a reason for existence. His search has in one sense culminated in a word, but in the broader sense, it has culminated in his self.
His journal entry about his finding of the Unspeakable Word is not a narrative but rather the explicit statement that summarizes the goals of the novel. The tone is triumphant, as evidenced by his proud, brief sentences and the setting of the chapter on the summit of a mountain. He uses the word "I" or "my" in nearly every sentence and at the beginning of several paragraphs, as well as at the end of the entry, emphasizing the exultation that accompanies his discovery. He observes his body in the context of his surroundings, associating his mind with his body as the single entity of ego. In other novels, Rand refers to this principle as egoism, as opposed to the collectivist ideal of altruism, and she makes a secular god out of the individual's ego.