A Curious Aspect of Progress: Inquiry vs. Oppression in 'Anthem' 10th Grade

“We wished to know. We wished to know about all the things which make the earth around us” (23). Herein Ayn Rand’s hero expresses a universal truth: Homo sapiens are a curious and ever-changing species. For tens of thousands of years, our curiosity has been a driving force behind our intellectual and social development. Scientific thought thrives under the conditions that curiosity brings forth. Equality 7-2521 poses this curiosity in a time where it is forbidden, and contrary to everyone else, he sees development morally and intellectually. Ayn Rand portrayed such a future because she believed that the removal of curiosity through communism would lead to the downfall of humanity and its progress. Without this important aspect of both science and human nature, technological and scientific advancement is impossible. The totalitarian government of Anthem eliminated curiosity and therefore halted technological progress.

In contrast to countless dystopian future novels, the story of Anthem shows a society that has reverted to the dark ages in the sense that scientific and social progress is at a standstill; the government's total rejection of individuality is completely stopping personal curiosity. The society of Anthem is stagnant...

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