Question from Anthem study guide
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Anthem's setting is that of an unclearly defined dystopian society which exists after what Equality 7-2521 calls the Great Rebirth and the end of the Unmentionable Times, an era that appears to be our own. The first paragraph establishes the sinister nature of the society, as the narrator castigates himself for breaking the law by daring to keep a journal. The mention of a Council of Vocations that controls when man can and cannot write also immediately indicates the oppression and jurisdiction over thought in Equality 7-2521's world. Throughout the first chapter, Equality 7-2521 offers no specifics of location that might place him in a particular continent or region, lending a universal feel to the dangers of his society, a sense that is further emphasized by the presence of a "World Council".