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Elena Miyake
Y. Garza
English II-5
November 1, 2014
The monster of We
The system of collectivism subjugates individuals to one group, and it rejects the right of
individuals. Although collectivism is criticized by numerous people, Anthem, a novella that is
published by Ayn Rand, emphasizes the cruelty of this issue. In the story of Anthem, Rand
illustrated several ironies toward collectivism in certain way to criticize its system and briefs. In
particular, the quote that the narrator of the novella said at the ending has strong meaning toward
the issues. He said, I am done with the monster of We, the word of selfdom, of plunder, of
misery, falsehood and shame. As it is mentioned above, the novella showed that the word We
can be a monster easily through the situation of the collectivist society. Among Rands several
ironies and symbols represent in Anthem, this quote emphasizes her thoughts toward collectivism.
The society of this novella is illustrated as collectivism. In this society, the narrator and
others are forced not to speak as an individual, and they use the word We to describe
themselves. Because they use We to reject their individual, they dont will anything, and they
lost their own freedom and right as an individual. As the result of this society, the civilization
had been declining. All they did to this society for long period of time is make candles. Thus,
scholars had been focused on just making candles for 200 years, and they came to think it is the
greatest discovery of everyone. As we know, these are the ironies of collectivism, and Rand set
the narrator as a rebel of the society to emphasize these ironies.

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Although the narrator of this society, Equality 7-2521 doesnt know the word which
describes oneself, he has thoughts of individuality unlike the people in the story. When he
realized the society rejects individuals and makes men decline, he attempted to escape from the
society, and he finally finds the word I at the end of this story. Then, he said that quote to
reject the collectivist society. According to the quote, he describes We, the word used to
symbolize collectivism, as the monster of the weak, and it emphasizes Rands idea and the theme
present in the story that say everyone has rights of individuals and the thoughts of collectivism
reject human rights. The quote which describes the word We as the monster is the best way to
symbolize her thoughts because it can make people coward, and the monster of We still relates
to our todays life.
In many countries, people have a right of individuals. Although we all have a right to
decide our own life, we sometimes depend on the word We to steal others idea or to blame on
others. The word We is easy to lighten the responsibility, thus, we tend to use the word We.
I also use We all the time because I dont want to take responsibility for anything. For example,
if somebody says that I am in ignorance of something, I would like to say Because we didnt
learn things like. It means I involve somebody to my problem, and people might think I dont
know because we dont learn anything. As mentioned above, people dont tend to blame me as
an individual when I say We because the word We doesnt represent the individuality. As
the narrator said, the word We can become a cunning word; thus, it is literally able to become
a monster.
To symbolize this monster and the quote of the narrator, I draw a monster on my
illustration image. I draw the monster with a candle as the irony of collectivism, and the people
are stuck around the monster in order to express them as collectivism. Because they have given

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their freedom up, I draw them as pale faced and unexpressed people unlike the narrator and his
partner, Golden one. I set the narrator and Golden one separate from the monster since he said he
is done with the monster. They also seem to be happy because they got freedom from
individuality. This image illustrates the irony and symbol present in Anthem in to show Rands
thoughts against collectivism.
Through these objects present in Anthem, you can learn about your freedom and
individuality. You can learn you have to carry your own responsibility as an individual to
achieve your own freedom by yourself, not by anybody else; you cannot steal others freedom by
using the word We. Thats why narrator said the monster of We is the word of serfdom, of
plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame. As this quote symbolizes Rands ideas, this story that
is filled by great irony and expression makes us think about todays life and thoughts of
collectivism as well.

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