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Names in Anthem Similar to how novelists and playwrights use names of characters to signify something in their story, Ayn

Rand does in her novella Anthem. Rand uses names such as Equality 7-2521, Union 5-3992, International 4-8818, and Liberty 5-3000. All of these names can be connected to a type of unified, non-individualistic manner. She would give her characters names like these because in this society, people are not meant to be individuals. In fact, there are many people who share the same name, just with different number codes at the end. Names, name changes, and meanings of names are all significant in the novella Anthem. Names in Anthem exist only to differentiate between characters. This may sound strange because while that is the point of names in general, but in Anthem so many people share a common name that it is more difficult to tell differences between them as opposed to two individuals named Michael and Jordan. Names in Anthem also contain numbers, as to the origin of these numbers, I have two separate theories. One being that they are given these numbers based on their birth date, (year, month, day, etc.) The other being that they are assigned the number based on what name they were given and what order they were born in, for example the narrator is Equality 7-2521, he would have been born before Equality 7-2522, and born after Equality 7-2520. Some people in Anthem share the same name. The reasoning behind this is so that the people will not feel like individuals. The society does not want people to think of themselves as anything higher or lower than their brothers they want everyone to be exactly the same, and it starts with the sharing of names by numerous people. The society presented in Anthem is very strict on names. The Council does not allow any type of joking around with names including nicknames, or even simply leaving out the number codes. Such actions are

frowned upon because even something as small as a nickname, could give someone a sense of individuality, and in this society that is one of the worst things you can do. Name changes in Anthem are significant because they give the characters a sense of identity. For example in the final chapter, Equality 7-2521 gives himself the name Prometheus, and in doing so has officially separated himself from the rest of this lost society. The first example of a name change is when Equality 7-2521 gives Liberty 5-3000 the nickname, The Golden One. By calling her this, Equality has given Liberty something to think about besides the normal routine of everyday life that they have, which is work all day, sleep, repeat. Equality later bestows upon Liberty the name Gaea, this action officially separates Liberty from the lost society and this moves her and Prometheus, (Equality) to start a new world of intellectual individuals. Liberty also gives Equality a nickname, The Unconquered this represents a bond between Equality and Liberty, seeing that both gave the other a nickname. The meaning of names in Anthem represent some of the character changes that happen throughout the book. In the beginning of the book characters only have their birth names, such as International 4-8818, and Union 5-3992. These names only represent the society as a whole and not really an individual person. International and Union are both words that mean unified or altogether. The Council gives names like this so that people will not feel different from their brothers. Our two name characters have nicknames, Equality is The Unconquered and Liberty is The Golden One. The Unconquered means that Equality has yet to be claimed as yet another victim of this society which tries to make people become almost zombie like. The Golden One is supposed to represent the features that Equality finds attractive about Liberty. Most notably her golden hair, and the certain glow that she has about her. At the end of the novella, Equality and Liberty receive two real names. Equality names himself Prometheus,

which fits because Prometheus brought light to the world and showed men to be gods but ended up paying for his deed. Liberty is given the name Gaea, and this name is appropriate because Gaea was the mother of the earth and of all the gods in mythology. Prometheus and Gaea go on to lead the way into a new era. In closing, the names given at birth are given to oppress individuality. The names changed are to represent the characters becoming closer and closer to individuals. The meanings of names show how Rand has gotten other literature and feelings and such to blend into her writing. Names in Anthem are important because they give life to the story, they show the evolution of characters, and most importantly they hint at how we could become like that in our society.

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