Prometheus And Gaea Anthem Essay

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Prometheus and Gaea In Greek mythology, Prometheus and Gaea were gods whom the people of the time worshiped. These two gods were important because they both associated with beginnings. Prometheus was the god of wisdom and could tell the future he also was said to have helped create man. Gaea is the Earth goddess who was the mother of all creation. When Equality 7-2521 and The Liberty 5-3000 renamed themselves it was a very symbolic part of the book because it signifies their own beginnings.

Both the names Prometheus and Gaea were wise choices by the two because of their new start to a race of their own. Prometheus was a Titan, one of the old gods who had been defeated by the new gods. As he was only a minor Titan, incapable of much, he was not treated as harshly as the other defeated gods were. However, later on, when he saw the plight of the men upon the earth, he took the gods’ sacred fire and brought it down from the mountaintop to the men.

The condition of the men improved when they got the fire, but the gods, punished Prometheus for discovering something so important. Prometheus was also the titan in charge of creating and protecting man-kind. This is significant to Equality because when he and Liberty go to run away together, they are starting their own new life and race. It is easy to see the similarities between the characters: both Prometheus and Equality brought a kind of fire down from the heavens to his fellow men, Equality in the form of electricity and the electric lightbulb.

Though what they did was good, they were both punished for this accomplishment. These similarities ultimately led Ayn Rand to name Equality, Prometheus. The symbolism of Gaea to Liberty is not as specific. Gaea is the goddess of Earth and she was to create the rest of the titans. She is said to have emerged with the beginning of all creation. Along with air, sea and sky. She was the great mother of all: the gods were descended from her union with different elements of the earth.

I think Ayn chose this name for Liberty because she symbolizes the mother of the race her and Equality have started to create. Other than similarities between the characters in the story and the characters in mythology, there are similarities between the two mythological figures Ayn Rand chose to incorporate. Both Prometheus and Gaea started a race. Gaea, the start of a race of titans and gods, and Prometheus, the start of all man-kind. These two gods fit very well in the story and do play a large role in the overall symbolism of the whole novel.

Author: Brandon Johnson

in Anthem

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Anthem, by Ayn Rand

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In Ayn Rand’s Anthem, the protagonist Equality 7-2521 begins the novella as a primitive unique adolescent, who has realized that he might be different from those around him. He feels remorse in his differences and attempts to make himself become like the others in his society. But after the discovery of the tunnel, however, he realizes that loneliness pleases him, and it becomes harder for him to deny his own individuality. Rand hoped to uncover the link between the historical figures, Prometheus and Gaea to the lives of Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000.

In Chapter 12, Rand refers to Greek mythology by renaming her two protagonists Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000. Equality is given the name Prometheus, an insinuation to the Titan who stole fire from Zeus and passed it down to mankind. Liberty is renamed Gaea, a connection to the goddess of the earth and mother of the Titans. “.. I have read of a man who lived many thousands of years ago, and of all the names in these books, his is the one I wish to bear. He took the light of the gods and he brought it to men, and he taught men to be gods. And he suffered for his deed as all bearers of light must suffer.

His name was Prometheus. ”… “And I have read of a goddess who was the mother of the earth and of all the gods. Her name was Gaea. Let this be your name, my Golden One, for you are to be the mother of a new kind of gods. ”(Rand 98-9). Rand intends Equality 7-2521’s name to be ironic, since it’s known that Equality 7-2521 is far more predominant to his peers and does not believe in the doctrine of equality. He decided to take the name Prometheus because he could relate to what he read about the Greek god. Equality felt this name fit him well because he is the “Unconquered” and persevered through thick and thin.

He gave Liberty the name Gaea because that was the name of mother earth, just as Liberty would be the mother to a new kind of gods. His decision to disregard his granted name shows his contravention with his society and his reluctance to being held back among the people of The City. In renaming himself as Prometheus, Equality 7-2521 shows that he classifies himself as the provider of light, fire, and advancement in Greek mythology. He considers himself a hero who, like Prometheus, must baffle the convocations of his time. As Prometheus appealed fire to mankind, Equality 7-2521 created electricity and brought it to his society.

Gaea brought vivacity, light and earthliness too the world; Liberty 5-3000 brought life, radiance, and earthliness to Equality 7-2521’s life. Prometheus, in Greek mythology, eluded his leader, Zeus, and gave fire to mankind, Equality 7-2521, revealed electricity to his society. Gaea, another character of Greek mythology, possesses the title of mother Earth. Heavenly fluorescence and earthly brilliance are also associated with Gaea. Liberty 5-3000, also named The Golden One, reflects mundane and angelic vividness, along with mother Earth as shown further in this essay.

By analyzing the fictitious lives of Prometheus and Gaea to those of Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000, an indicative significance behind the names of Equality and Liberty is made illusive. In Anthem, the World Council of Scholars yearned to keep their authority, but 3 people went against this authority that they clutched, Equality 7-2521, Liberty 5-3000, and The Transgressor. When Prometheus went against Zeus by exposing fire to man, he was punished. When Equality went against the regulations of his society by creating electricity by himself and then proposing it to the World Council of Scholars, he was threatened to be killed.

Gaea, who was angry that Prometheus had been chastised and later cast out, gave birth to a son. Liberty accompanied Equality into the Uncharted Forest, a land prohibited to be explored, and gave birth to their son. “Liberty 5-3000…. We wish to write this name. We wish to speak it, but we dare not speak it above a whisper. For men are forbidden to take notice of women… ” (Rand 38). This quote shows how Liberty had influenced Equality and even though those feelings were restricted love came to Equality just like it came to the Earth: for the greater good.

The World Council of Scholars is to Anthem as Zeus is to the stories of Prometheus and Gaea. “When the council of homes questioned us, we looked upon the faces of the Council, but there was no curiosity in those faces, and no anger, and no mercy. So when the oldest of them asked us, ‘Where have you been? ’ we thought of our glass box and of our light, and we forgot all else. And we answered: ‘We will not tell you. ’”… ”’take our brother Equality 7-2521 to the Palace of Corrective Detention. Lash them until they tell. ’” (Rand 63-4).

In both stories, the protagonists are questioned for conflicting the traditional ways of the society of which they live in. The discovery of the light bulb however, influences Equality 7-2521 into complete rebellion. He now found a cause for which he would give up his life. But when the World Council threatens to abolish the light bulb, Equality7-2521 thinks of his brothers. Because he will not put up with seeing the light bulb be dismantled, even though he can deal with his own destruction, he is forced to be displaced from his society.

Equality 7-2521 realizes that he actually invented the light bulb because he wanted to make it and didn’t want permission from anyone else to do something on his own. He then realizes that he does want to continue living because his body is strong, vigorous and admirable—a realization that shows how he severs his final connections to his society and makes himself a free man. In both stories, there are troublemakers who revolt against their leaders for the betterment of their brothers, or mankind. The world of Prometheus and Gaea are manipulated and restricted by their leaders.

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The society that Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000 live in are dictated by criterions and ordinances. There are many affinities between these two stories. The implication behind the naming of Equality 7-2521 being Prometheus and Liberty 5-3000 being Gaea, are advertised in the legendary stories of both characters. Both stories include characters going against their societies or ruler and bringing modernistic inventions or unknown inventions to mankind, only to be incarcerated. Ayn Rand’s one way of linking both stories together is that they both form new life for the benefit of man.

Author: Brandon Johnson

in Anthem

Anthem, by Ayn Rand

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