The Concept Of Truth In Ayn Rand's Novel 'anthem'

1205 words - 5 pages

Truth is impossible to recognize by those who are unable distinguish it. The only way that one will be able to understand reality, whether it is subjective or collective, is by having the ability to trust oneself above a municipality. “Man cannot sacrifice himself for others or others for himself,” (Ayn Rand, the Essentials of Objectivism, Anthem). One cannot spend his entire life toiling for the sake of someone else's happiness, which he will never have to do if that other person works for himself. Nothing can be accomplished by depending on another person for help, and one cannot know himself unless he has taken time to analyze his thoughts.
Truth is an incredibly broad word for a very ...view middle of the document...

Despite his harsh and painful death sentence, Prometheus realizes that he is the man most at ease in the crowd. This confused Prometheus early on, but he comes to realize that it is because the Transgressor has found his own purpose, and separated himself from the collective. Beyond the Saint of the Pyre, it is necessary to point out that Gaea was also one who had achieved the maturity to acquire truth. “We heard that you had gone into the Uncharted Forest, for the whole City is speaking of it. So on the night of the day when we heard it, we ran away from the Home of the Peasants.” (Page 81). Gaea had no attachments to her old life, and she was more interested in the life that awaited her when she worked to find it. Not every man is adept to see reality, but those who are can see past the personal wall they have put up, and distinguish fact from fiction.
What is real and what is true is exactly what can be seen. A deeper meaning or emotion cannot be considered true, although it is very real. Any thoughts beyond plain fact are also no longer true. Due to the bias one has developed because of past experiences, stories, and stereotypes, their perception is tarnished. “Perhaps...there were a few among men, a few of clear sight and clean soul, who refused to surrender that word [I],” (Page 103). A man who begins to see his prejudices as true no longer has clear sight, and has proven himself incapable of handling truth.
Due to the varying experiences men may have, each one has a different biased viewpoint, so it could not represent what is true, whether one thinks so or not. Man can, however, find the truth through logic. There is no human that is held back from gaining all the knowledge he could ever want or need, because man is not a victim of his environment, and is capable of learning what he needs from observing what is around him. Even though Prometheus is convinced that he must be a Scholar in order to see truth, he is the only one who finds it. Evidently, any man who is ready to see the truth will search for it. Thought and its use depends on choice, and one can only think if he wills himself to. “The secrets of this earth are not for all men to see, but only for those who will seek them,”(Page 52)
Prometheus had a distorted mindset that the community is there...

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