Anthem | Study Guide

Ayn Rand

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Anthem | Chapter 3 | Summary



Equality 7-2521 has discovered "a new power of nature." He has figured out that metal "draws the power of the sky" and "can be made to give it forth." He uses materials in the subway tunnel to aid him in his experiments with electricity, such as "strange little globes of glass" that "contained threads of metal thinner than a spider's web."


Unlike his fellows, Equality 7-2521 strives for knowledge above all else. This drives him to steal items useful for his experiments and to spend so much time alone. The rulers would have him believe "no single one can possess greater wisdom than the many Scholars," but Equality 7-2521 knows this to be false, since he considers himself to possess greater wisdom. After all, his experiments are leading to the ability to harness electricity while all the Scholars combined have discovered only candlelight. This illustrates all three of Rand's major themes: the ineptitude of the evil regime, the superiority of the individual versus the collective, and the power of free will.

Equality 7-2521 believes his discovery to be so significant that he holds it above the care for his own life, the lives of his fellows, and the laws of his society. He declares himself fully committed to doing whatever it takes to bring electricity to life.

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