Ego Essay

The word “Ego” can be described as one’s individual possession, one’s conscious mind, or the identity of one’s self. Your ego is every single part of you. It is your body, blood, brain, and mind. It is ultimately you as a person. In Anthem by Ayn Rand, a futuristic society is displayed where there is no “I”; there is only “We”. Equality 7-2521 discovers the truth to his shattered world and truly realizes what the word “I” really means.

In Equality’s broken, communistic society, there is no freedom or choice, no singular person, only the mindless human herd. Equality undergoes his journey to find his individuality and who he sincerely is. The architecture of the story not only helps the readers recognize the book’s philosophy, but is essential to interpreting the theme of ego/individuality in Anthem. The structure of the monomyth is crucial to understanding ego because if Equality 7-2521 had not experienced his journey, he never would have discovered his ego, nor his individuality.

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Equality 7-2521’s ordeal is pivotal to the understanding of individuality, or the sole nature of a person. This can be seen when Rand describes the entirety of the novel and its meaning. As Rand illuminates key events in the plot and theme, readers connect the two, thus helping to further understand individuality. She expresses clearly, “The closest thing to a climax in Anthem, the hero’s discovery of the word, I, is not an existential action, but an internal event, a process of cognition…” (Rand 8). The ordeal is necessary in order for Equality to fully understand the possibility of individuality. There is an emphasis on “process of cognition” because it is a mechanism that results in learning and is important in determining who a person really is. The ordeal causes Equality’s mind to evolve, and therefore opens a window to the opportunity of him being able to comprehend his own individuality. Thus, the ordeal is obligatory to discovering individuality. The ordeal is just one of many steps of the monomyth that is imperative to distinguish the theme of ego/individuality. Another key step is the resurrection.

Equality’s resurrection is a vital step to understanding “Ego”, a symbol of man’s self or the fundamental identity of a human being. This is displayed perfectly after Equality discovers a subjective oasis and has time to contemplate about life. As he breaks out of mental prisons put by his dark society, he becomes aware of his innermost self and of his existence. He thinks to himself, “This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction” (Rand 94). By the end of Equality’s journey, he is finally able to come to the realization of ego. When he describes that he is the warrant and the sanction for being, it proves that he realizes that he needs no validation for his actuality, and that he accepts his identity. This confirms that he understands and interprets ego. Thus, the resurrection of Equality is essential to understanding ego. In conclusion, the hero’s journey of self-discovery is vitally important to understanding the theme: ego and individuality.

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