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            The novel, Anthem, is the author's approach at explaining the significance of individuality. Individuality plays a very important role in the average person's every day life. Ayn Rand's portrayal of a distant future is prophetic in its similarity with where today's society is heading. .
             By definition, according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, an individual is .
             "a particular being or thing as distinguished from a class, species, or collection: as (1) : a single human being as contrasted with a social group or institution (2) : a single organism as distinguished from a group b : a particular person : existing as an indivisible entity.".
             Because Rand believed so strongly in the idea that our society is in a downward spiral towards our own demise, she placed great weight in the importance of being an individual. The ability of being free to make one's own decision at whim is a great boon to today's society, and at the same time one of society's largest threats. The need for free choice and individuality has been seen throughout history, from the mouths of the slaves of the ancient Egyptians, to African Americans who lived during the years of segregation. These battles are exactly what Rand's portrayed future world was trying to prevent.
             Her "prophecy" of what is to come also points out major flaws in having a totalitarian society. While there are no major wars, deaths, or conflicts between large numbers of people, civilization comes to a grinding halt. Nearly all modern-day technological advances are forgotten and life is reverted to that of before the Middle Ages. Knowledge is limited to that of the most primitive societies. Humanity is in recession and is barely able to keep its ugly head above water. Without the individual to come up with new ideas and invent machines to ease the toils of life, people will experience a life of boredom and stagnation.

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