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anthem v. the giver

            From Nos to Ego: Dissent and Dystopia in Collectivistic Society .
             In a world of "WE-, where the individual has no sovereignty, where each person has an obligation to the community, where authority stamps out dispute, and where those who discover self strive to free the minds of those imprisoned by conformity "collectivism and dystopia dictate law. Ayn Rand's Anthem and Lois Lowry's The Giver demonstrate two archetypal dystopias. War, hunger, violence, and pain don't exist in these ostensibly "perfect- societies of interdependent existence. When one dissenter finds Ego in a world of Nos, and appreciates the wickedness of the collective through enlightened, unbiased eyes, the society becomes a dystopia. Prometheus of Anthem and Jonas of The Giver discover truth and endeavor to bestow their wisdom for the betterment of mankind.
             Each person contributes to the collective through his occupations and altruistic behavior. The Committee of Elders resolved that Jonas should assume the job of Receiver, the most venerated position in the community. At the age of fifteen, Equality 7-2521, or Prometheus, faced the Council of Vocations, which assigned him the humble job of street sweeper. In both societies, each person must place his own needs behind the needs of the whole. He becomes a slave to the ethics of self-sacrifice, enduring his job and performing it to the best of his ability for the good of all. .
             However, the societies in The Giver and Anthem create different gender oriented situations. Anthem illustrates a male-dominated society in which the elders assign women menial jobs in the fields. In The Giver, women hold down jobs equal to those that men have. Receiving a job depends on giftedness in a certain area, not gender. Before Jonas, there was a female Giver, which is the highest position in society. This difference could stem from the fact that Rand penned Anthem fifty-seven years before Lowry composed The Giver.

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