The books Anthem by Ayn Rand and Animal Farm by George Orwell are both written about dystopias, or the most imperfect and dismal society. Both authors write about humans –or animals- failing to create a utopia or perfect society. Though both authors use different points of view, language style, and voice the same theme is expressed: a perfect society where everyone is equal cannot exist. In Anthem, the main character, Equality 7-2521, rebels against the futuristic government he lives in, like the animals rebel against their farmer in Animal Farm.
Anthem ends at Equality’s escape from his city but, Animal Farm is about the new society created after the rebellion and how it starts out promising but eventually is driven into the ground by the animals themselves. Orwell writes about the seven laws of Animal Farm that continue to be revised by the Communist pigs who take the farm into their own hands or, trotters. “They had thought the Fifth Commandment was ‘No animal shall drink alcohol,’ but there were two words that they had forgotten. Actually the Commandment read: ‘No animal shall drink alcohol to excess. ” (109) The reader understands that the pigs have changed the law, but the animals –being too simple minded- can’t put the pieces together. The pigs deceive the animals many times by adding words to the laws, training frightening guard dogs and using a pig named Squealer to persuade them away from any thoughts of doubt. “Squealer spoke so persuasively, and the three dogs who happened to be with him growled so threateningly, that they accepted his explanation without further questions. ” (Orwell 58) Eventually the pigs become so obsessed with luxury and power that they drive Animal Farm to its downfall, a perfect example of dystopia.
Anthem is written from the viewpoint of a man with a curse. A curse that causes him to want more than he is supposed too and appreciate some things more than others which is of course illegal. Equality 7-2521 lives in a world where everyone is equal; no one should like or want one thing or person more than another. There is no such thing as the word ‘I’ or ‘my. ’ It is always ‘we’ or ‘our. ’ There is no love or friends since you may not favor one person over another. His world is sad and bland, but no one knows it because they do not ever disobey or question the law. “It is a sin to write this.
It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. ” (Rand 17) There are always flaws in a ‘perfect’ society. Therefore, it cannot exist. Both novels’ dystopias differ greatly from each other. For example in Animal Farm, there is a more depressing mood as you watch the society fail and turn against its original laws. In Anthem, however, there is a positive mood as one man runs from his death into land unknown to start his own fair and just society, knowing it may not be perfect.
The pigs end up changing Animal Farm into an unfair communist society with them as its rulers. While, Anthem’s society everyone is created equal and although there are elders who set up the picking of jobs and food production they make sure everything is just and equal, unlike the pigs. The urge to rebel is definitely dominant in Anthem. “Through all the darkness, through all the shame of which men are capable, the spirit of man will remain alive on this earth. It may sleep, but it will awaken. It may wear chains, but it will break through. And man will go on. Man, not men. (Rand 104) Equality 7-2521 shows his strong belief in man’s ego. The aspect of an individual that thinks, forms values, and makes judgments on his own. He believes that we can live on our own and that he is the first of his people to prove it. But, the animals in Animal Farm aren’t smart enough to grasp the situation of rebellion and to understand what the pigs are doing. They’re also scared to rebel because of the slaughtering of animals that have taken place before with the pig. Animal Farm and Anthem are two imperfect societies that exist in completely different ways.