Ayn Rand

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Themes and Colors
Individualism Theme Icon
Collectivism Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Power Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Anthem, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Love Theme Icon

The collectivist culture Equality 7-2521 is born into appears designed to eliminate meaningful interpersonal relationships. People are afraid even to speak their minds to one another, “for all must agree with all, and they cannot know if their thoughts are the thoughts of all.” Deep personal connections are eliminated in the name of equality and impartiality; even the intimate act of sex is reduced to a shamefully impersonal once-a-year trip to the “Palace of Mating.” The profound love that Equality 7-2521 finds and shares with the Golden One is a large motivator of his decision to escape from society, and her choice to follow in search of him.

Thus, Rand asserts that the relationships that develop under collectivism are shallow and unfulfilling, and that truly dignifying relationships require the assertion of the individual ego. Rand criticizes collectivists for turning concepts like freedom and equality into meaningless bromides; she also seems to argue that collectivism diminishes love in much the same way. Upon realizing the power of his own ego, Equality 7-2521 proclaims, “I am neither foe nor friend to my brothers, but such as each of them shall deserve of me. And to earn my love, my brothers must do more than to have been born. I do not grant my love without reason, nor to any chance passer-by who may wish to claim it. I honor men with my love. But honor is a thing to be earned.” In this way, Rand’s individualistic ideal allows for powerful interpersonal connections, rather than the demeaning one-size-fits-all approach that collectivist society imposes.

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Love ThemeTracker

The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Love appears in each chapter of Anthem. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis.
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Love Quotes in Anthem

Below you will find the important quotes in Anthem related to the theme of Love.
Chapter 1 Quotes

International 4-8818 and we are friends. This is an evil thing to say, for it is a transgression, the great Transgression of Preference, to love any among men better than the others, since we must love all men and all men are our friends. So International 4-8818 and we have never spoken of it. But we know. We know, when we look into each other's eyes. And when we look thus without words, we both know other things also, strange things for which there are no words, and these things frighten us.

Related Characters: Equality 7-2521 (speaker), International 4-8818
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

We do not wonder at this new sin of ours. It is our second Transgression of Preference, for we do not think of all our brothers, as we must, but only of one, and their name is Liberty 5-3000. We do not know why we think of them. We do not know why, when we think of them, we feel of a sudden that the earth is good and that it is not a burden to live.

Related Characters: The Golden One
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

Twice have we been sent to the Palace of Mating, but it is an ugly and shameful matter, of which we do not like to think.

Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

"Our dearest one," we whispered. Never have men said this to women.

Related Characters: The Golden One
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

We shall follow you wherever you go. If danger threatens you, we shall face it also. If it be death, we shall die with you. You are damned, and we wish to share your damnation.

Related Characters: The Golden One (speaker), Equality 7-2521
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:

We looked into each other's eyes and we knew that the breath of a miracle had touched us, and fled, and left us groping vainly. And we felt torn, torn for some word we could not find.

Related Characters: Equality 7-2521 (speaker), The Golden One
Related Symbols: “We”
Page Number: 71
Explanation and Analysis: