Power is a universally known, desired, and valued theme that is a main topic in
the novel Anthem by Ayn Rand.
Power is a very complicated subject; it’s like a spice in a recipe. A large amount of spice results in an overpowering flavor, just
as too much power in any one person’s hands results in corruption and oppression,
as illustrated by Anthem. However, not enough spice leaves a dish
weak and flavorless. The effect of a scarce amount of power is a corrupt government
which leads to disaster and a lack of structure among people. The vital lesson taught
by Anthem is that power is a significant aspect to life, yet nothing is good
In Anthem the society’s government is completely overpowering. In fact, it’s so all-consuming, that people lose their individualism and
First person pronouns,
such as ‘I,’ are removed from the society’s vocabulary and people are referred to
by numbers and names, such as International and Solidarity,
which only reinforce
the government’s control. No one is
referred to as an individual; everyone is acknowledged with a plural noun, such
as ‘we.’ This kind of horrifically
totalitarian system can only result from too much power. This severe form of government has too much power over the people, and is
parallel to Communism. The government
has so much power, each person loses their sense of themselves as anything more
than an insignificant gear in the gigantic machine of an unforgiving society.
care needs to be taken in the acquiring and use of power. Too much power, such as
in Anthem, results in the loss of individuality and ego. Power is a highly-valued facet of the jewel of success, yet nothing
is good in excess, which is why exorbitant control can lead to equally exorbitant
corruption and loss of individuality.