CliffsNotes Rand's Anthem

By Andrew Bernstein | Go to book overview

Chapter 2

Summary

Sweeping the streets on the edge of town, Equality 7–2521 notices a young woman toiling in the fields. Even though it is forbidden for men to take notice of women, and women of men, he is immediately attracted to her. Her name is Liberty 5–3000, but he thinks of her only as the Golden One. One day she comes close to the road and smiles at him. Every day after that they greet each other with their eyes. He realizes that he violates the law, which states that men may not think of women except for one night during the Time of Mating. He breaks another law on the day that he speaks to the Golden One. He tells her that she is beautiful, and she replies that he is not one of her brothers, for she does not wish him to be. Though their language has no concepts to explain her meaning, he understands, at an emotional level, that she is expressing the right of preference—that she holds him above and apart from all others as one who is special.

Although he does not understand why it should occur to him, he asks suddenly how old she is. She understands, for she is 17. Equality 7–2521 vows to himself that he will not permit her to be taken to the Palace of Mating. He does not know how he will prevent it, he knows only that he will.

He observes as he undresses at night that a feeling of fear hangs over the room, and no one is willing to speak what all seem to feel. He wonders, as he lies in bed at night, what the secrets were of the Unmentionable Times that have been lost. He thinks of what he has been taught: of the great fighting, in which many fought on one side and only a few on the other. He remembers that those few were the Evil Ones, and that they were destroyed along with all that was theirs. All the books of the Evils Ones were burned in the fires that raged across the land. Then came the Great Rebirth. But the words of the Unmentionable Times, he wonders. What were the words?

He knows that one word especially must not be re-discovered and said. It is called the Unspeakable Word, but nobody knows what it is. He has seen, as a boy, what fate befalls the rare person who discovers

-22-

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CliffsNotes Rand's Anthem
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Table of Contents iii
  • How to Use This Book vi
  • Life and Background of the Author 1
  • Introduction to the Novel 5
  • Critical Commentaries 16
  • Chapter 1 17
  • Chapter 2 22
  • Chapter 3 26
  • Chapter 4 28
  • Chapter 5 30
  • Chapter 6 32
  • Chapter 7 34
  • Chapter 8 37
  • Chapter 9 39
  • Chapter 10 42
  • Chapter 11 44
  • Chapter 12 50
  • Character Analyses 56
  • Critical Essays 64
  • CliffsNotes Review 77
  • CliffsNotes Resource Center 81
  • Index 84
  • Ayn Rand Essay Contests 88
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