CliffsNotes Rand's Anthem

By Andrew Bernstein | Go to book overview

Chapter 7

Summary

In the morning, Equality 7–2521 slips through the streets carrying his glass box. He enters unquestioned the Home of the Scholars, walking through the empty corridors into the great hall where the Scholars sit assembled. When he greets them, Collective 0–0009, the oldest and wisest, responds with a question regarding his identity. Equality 7–2521

informs them that he is a Street Sweeper, and they are first astonished and then outraged. Equality 7–2521 interrupts by pointing out that he is unimportant. He has something to show them of great significance to society.

He places the glass box on the table and connects the wires. When the wires begin to glow red, terror strikes the members of the Council. They leap from the table and run to the farthest wall, where they huddle together. The Scholars are furious that he defies all the Councils by believing he can provide greater benefit to his fellow man than cleaning the streets. They berate him for holding thoughts that are individual in opposition to those held by his brothers. They threaten him with torture and execution.

Equality 7–2521 pleads with them. He states that they are right regarding him. He is a miserable wretch who has broken all the laws, and who deserves only punishment. But the light, he questions. What will they do with the light? They smile and ask him if his brothers agree that the light is a great advance. When he admits that they do not, they point out that what is not believed by all men cannot be true. When they reiterate that he has worked on the invention alone, he concedes that he has. They remind him that what is not shared by all cannot be good. Other scholars argue that if the light is everything Equality 7–2521 claims, then it would ruin the Department of Candles; and since the candle is a benefit that has been approved by all men, its manufacture cannot be ended to satisfy the whim of one. It took 50 years to secure approval for the candle from all the Councils, to determine the number needed and to adjust from torches. The Plans of the World Councils cannot be changed again so soon. The World Council of Scholars decides in unison that the light must be destroyed.

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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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