CliffsNotes Rand's Anthem

By Andrew Bernstein | Go to book overview

Chapter 9

Summary

On his second day in the forest, Equality 7–2521 hears steps behind him. When the steps come closer, he recognizes the form of the Golden One. She is too overcome initially to speak, but he asks how she came to be in the forest. She says that she followed him and tells him that the whole city speaks of his escape. On the night of the day she heard of his escape, she fled from the Home of the Peasants, entered the forest, and followed the trail he had left. Her tunic is torn and her skin is cut, but she takes no notice of either. She is not afraid. She tells him that she will go where he goes, that she will face the dangers he faces and share the fate that befalls him. If he dies, then she will die with him. She says he may do as he pleases with her, but he must not send her away. She kneels before him.

Equality 7–2521 does not understand what happens next. He bends to raise her to her feet, but when his skin touches hers it is “as if madness had stricken us.” He takes her in his arms, presses his lips to hers and she wraps her arms around him. They stand together for a long time, and he is frightened that he has lived for 21 years without knowing the joy that is possible to men.

That night they make love, and he discovers that to hold a woman in his arms is “the one ecstasy granted to the race of men.”

But even in his newfound happiness he asks disturbing questions. If this solitude of theirs is evil, he wonders, then what kind of happiness is possible to human beings? If this is wrong, as they have been taught all their lives, then what is right? Now for the first time, he begins to doubt the truth of this teaching.

One day the Golden One says to him, “We love you. “But she frowns and shakes her head, realizing that those words—that word, “we”—do not capture the truth of her feelings. He looks into her eyes, knowing that for one instant they had been on the verge of a discovery. But then the instant flees. He wonders, what is the word that they lack?

-39-

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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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