When a person is trapped in a society that controls their behaviour, thoughts, and opinions they are unable to grasp the realization of their societies cruel nature. However, there is always one person or a group of people who are capable of uncovering the truth of their society. In the novels Anthem by Ayn Rand, and Fahrenheit 451,by Ray Bradbury, the main characters of the novels were able to find the truth by, doing things that were banned by their societies and their governments.
They rebel against society to gain knowledge or form ideas that are most likely banned by their governments. Thus proving that, when one seeks truth within a controlling society it leads to self-discovery because they end up finding ways to escape and if a person is mae to do something against their will they tend to rebel. Montag a character from the novel Fahrenheit 451 is one example of a rebel against society . In the society that he lived in, any type of book, magazine, or reading material was banned. Some people similar to Montag decided break this rule and read this material. These people were considered enemies of society because the people who decide to embrace this material are just as harmful as the material itself because of “all the false promises, all the second-hand notions and time worn philosophies” that people had (Bradbury, 76). However, Montag became friends with a man named Faber, who in his younger days was an English professor.
Montag knew that Faber was knowledgeable in literature, but he became his friend regardless because he became curious about the forbidden treasures that his society had banned. On the other hand Faber knew about the things that were in these forbidden reading materials, and he also believed that this society and the government was making a big mistake by banning books and all of the amazing ideas and information they held. Even though Faber was aware about the valuable information that would be lost if books got banned or burned he never spoke out or fight the decision made by the government. However, he lost one of the most valuable things in life “I’m one of the innocents who could have spoken up and out when no would listen to the “guilty,’ but I did not speak and thus became guilty myself” Now it’s too late” (Bradbury, 82).
Faber’s non – existent need to fight for literature fueled Montag’s need to fight for the preservation of literature and books. This showed that since Montag made a friendship that was not approved by his society, it gave him the courage to rebel and fight against government. Another example of a person fighting against an oppressive society, because of a banned friendship and banning free will is Equality 7-2521 from the novel, Anthem.
In the society in which Equality 7-2521 lives in their government doesn’t allow people to think their own thoughts and live their own lives. They make sure everyone follows their rules so that everyone is equal. They also don’t allow people to fraternize and have relationships with others. Although these are the main laws, Equality finds himself being drawn to a young girl by the name of Liberty 7-2000. Because of this relationship Equality 7-2521 reaches out to Liberty 7-2000 in hopes of starting a relationship with her even though it is banned by the government. This relationship helped Equality discover his true self. This helps him realize that loving someone isn’t wrong and having feelings and experiencing new things isn’t bad.
These things that his government had banned like being different isn’t a curse it is actually a blessing, “born with a curse” (Rand, 13). Both characters in the novels Anthem, and Fahrenheit 451 discovered themselves by forming friendships that were not accepted in their society, and in both cases they gained enough courage to escape. Montag’s friendship with Faber inspires Montag to escape and realize his true self only because he was afraid to become what Faber was; a coward, not willing to fight for his beliefs. In contrast, the friendship that Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 7-2000 shared inspired Equality to discover himself, and escape, because he was different and enjoyed being unique from the rest of his society.
This shows that although both characters were inspired by friendships, the reasons for their actions, and their self-discoveries were different. Thus proving that, when one seeks truth within the confines of a controlling society it leads to self-discovery, because they find the courage to escape. The last factor that must be accounted for is the fact that when a person decides to discover the truth about how life should be lived and the truth about knowledge should be that when a person pursues the truth within an extremely dictating and commanding society it leads them to self discovery. In the society that Equality 7-2521 lived in is a very narrow minded community that believes in equality so much that they completely got rid of liberty for the people because they believe when people are given liberty and freedom some people rise above the others and society becomes unequal.
Their motto is “We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great we, one, indivisible and forever,”(Rand). This one quote shows how they think and how strongly they believe that no man can be above the others. No one in is allowed to have their own thoughts and ideas because that would make them different from the rest of their “brothers”. Finally Equality 7-252 realized that his society was depriving him and others of their individuality.
This realization gave Equality a better understanding of himself and by understanding his society’s problems gave him the bravery to escape. Therefore, Equality 7-2521’s adventure for truth within his confined society led him to the realization of flaws that it contained, and gave him the courage to escape. When one seeks truth within the confines of a controlling society it leads to self-discovery, because they find the courage to escape. When a person seeks truth by: forming friendships banned by their society, rebelling against the grain of their society to gain knowledge or form ideas, and by finding flaws within society. When people are imprisoned in the barriers of the law the only means of survival that they have is to rebel.