Individualism In Louis Lowry And Ayn Rand's The Giver And Anthem?

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In the past children’s literature has been dominated by the agenda of religious institutions, the censorship of well-meaning adults and the pragmatic practice of inserting life lessons into children’s books (Glazer, 466). While these different interest groups have had a strong hold on children’s literature for many decades both Louis Lowry and Ayn Rand have not only written works, The Giver and Anthem, that address the dangers of special interest groups encroaching on the education and literacy of children, but also their works address the individualism, collectivism, martyrdom and precision of words. Addressing subjects like collectivism and individualism with children seems like an insurmountable endeavor, but Lowry and Rand show through …show more content…
Although, both societies push precision of words, using precise words isn’t for accuracy, but rather ambiguity. Using nonspecific ambiguous words takes away the individual’s identity and when a person refers to himself as we, he is no longer a single man, but a part of the group. In Ayn Rand’s work, Anthem, the citizens are not allowed to use singular pronouns. Equality-72521 has used the word “we” to refer to himself his entire life up until chapter 11 where he discovers the word “I”. “Many words have been granted me, and some are wise, and some are false, but only three are holy: "I will it!" (Rand,36). Rand shows that “I” must be the primary pronoun when referring to oneself because otherwise one’s view of self and society is reversed and thus, one sacrifices himself for the collective rather than preserving himself. Rand believes that a society becomes oppressive rather than liberating, when people start to lose individual identity in order to put the collective first. In Lowry’s The Giver precision of language plays a huge role. Lowry uses euphemism to show how easily people can be manipulated and controlled without them realizing it. In the Giver from early childhood the children are taught to use words specific words. Rather than specific though, the words are not precise at all and are intentionally unclear. Another example in The Giver of a euphemism and an unclear word is the term release. The term is used happily by citizens in Jonas community and some even consider it an honor when in reality the term release means euthanasia and a person is killed. “He killed it! My father killed it! Jonas said to himself, stunned at what he was realizing (Lowry,150). In the Giver euphemism are used in political situations to cover up an embarrassing incident as well as to enable community members to distance themselves from reality. While precision of language and censorship protect people from the

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