Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Finding Similarities

Creative Commons License 3.0 / Antonio Litterio
When I first started thinking about what I was going to do to write this paper, it was initially difficult to pin down similarities between Anthem and Through the Looking Glass. They were written in different time periods, different genres. One is a whimsical fantasy land and the other is a dark, primitive future. Then I looked back and tried to figure out what I liked most about each text: the language (which makes sense, since I considered majoring in Linguistics at some point). Lewis Carroll is a wordplay master, and Ayn Rand wrote a whole story that placed extreme emphasis on the limitations of language in a way that I had never seen before.

So then I asked myself: what does the use of language in each text have in common? It's obvious, in Anthem, that language controls thought. Equality 7-2521 speaks in a plural first-person point of view, and struggles to conceptualize things that have been omitted by the language. So my next question was whether or not language served the same function in Lewis Carroll's works.

In Anthem, the language:
  • omits the idea of the individual
  • oppresses the people--speaking the word "I" is punishable by death
  • controls characters (prevents individuality)
In Through the Looking Glass, the language:
  • adds to confusion and chaos
  • creates humor (puns, etc.)
  • controls characters (characters obey nursery rhymes with or without realizing it)

Here's the link to a shell of my final paper:



  1. So I went to your paper shell, but it said that there was restricted access and did not let me check it out. You can fix that on your google doc by hitting the button that says share when you open your google doc, and editing the settings. Anyway, I am very curious to see how you have connected the two together. I think your analysis that the language controls characters could definitely be used as a connecting point.

  2. Your ideas are super interesting! I hope we'll be able to read your paper shell soon! I'd love to see your full-fledged thesis.

  3. Thanks! Sorry, I'm a little technologically challenged, obviously.