I Before We The authors of Anthem and Gattaca describe collectivism and society’s loss of individuality and privacy in the future Essay

Published: 2021-06-29 01:52:53
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The authors of Anthem and Gattaca describe collectivism and society’s loss of individuality and privacy in the future. The characters in these stories must struggle with their own wants and ideas against the chains of humanity. These chains keep Equality 7-2521 and Vincent Freeman from achieving their goals and from living a life they have always wanted. In this future society, babies are brought into the world to be perfect, a mother genetically matched with a father. Children are taught to do and to know what is told to them, curiosity is out of the question. Confidentially is interrogated around every corner.
This intern wards off independence, creating the perfect society… or so it seems. In Anthem, the story centres around Equality 7-2521. In this futuristic society, knowing ones identity is forbidden, “all men must be alike” 18, Rand. Everyone uses “we” as a pronoun… there is no “I”. Equality 7-2321 was separated at birth from his parents. He grew up being quicker then his peers; he was even smarter then the teachers. People pointed out his “body has grown beyond the bodies of his brothers”16, Rand, which is a burden. He was discriminated against because he was different. Being different could ruin their perfect society.
Equality 7-2521was inquisitive and he felt it was his destiny to become a philosopher. Yet, on the day his group was rationed out jobs, he was chosen to be a Street Sweeper. The movie Gattaca is set in the “not too distant future”. In this society, they’ve got people down to a science. They can map how they will look, rid them of diseases, and other things that are planned by our genetics in a laboratory. Vincent is the main character and he was created how God intended. This made him an invalid. His brother, Anton, was genetically engineered with the perfect traits from his mother and father.
This showed. Vincent had heart conditions that made him the loser during the swimming contests the brothers had. Anton was always taller, even though he was two years younger. Because Vincent was an invalid, he was not allowed to become an astronaut which was his lifelong ambition. Instead, he had to become a janitor for the launching centre. Both Equality 7-2321 and Vincent were faced with obstacles and problems because they were different then their fellow man. They were not allowed to follow their careers because others told them they could not. They would not give into these people.
As well, they grew up with certain ideas that motivated and helped them to make their decisions. They helped themselves and others. Equality wanted to bring light to mankind and help Liberty escape the society. Vincent wanted help himself achieve his goal of becoming an astronaut. They both wanted the right to make their own free and informed choices. Equality wanted to be a philosopher and question the world. Vincent wanted to become an astronaut and not be limited by the fact he was an invalid. They partly made their decisions with others in the back of their mind.
Equality desired to help mankind by giving them the gift of light. Vincent wanted to prove that as an invalid, he could do a job just as good as someone who has been genetically engineered. Equality was honest. If he didn’t want to tell the leaders what he was doing, he just wouldn’t tell… he would never lie. Also, when he discovered electricity and light, he wasn’t going to hide it from the World Council. He went and showed them. Equality and Vincent knew they could change their destiny. They were not going to let it wither and die. They were ready to take their future into their own hands.
Equality invented the electrical light-making box and decided to show it to the World Council in the hope of being rewarded. He wanted this invention to be used for the good of mankind. Unfortunately, every man on the council was shocked and angered by this invention. Equality was shunned. He ran off into the Uncharted Forest with his love, Liberty 5-3000. Here, they were to start a new society. Vincent, deciding he wasn’t going to be limited by being an invalid, decided to be someone else; he would cheat the system. He discovered a man who would change Vincent into a valid.
This man was named Jerome. Vincent dyed his hair, wore contact lenses, operated on his legs to make him taller, anything and everything to make him into this person. Everyone thought he was Jerome and he continued into training to be an astronaut and was assigned to go on the mission to Triton. They needed restraints of society so they could figure their way around, to reach their goals in the end. Equality and Vincent were very egocentric. They were concerned with themselves and were able to conjure up the strength to distinguish themselves from others… to be able to colour outside the lines.
They had quite a bit of self-esteem and believed that they could impose social standards and ideal behaviour, to get what they wanted. Ego is a moral principle. It is something they take into consideration when they act and make decisions, they must take oneself into concern. It’s how the two governed their life. Equality did things no other man has done; he broke the norms of society because he was different. He fell in love with Liberty. Vincent had to take his career into consideration each day, when he woke up and became Jerome. He had to shed himself of Vincent.
He had to make sure he WAS Jerome. The characters conquered the restrictions of society. Equality lived with Liberty, changing their names and making a new culture where uniqueness is valued. They switched from using “we” as a pronoun, to “I”. Vincent followed his dream. Although he was an invalid, he was able to cheat the perfect system even though he was not. There can never be a perfect society because there will be one who thinks outside the box… there will be one who will achieve the goals that they have set out for themselves… that person will face all of humanity, to do what’s right.

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