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Ellie and Equality were similar and different in personality among other things. Regardless of the fact that she was a woman, Ellie was tough, argumentative, and determined throughout Contact. Equality was more the individual in a society where everyone was bland and submissive. Carl Sagan’s Contact and Ayn Rand’s Anthem feature Ellie and Equality standing out because of their determination to achieve their radical goals. Ellie and Equality were similar in their will to overcome the people that doubted them, however, Ellie was argumentative, had different goals, and also more freedoms to achieve her goal because of the government she lived under.
Firstly, Equality along with Ellie both shared an interest in science. This trait becomes obvious when Equality expresses his thoughts to get into the Home of the Scholars, where science and education is pursued. “We loved the Science of things (Rand 23).” Ellie’s dedication to science through an education at MIT among other things expresses her obvious interest in the subject (Sagan 161). Ellie’s goal of making contact with an unearthly being, and Equality’s invention of electricity dictate the storyline of Contact and Anthem.
Despite their common interest in science, they each had very different goals they wished to achieve. This is revealed in the plot of both books; Ellie searches for contact while Equality wishes to shed light on his community’s scholars with his invention of electricity. When Ellie first receives the message, immediately she takes action to spread the word (Sagan 71-72). “Tomorrow in the full light of day, we shall take our box, and leave our tunnel open, and walk through the streets to the Home of the Scholars (Rand 67). It is easily established by reading the books that Ellie and Equality’s common intrest in Science don’t lead them to a common goal.
Lastly, Ellie is free to be an individual, argumentative, and say and do what she wants because the freedom of the society she lives in (America) provides it. Throughout Contact, Ellie definitely gets her opinion across, and is sometimes even argumentative. “I’d like to punch out that cock sure know-it-all, holier th at thou…(Sagan 167). Equality has not even been taught to speak like an individual as shown by their use of “we” rather than “I” when referring to themselves (Rand 19). Equality and Ellie personalities are both changed because of the freedoms they are allowed within their own societies.
In Conclusion, despite their strong differences, Ellie and Equality both succeed because of their similarities. Mostly because of their surroundings, both their goals and means to achieve them changed. Equality is more mild mannered and laid back, but it’s Ellie’s ability to debate that eventually gets her the funding she needs to continue at her goal of achieving contact (Sagan 160). Because of the radical thinking that was present in both Ellie and Equality’s goals, it took similar determination, and a strong belief in uncovering the truth to accomplish what they alone had known to be true.
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