Equality 7-2521’s return to nature also signals Rand’s presentation of Equality 7-2521 as the new Adam, the creator of the true human race. Here, he is at one with nature and at peace with his body, and he has returned to Eden. In the biblical story of Genesis, Adam and Eve live in harmony in the Garden of Eden until a serpent tempts Eve with fruit from the tree of knowledge. When they eat the fruit, Adam and Eve become aware of their own bodies and selves. When God, who has forbidden them to eat of the tree of knowledge, discovers their sin, he throws them out of the garden and into the world, where they spawn a flawed race of men. The parallel is turned on its head here, however, by Equality 7-2521’s realization that he is, in fact, an outcast. For Rand, Eden is a place that can be re-entered by using knowledge itself. Ironically, it takes becoming an outcast for Equality 7-2521 to realize where he will be able to find happiness and self-awareness. For Rand, self-awareness is saving, not damning.
Technology and nature, often in tension in literature, are means to the same end in Anthem. Nature provides man a chance to prove himself, a way to make it on his own. It belongs to him because he is a man, and the natural order is such that the forest welcomes him into its keep. Technology, likewise, belongs to man because he has created it. He creates it because it is progress and it exalts him. Interestingly, the emphasis on nature in Anthem is not present in Rand’s other works, where the emphasis is chiefly on the city and man’s achievements. In Anthem, however, Rand emphasizes that man is the master of all creation, and that he can use his mind to master even those elements, such as lightning and electricity, that seem to master him. Indeed, Rand often suggests that the world is meaningless without man’s mind in it to give it meaning, and in this way, technology is the complement of nature because technology is essentially a natural force with the direction of man’s will behind it.