Journal 4: Anarres

As it would appear, living on Anarres seems to be preferable to living on Urras. Of course, there are many benefits and detriments to living in either world. But in the end, I think I would rather live on Anarres because there seems to be more freedom (and I stress the phrase more freedom because even though there are perhaps no official laws or punishments, social norms have been established and there are certainly consequences to breaking the social norms), equality among classes and gender, and more wholesome happiness among its inhabitants.

Total freedom is a very integral and crucial concept in this Odonian society because it was founded on just that: the freedom to do whatever you wish. Although you are expected (well, unofficially…) to contribute to the community because you are supposed to support one another, it is not necessary. You are free to do what you want and how you want it, even if this means that you are looked down upon. This freedom of course also includes romantic freedom, as sexual relationships with different genders are encouraged from childhood. By showing no judgment and letting children find their own preferences and loves, you are not limiting or shaming them into living lives that they don’t want to lead. It also leads to un-institutionalized “partnerships”, which means that people aren’t pressured or trapped in relationships they aren’t happy with and that they don’t have to endure the pain of being with someone they don’t love. Chances are, if you’re in a voluntary partnership with another person, you truly love them and are happy. These kinds of systems and freedoms lead to greater happiness and the ability to truly be one’s true self, which I would enjoy if I lived on Anarres.

Equality is also another value that Anarres depends on to maintain stability. Everyone is a part of one class, or no class rather, so there is no discrimination or unhappiness because of that problem, like there is on Urras. There are also no issues with gender discrimination because everyone is considered equal, and as gender imbalance is prevalent and crucial in the social systems of Urras, I would rather live on Anarres (you know, being a female myself and all). As a whole, people seem happier on Anarres. Their happiness does not result from material or superficial things, like it does on Urras, but rather their love of each other and the freedoms that their society encourages.

Of course, there are downsides to living on Anarres too. I’m not sure I could adjust to how ugly and barren the land was, or how uninhabitable it really is. The shortages and dangers of living there always seem too scary and stressful, even if supposedly we could all make it through by helping each other. I would also not enjoy living with many people for the rest of my life, because I have grown up in a society where privacy and personal belongings are a must. But I think I could become accustomed to these things and would find true happiness in the long run if I lived in Anarres.

One Response to “Journal 4: Anarres”

  1. Warren Rochelle says:

    You could choose to have a single room. Thoughtful answer.