- Published: 2014
- Number of pages: 63 pages
- Format: EPUB
- File Size: 0.39 MB
- Authors: Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand’s searing portrait of a dystopian future in which all ego has been erased In a world where science and learning are banned and the simple utterance of the Unspeakable Word, I, is punishable by death, a man named Equality 7-2521 struggles with his unquenchable desire to investigate, to think, to know. His instincts are a “curse” that threatens to bring him to the attention of a government dedicated to the elimination of the self. But Equality 7-2521 cannot ignore his true nature, just as he cannot ignore the fruits of his curiosity: the discovery of the mysterious “power of the sky.” His great awakening—in heart, mind, and soul—represents the inevitable triumph of the individual over the collective.A riveting, thought-provoking parable based on the author’s experience of life in a socialist state, Anthem serves as an invaluable introduction to Ayn Rand, her fiction, and her philosophy.
Reviews from Amazon users which were colected at the time this book was published on the website:
⭐I like the author’s writing content, not the style as it is hard to read Ayn Rand. This is typical of her writing.
⭐In this dystopian society, one man stands alone. He believes in a better world. One where it is not a crime to love a woman. One where stating your idea is not a death sentence. In the dark world he lives in he is looking for a way to make it light again. The short novella, Anthem by Ayn Rand was published in 1938. Ayn submitted it two an American and an English publishing firm, but in the end the publishing firm Cassell located in England published the book. This book contains 52 pages. This book follows the life of Equality 7-2521 as he tries to survive in the dystopian society he was born into. Equality 7-2521 is the main character of the book. He has two friends, Union 5-3992 and International 4-8818. They found an entrance to an old tunnel in their assigned work area. Equality 7-2521 is a street sweeper. He is a very intelligent man, however he learned things too quickly and asked too many questions. As a result, the Council of Vocations assigned him the job of street cleaner as a punishment for his intelligence. With this newly discovered tunnel, he started preforming scientific experiments. He stole some paper and started writing his findings in a journal. While cleaning the streets Equality 7-2521 meets a woman with the name, Liberty 5-3000. The two discover that they love each other, however in their society you do not love each other, man and woman cannot even talk to each other. In his experiments Equality 7-2521 rediscovers electricity. He decides to take his finding to the World Council of Scholars, in the hope they will be impressed and amazed by his discovery. However, this is not the case. They sentence him to death. Before they could catch him, he runs into the Uncharted Forest, where he is joined by Liberty 5-3000. They live their lives together in the forest and discover what they can about life before their dystopian society. Throughout most of the people refer to themselves as “we” instead of “I.” In this society they removed the words “I,” and “You.” They believed that individuality was a sign of ego. The fact that the society, thought referring to yourself with “I” would get rid of a person’s individuality is absurd. A person’ individuality comes from the way a person acts. For example in the book, Equality 7-2521 expressed his individuality through his scientific experiments. Yes, he could not state that he, himself accomplished his experiments. But he still did it himself. It was not a group of people doing these experiments. Therefore, he was still expressing his individuality. The society did not successfully take away a person’s individuality, just by removing the words, “I” and “You.” Equality 7-2521 still found a way to express himself in his own way. This book was an enjoyable read. I liked the dystopian society. I would recommend this book to young adults. I liked that this dystopian society took a way the words “I” and “You.” While they thought that this would take away a person’s individuality it did not. I liked that the viewpoints switched from First Person to Third Person throughout the story. It provided a unique perspective. Also, I liked that the focused of the story stayed on Equality 7-2521. Yes, he feel in love with a woman, but it did not become a love story. The book stayed focused on the dystopian society and the issues that Equality 7-2521 found wrong in the society.
⭐95% of the book denotes the lack of experience of Ayn Rand as a narrator. The plot and idea are superb, is that the exposition of the life and deeds of the protagonist, Equality 7-2521, is somewhat forced. He narrates everything as if he were addressing people not familiarized with their own dystopian society, people like us… But is better to read a great idea with a mild execution than a weak idea with flawless execution. And Ayn Rand’s idea is powerful.Civilization has stopped, apparently the reason was war, but the more you read the more you understand it was because mankind ssacrificed its soul in exchange of safe mediocrity, and lastly in the slavery of will and heart. A prison so perfect that it doesn’t require walls. Sadly the awakening of the other character, the Golden One, is so easy and simple that breaks the idea of a powerful prison preying in the collective mind. Equality 7-2521 instead awakes because he is an anomaly, he’s a monster, bigger and stronger than the rest of his brethren (a dilapidated human race), and more intelligent too. The story builds its intensity till almost the end where you read it magnificent as an anthem for free thought. To then end in a discourse a bit dreamy. I suspect there are not many diferences between our times and Ayn Rand’s times; we are living in self-imposed cages, and she was right in thinking that future is not a guaranty of a more mature society. I am glad to have read this book as an introduction to her works.The AmazonClassics edition of this book is a pleasure to read, thanks to a modern typography, a comfortable and professional formatting and the option of X-Ray, although Anthem is quite accessible I didn’t need to consult it. The lack of introductions, prologues and analysis by intellectuals is a relief as you can discover Anthem as if it had been published yesterday : ) In good taste it only has a short biography at the end.
⭐I’ve always wanted to enjoy Ayn Rand, one of the great anti-Marxist, anti-group identity authors. But every time I’ve tried, I’ve thought “this is awful.” This one isn’t great, and I’m not convinced its theme is particularly profound, but it is readable and at least cogent.
⭐My 2nd time through and still so powerful. Hunger Games or Overton Window of the 1930s. Ayn was an incredible thinker and writer – maybe not as entertaining as Orwell but in the same vein.
⭐Confession – like many, I’m only aware of Ayn Rand because of Neil Peart’s lyrics from the early 70s – 2112 specifically – which always resonated but never quite gave me the urge to read her books; always been on the list but never got to the top. Finally got round to it recently with Anthem, which is an obvious easy introduction, and this is my take on it.No question it starts off as an awkward read with the use of “we” rather than “I”, which deliberately jars but makes sense in the context – it got me all the way through, but I can see why she did that. I liked the way she named characters – for example International 4-8818 and the main protagonist, Equality 7-2521 – it emphasised the de-personalisation of the society she was writing about – and set a tone which lasted throughout.I also liked the guilds that sections of society were arbitrarily put in – The House of The Street Sweepers, The World Council of Scholars, and the fantastic House of The Useless (where folks ended up when they were too old to work) – would have been good to have seen the mechanism for how people were assigned to these various destinations, but I guess it’s just a novella & that would have taken too long.The story does pick up after what feels like quite a long introduction, and anyone who knows 2112 will recognise where it’s going – take it as a philosophical tract or just a story, but the underlying message is pretty clear.Ultimately it’s a pretty simple story about one man’s struggle against the system and how he breaks free from it whilst never forgetting his his romantic interest – but it’s quite well-told and thought-provoking if you’re in the mood for it. I liked it & will explore her works further – while the priests allow them to still be available…
⭐Anthem was written before Rand’s more famous novels and is somewhat more of a statement of individual value, rather than having any great story-arc. Iit’s an easy read, with obvious off use of language being integral to the setting – such as the use of collective pronouns. From a contemporary perspective, that casts an interesting light on the invented ‘pronouns’ the totalitarian Marxist twitter hate-mobs insist on. Hail Gina Carano boop/bop/beep!
⭐Anthem is a dystopian novella that is effectively a political statement about the dangers and evils of communism written in the historical context of the 1930s. It is a celebration of the spirit of the individual over the collective, and it is intentionally simplistic. It is meant to make a statement, and clearly Rand is not suggesting that it is never good to collaborate with others or do things for the benefit of others. While Anthem has been influential, in my opinion the overall literary quality is not on par with the best works of dystopian literature such a 1984 or with Ayn Rand’s other books, even taking into account that Anthem is shorter and meant to be more of an allegory than a novel.
⭐I must admit that with this book I found the writing style a little difficult to understand at first.However, once I grasped the concept of using the collective ‘we’ rather than ever using the word ‘I’ I began to enjoy the storyline.One thing I liked about this book is that the story was simplistic. Maybe Ayn Rand kept the storyline simple because she guessed people may have trouble getting the writing style around their heads but by the end of the book, looking back on all the events that happened, everything made sense.I personally have never read a classic novel like this one before and found it quite enjoyable by the end. I am still going to stick to my favourite genres (Dystopian, Young Adult, etc) but this was a nice change from the usual books that I read.I would highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a little break or a pleasant change in your normal reading style!
⭐I was inspired to finally read this book after the passing Neil Peart. Rest in peace, your music will live on.
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