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Anthem by Ayn Rand
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Anthem (edition 1999)

by Ayn Rand

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,482155461 (3.62)168
Member:stephmo
Title:Anthem
Authors:Ayn Rand
Info:Plume (1999), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:persecution, rebellion, death sentence, dystopia, economics, collectivism, individualism, torture, imprisonment, rebirth, rory gilmore bookcase, listsofbests, the strand 80

Work details

Anthem by Ayn Rand

  1. 113
    1984 by George Orwell (MMSequeira)
    MMSequeira: Both 1984 and Anthem we're inspired by Zamyatin's We. Both are worth reading, as cautionary tales.
  2. 40
    Essays on Ayn Rand's Anthem by Robert Mayhew (mcaution)
    mcaution: Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Rand's novella through this unique collection of scholarly criticism.
  3. 63
    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (myshelves)
    myshelves: Classic dystopian novel.
  4. 10
    Progress by Charles Stampul (Anonymous user)
  5. 44
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (coolsnak3)
    coolsnak3: more dystopia for you. :)
  6. 11
    Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (TaylorReynolds)
  7. 12
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (kxlly)
  8. 34
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Unionhawk)
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Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
The first thought that crossed my mind when finishing this book was, "meh". The characters felt quite flat and not relateable. Once we move to the forest, it's as if Rand was in a rush to finish the story and make her point. The last several pages were just monologue about that point, which could have been made so much more enjoyable as a story, or a process to be enjoyed.

Am I the only one who sees the main character's discovery of self in direct contrast to the woman's continued "As you wish" line of thinking?! The disparity was uncomfortable.

It's a short read, but not one I need to own nor is it one I'd recommend to others. ( )
  MahanaU | Feb 26, 2016 |
Anthem is a novella written by Ayn Rand. Rand first developed her idea for the story during the early 1920s, before emigrating, but did not write the story down in its present form until the summer of 1937. Therefore, its publication was preceded by We the Living, and followed by her writing The Fountainhead.

The novella already contains all the major elements of Rand's philosophy. It has been suggested that she might have been influenced by Yevgeny Zamyatin's novel We, which was published in 1921, but the main consensus is that Rand independently conceived the idea for Anthem.

By the late 1930s, science-fiction was no longer a novelty, but the dystopian nature of Anthem, the idea of technological regression in the future and the social implications of the loss of civilization may have surprised readers. The story of the novella is fairly simple.

At the time of the story, people no longer have names. The main characters are identified as Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000. Like their names, all other traces of independence and individuality have been erased. Children are raised away from their parents, and in youth there is no freedom of choice in careers. Thus, while Equality 7-2521's ambition was to become a scholar (i.e. scientist) he is assigned to serve the community as a street sweeper.

Outside the city, Equality 7-2521 discovers a place where he can withdraw, devote himself in self-study and develop his invention. He also meets a girls, Liberty 5-3000, with whom he falls in love. With the re-discovery of some lost technology, Equality 7-2521 hopes to impress the authorities, help humanity and be allowed to pursue his career as a scholar, but instead he is cursed. With Liberty 5-3000 he flees the city, to the Uncharted Forest, where is is pursued, but succeeds in hiding.

Especially to readers today, Ayn Rand's novella Anthem may seem little spectacular. However, as an early novella within the genre, Anthem may still be read. It also provides a very readable introduction to Rand's work, for readers who hesitate to take on the large tomes, such as The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged.

While not everybody is interested in Ayn Rand's philosophy, her fictional work has merit in its own right. It is stylistically pure, interesting and very well-written. The novels and early fiction of Ayn Randare classics of modern American fiction, with a unique perspective. ( )
  edwinbcn | Feb 23, 2016 |
Anthem is dystopian fiction published in 1938 in England.
"Macmillan turned it down; their comment was: the author does not understand socialism."
"Cassell published it in England under the title Ego."

Our protagonist, (Equality 7-2521) ,is introduced through a series of journal entries, as he, a street sweeper discovers Liberty 5-3000, a female gardener.
Difficulty arises as individualism has been eliminated in favor of 'collective will".

A revised edition of Anthem was published in the US in 1946 by Pamphleteers,

"The protagonist sits alone in a tunnel and writes down his feeling of rebellion against the collectivist society into which he was born"

4 ★ ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 27, 2016 |
Such a powerful message of individuality and the perseverance of the human spirit. I must read more of Rand's work. ( )
  hickey92 | Jan 24, 2016 |
I liked this back when I read it, but it has been a long time. It was powerful, so I have always remembered the story. For years I remembered this story but for some reason thought it had been written by Margaret Atwood. Shocking, I know, since they write so differently, but I finally put it all together.
  Karin7 | Jan 21, 2016 |
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Ayn Randprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Peikoff, LeonardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil. It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. We have broken the laws. The laws say that men may not write unless the Council of Vocations bid them so. May we be forgiven!
Quotations
This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest.
Rather would we be damned with you than blessed with all our brothers.
The fortunes of my spirit are not to be made into coins of brass and be flung into the wind as alms for the poor of spirit.
I understood that centuries of chains and lashes will not kill the spirit of man nor the sense of truth within him.
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Equality 7-2521 lives in the Dark Ages of the future, where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, all traces of individualism have been wiped out. But the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in Equality 7-2521, a passion which he has been taught to call sinful. In a purely egalitarian world, he dares to stand forth from the herd -- to think and choose for himself, to discover electricity, and to love the woman of his choice. Now he has been marked for death for committing the ultimate sin: in a world where the great "we" reign supreme, he has rediscovered the lost and holy word "I". This provocative book is an anthem sung in praise of man's ego.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0451191137, 0141189614

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