Anthem

Ayn Rand
Anthem has long been hailed as one of Ayn Rand's classic novels, and a clear predecessor to her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. In Anthem, Rand examines a frightening future in which individuals have no name, no independence, and no values. Equality 7-2521 lives in the dark ages of the future where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, and all traces of individualism have been wiped out. Despite such a restrictive environment, the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in him--a passion which he has been taught to call sinful. In a purely egalitarian world, Equality 7-2521 dares to stand apart 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."

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-12-26
That was quick. I know I've seen print versions of this book and it was not large but I read it in two hours. This is some kind of personal record.

Having recently reread Fahrenheit 451, I could not help but draw parallels. Both are set in a world where thinking for oneself is outlawed and punished by death. The technology represented is opposite in the books but amounts to the same thing. The inundation of empty media and adrenaline seeking in 451 has the same affect as the regimented lives in Anthem. Rand takes it a step further with the eradication of the concept of the individual.
If I had to pick one of these books to recommend, I'd point you to Fahrenheit 451. Anthem does not develop the characters as well and only hints at the terrible emptiness they feel inside. 451 illustrates it much better. Anthem is probably more realistic regarding the technological Dark Age that developed but 451 shows more thoroughly the insidious and seductive nature of the concept of "the greater good." Both are clear warnings against the idea of the needs of the many being more important than the rights of the few. They both also attempt to remind readers of the necessity of free thinking.
There are obvious parallels in The Lottery and The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, as well.
Reviewed: 2018-07-18
So powerful and truely thought-provoking. Reminds you to value your individualism.
Reviewed: 2017-08-29
Anthem has long been hailed as one of Ayn Rand's classic novels, and a clear predecessor to her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. In Anthem, Rand examines a frightening future in which individuals have no name, no independence, and no values. Equality 7-2521 lives in the dark ages of the future where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, and all traces of individualism have been wiped out. Despite such a restrictive environment, the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in him - a passion which he has been taught to call sinful. In a purely egalitarian world, Equality 7-2521 dares to stand apart 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.
Reviewed: 2016-06-22
Anthem is an interesting dystopian novella in which the word 'I' (and individuality, by extension) does not exist. As most dystopian novels, it gets you thinking about the future of society and humankind. My first impression was that the book could have been made full-length, but in retrospect, Rand manages to say all she needs to in a short amount of space, which I guess enables it to pack a more powerful punch than if it had been drawn out.

I don't feel like I absorbed this book as much as I could have; maybe because I was reading it on my iPod and rushing a bit to get it finished that day. I look forward to re-reading it in the future so I can analyse it a bit better. If you like dystopian novels, you should definitely read this.
Item Posts
@zoeslibrary
@zoeslibrary completed #anthem... on 2015-01-12
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@zoeslibrary began #anthem... on 2015-01-12
@ginadavidson
@ginadavidson completed #anthem... on 2013-02-26
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@hstewart completed #anthem... on 2015-09-14
@hstewart
@hstewart began #anthem... on 2014-09-14