Anthem by Ayn Rand This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 4, 2011
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Ayn Rand has written many novels, mainly about Objectivism, which is her philosophy on life. Objectivism focuses on self-interest and rising above one's oppressors (i.e. a professor, a parent, the government, etc.). While Objectivism may have been relevant in communist Russia, where Rand was born, it has lost traction in modern times, especially in the United States.

Anthem is a novella that indirectly introduces the author's life philosophy and demonstrates it in a short, straight-to-the-point story. It describes a free spirit in a world of conformity.

In Anthem's dystopian civilization, society has progressed to the point where the people have no choice in what they do and live under complete authoritarian rule. Everyone works together as if they don't know how to think as individuals. As the reader will discover, most of this population do not know how to see themselves as individuals.

The main character, a curious street cleaner named Equality 7-2521, is an exception. He tries to improve this monotonous and simple society, only to be reprimanded by the group that dictates his society, the World Council. Somewhere along the line, a free-thinking love interest called Liberty 5-3000 enters. Equality describes her as “brave and single-minded.” She supports Equality's anarchist behavior and later becomes part of his search for individualism.

The book's title derives from this being an anthem to ego and independent thought. Equality pushes himself above and beyond, regardless of the consequences, and Rand persuades readers to live for themselves.

The writing style can be aggravating. Equality's constant use of pronouns to refer to himself loses its novelty after a few pages. Because of the journal format, every time Equality makes a new discovery, he describes it in detail. His new discoveries are usually things common to the average American, and the suspense, once again, gets a bit boring after a couple of instances.

While most people seem to disagree with Rand's philosophy, Anthem at least has an enjoyable and unique plot. Being so short, it gets straight to the point, leaving little room for background information, which keeps the reader wanting to know more about the setting and characters.

Anthem is definitely not for everyone, but for some it may be an enlightening and enjoyable read.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

emirylemery69 said...
Sept. 30, 2014 at 10:32 am
i aggree with your statement. They didnt know. 69 OUT
Bambi67 said...
Nov. 18, 2013 at 10:22 pm
I just read this book and had been looking for review and this so perfectly written, Anthem its a great book, they don't follow their bother, or think like them. even though they were commiting a sin, they prefer to be true to themself and think individuality.
ali475 replied...
Sept. 30, 2014 at 8:35 am
have u read and understood this nover properly  
storm lily said...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm
I actually thought anthem was an amazing book when I read it, I think it captures the importance of individuality
BrightBurningCampeador This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm
It seemed to me that Equality and Liberty were kind of dumb. They knew what was missing, they just didn't know the word for it. So they should have made up a word for it. I think that would have been more powerful.
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