Lifes great in a free independent country. But what is it like to live in a Communist country? What is it like to completely controlled by someone? What if there was no “I” but only “We”? What if there wasn’t anything like individuality or your own personality?
I recently read a book called Anthem. The book was written by Ayn Rand, a really famous writer from USSR. She fled to US from at the time communist USSR. From her experience, she wrote the book Anthem. She gives the readers a visualization of what it would look like to live in a communist country. Despite of her overly exaggerated view of communism, her given information in close to the truth. Anthem is a romantic realistic book where it shows our future and how people destroyed their own planet.
The last survivors created a Council and started ruling their way. In their world, there is no I, me or myself. The main character Equality 7-2521 is way smarter than his brothers. Despite his abilities he is given the job of a sweeper. One day he invents the light bulb and wants to help his society since they have been using candles for over 100 years. When he showed his invention except for congratulating him, the Council lashes him. They didn’t tolerate any kind of creativity in their society. After getting lashed he goes to his peers and no one helps him. His peers said to give up ideas for invention and live a life of a street sweeper. He felt betrayed and went to the Uncharted woods with the love of his life. They create their own society in the woods and never said the word “we” again because it reminded them of their brutal past.
This books best feature is the readers realization of how they are in a good place. The story might be fictional but it relates a lot to the truth. In most communist countries if you even utter one word against the government you and your family will be slaughtered. There are a lot of things sometimes some people cannot do. Some people do not have their own identity. Some cannot speak out about the wrong doings. Although, we do not have these problems in the US but it's been happening all around the World.
There is another reason why teenage readers should read Anthem. Anthem benefits the teenage readers by letting them know the importance of thinking and judging independently and acting according to rational principles except for listening to some of our peers even if they oppose you. It’s sometimes best to listen to yourself than others.
Peer pressure is a huge topic. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, 8th Grade and 12th Grade student consumes drugs and alcohol because of peer pressure. Peer pressure and Anthem have somewhat of a connection. In Anthem, Equality was pressured to get rid of his idea. The teenager are also sometimes pressured to do something they don’t want to. Most of the time the peers say it’s cool to do drugs and you will be famous in school to. Just for a few months of being “cool” is sometimes exchanged for years of suffering.
But the teenager should learn from Equality to follow what they believe. Choose what you think is right for you. Think responsibly before doing something dangerous. DOn’t do anything just because others are doing it. Think about it and you will know that only you have the ability to pick what is right for you. Teenage is a time where people need to understand the meaning of judging independetly.