ANTHEM is a dystopian fiction novella by Ayn Rand, written in 1937 and first published in 1938 in England. It takes place at some unspecified future date when mankind has entered another dark age. Technological advancement is now carefully planned and the concept of individuality has been eliminated.
Equality 7-2521, writing by candlelight in a tunnel under the earth, tells the story of his life up to that point. He exclusively uses plural pronoun(s) ("we", "our", "they") to refer to himself and others. He was raised like all children in his society, away from his parents in collective homes. Later, he realized that he was born with a "curse", that makes him learn quickly and ask many questions. He excelled at the Science of Things and dreamed of becoming a Scholar. However, a Council of Vocations assigns all people to their Life Mandate, and he was assigned to be a Street Sweeper.
He accepts his street sweeping assignment as penance for his "Transgression of Preference" in secretly desiring to be a Scholar. He finds an entrance to a tunnel in their assigned work area. Despite his friend's protests that any exploration unauthorized by a Council is forbidden, Equality enters the tunnel and finds that it contains metal tracks. He realizes that the tunnel is from the Unmentionable Times of the distant past . . . (more at www.wisehouse-classics.com)
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About the Author
Russian born American novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982) is best known for her books The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Ideologically, Rand was very critical of communism and an advocate of capitalism. These beliefs would lead her to develop a philosophy called Objectivism. Though many in academia have been critical of both her literary and philosophical work, she is still championed by many contemporary conservatives and libertarians.
Date of Birth:February 2, 1905
Date of Death:March 6, 1982
Place of Birth:St. Petersburg, Russia
Place of Death:New York, New York
Education:Graduated with highest honors in history from the University of Petrograd, 1924
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Good stuff from Ayn.
This book is a quick read, but because of that it leaves room for analyzation the moment you're finished with it. It makes one in a democracy realize how privileged they are to be living in a world of individualism and creativity. The characters in this book are a slave to collectivism and are eluded from knowledge and the gifts it bears. The book is filled with situational and dramatic irony and is perfect for anyone who is a fan of science fiction.
This short story is enlightening and makes one consider the path that humanity is currently following.