Cover image for Anthem
Title:
Anthem
Author:
Rand, Ayn.
Personal Author:
Edition:
50th anniversary edition / with a new introduction and appendix by Leonard Peikoff.
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton, [1995]
Physical Description:
253 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Also includes a facsim. of the original English ed., published in 1938, with Rand's editorial changes for the American ed. in her own hand.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
880 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.1 3.0 53803.

Reading Counts RC High School 7.9 7 Quiz: 00528 Guided reading level: NR.
ISBN:
9780525940159
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Written with all the power and conviction that made The Fountainhead a classic of Americanletters, Ayn Rand's Anthem is a hymn to man's independent spirit and to the highest word in thehuman language - "Ego."First written in 1937, Anthem was published in England, but was refused in publication inAmerica, for reason which the reader might discover by reading it for himself. In 1946, it appearedas a pamphlet, issued by Pamphleteers, Inc., of Los Angeles. This is its first American publication inregular book form.Anthem tells the story of a man who rediscovers the individualism and his own "I" - in a world ofabsolute collectivization, a world where sightless, joyless, selfless men exist for the sake of servingthe State; where their work, their food and their mating are prescribed to them by order of theCollective's rulers in the name of society's welfare - a world which has lost all the achievements ofscience and civilization, when it lost their root, the independent mind, and has reverted to primitivesavagery - a world where language contains no singular pronouns, where the "We" has replacedthe "I," and where men are put to death for the crime of discovering and speaking the"unspeakable word."The story tells of one man who rebelled, of his struggle and his victory. Assigned to the life work ofstreet sweeper by the rulers who resented his brilliant, questioning, unsubmissive mind - hebecomes a scientist, secretly, risking his life for the sake of his quest for knowledge. In the midst ofcollective stagnation, where men toil at manual labor by the light of candles - he discoverselectricity. In the midst of eugenic planning and State-controlled Palaces of Mating - he discovers apersonal love and a woman of his own choice. In the midst of brutal morality which proclaims thatman is only a sacrificial animal to the needs of others - he discovers that man's greatest moral dutyis the pursuit of his own happiness. He endures danger, denunciation, imprisonment, torture - buthe breaks the chains of the Collective, he escapes with the woman he loves, to start a new life inan uncharted wilderness, and he reaches the day when he is able to predict that "my home willbecome the capital of a world where each man will be free to exist for his own sake."Anthem presents not merely a frightening projection of existing trends, but, more importantly, apositive answer to those trends and a weapon against them, a key to the world's moral crisis andto a new morality of individualism - a morality which, if accepted today, will save us from a futuresuch as the one presented in this story.


Author Notes

Ayn Rand, 1905 - 1982 Novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand was born Alice Rosenbaum on February 2, 1905 in St. Petersburg, Russia. She graduated with highest honors in history from the University of Petrograd in 1924, and she came to the United States in 1926 with dreams of becoming a screenwriter. In 1929, she married actor Charles "Frank" O'Connor.

After arriving in Hollywood, Rand was spotted by Cecil B. DeMille standing at the gate of his studio and gave her a job as an extra in King of Kings. She also worked as a script reader and a wardrobe girl and, in 1932, she sold Red Pawn to Universal Studios. In the 1950's, she returned to New York City where she hosted a Saturday night group she called "the collective." It was also during this time that Rand received a fan letter from a young man, Nathaniel Branden. She was impressed with his letter, and she wrote him back. Her correspondence with him eventually led to an affair that lasted over a decade. He became her chief spokesperson and codified the principles of her novels into a strict philosophical system (objectivism) and founded an institute bearing his name. Their affair ended in 1968 when Branden got involved with another one of Rand's disciples.

According to Rand, people are inherently selfish and act only out of personal interest making a selfish act, a rational one. It is from this belief that her characters play out their lives. Rand's first novel was "We the Living" (1936) and was followed by "Anthem" (1938), "The Fountainhead" (1943), and "Atlas Shrugged" (1957). All four of her novels made the top ten of the controversial list of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century.

On March 6, 1982, Ayn Rand died in her New York City apartment.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Rand's dark portrait of the future was first released in England in 1938 and reedited for publication in the United States in 1946. This 50th-anniversary edition includes a scholarly introduction and a facsimile of the original British version, which bears Rand's handwritten alterations for its American debut. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Contextp. 1
Plot Overviewp. 5
Character Listp. 7
Analysis of Major Charactersp. 9
Equality 7-2521p. 9
The Golden onep. 10
Themes, Motifs & Symbolsp. 13
The Primacy of the Individualp. 13
The Value of Martyrdomp. 14
The Impotence of the Collectivep. 14
Original Creation as a Component of Identityp. 14
Fearp. 15
Namingp. 15
Shapelessnessp. 16
Lightp. 16
The Forestp. 17
Manuscriptsp. 17
Summary & Analysisp. 19
Introduction & Author's Prefacep. 19
Chapter Ip. 21
Chapter IIp. 25
Chapters III-IVp. 28
Chapters V-VIp. 30
Chapter VIIp. 34
Chapter VIIIp. 37
Chapter IXp. 39
Chapters X-XIp. 42
Chapter XIIp. 46
Important Quotations Explainedp. 49
Key Factsp. 55
Study Questions & Essay Topicsp. 59
Review & Resourcesp. 63
Quizp. 63
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 69