Book Review: Anthem, by Ayn Rand

anthem_cover

“You need to work with a partner or a group.”

“You have to know how to corroborate.”

“Group spirit is more important.”

“Don’t stand there by yourself, joy others!”

Do you hear these in your daily life, in school during classes, in field during sports, or even in the simplest activities? People say that the future society is for the one who knows how to work with others. However, in the novel Anthem by Ayn Rand, the author expresses her opinion by this future world with no ego.

In this world, the previous human history was abandoned that cities were covered with plants that grew incessantly. And in the society now, people don’t have the word “I,” “she,” or “he” in the dictionary.

“We are alone here under the earth. It is a fearful word, alone. The laws say that none among men may be alone, ever and at any time, for this is the great transgression and the root of all evil.”

Everyone works as a group and studies as a group, and everyone should be the same; when it comes to jobs, the law makers work as a group to decide the jobs randomly, which a genius may ends up being a street cleaner for the rest of his life. Ironically, people are named as a word with numbers, such as Equality 7-2521, but in fact, there is no such thing as real equality in this society.

There is no love. The government sets up reproduction process, sex, randomly. There is no marriage, no family, and laws control even the basic relationships.

However, an individual develops in this world. How will he survive and what can he change about this cold world?

I give this book a 9 out of 10. The topic is very unique that the author focuses on the idea of ego that people are forgetting in our society now. The only thing that I hope the author would add is the formation of this kind of society, which the story does not cover. How did the world change into this society that all men must be alike?

“Over the portals of the Palace of the World Council, there are words cut in the marble, which we repeat to ourselves whenever we are tempted:

‘We are one in all and all in one.

There are no men but only the great WE,

One, indivisible and forever.’”

-Wenqing Z., 11th grade

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