Spencer High School Library
Student Book Review-Anthem by Ayn Rand
Lets face it, citizens of the United States are referred to as numbers by intuitions and government offices. Students, employees, and tax payers are no longer people, just numbers. The book "Anthem," by Ayn Rand, gives us a warning to totalitarianism.
This novel focuses on the life of Equality 7-2521, a male character. He lives in a society where his life was pre-planned for him, and he makes not one choice of himself. A quote from the first paragraph of this book is, "It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others and to put them down upon paper no others are to see...There is no transgression blacker than to do or to think alone." One day, our character, who is a street sweeper, finds himself cleaning his street, and stumbles upon a hole in the ground. After investigating this, he finds this hole was a work place for others of his kind, those who think alone.
After sneaking to this hole every night for a year or so, our character creates electricity, and the common light bulb. He presents this to his government officials, and they are scared by this. They order that this should be destroyed, and he should be hung for thinking by himself, as this was a sin against his government.
This book creates a society where individuals are not themselves, and will never be allowed to be. Also, the universal setting and universal characters. Rand wishes for you to apply this to your society, and realize how horrible a life where you really don't exist, just your number, does.
Rand, a valued believer in all forms of individualism quotes, "Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law." Ayn Rand has been deemed the "Queen of Ego." She was a Russian immigrant who came to the U.S. in search of a free life. Her writings are what she knows, a life of non-existence within government standards.
This book will give you room to think about what you are reading, and ask questions. Who exactly am I? What important role do I play in my society? Also, questions about your society. What type of governmental society works? How successful can totalitarianism be? And finally, can a society without freedom be successful by itself?
This book has taught me to look at a bigger picture of conflicts within life, and how important our freedom really is to the United States of America. ~ Katie C. 2003
Check out the 7th Language Arts Book Reviews!
The students are currently working on putting their book reviews from first semester into a blog. Check out the books the students have been reading at tigerbookreviews7.blogspot.com!