Anthem: An Intellectual Discussion and Presentation of
Thoughts
English II Pre-AP/ Moore
After having talked about Anthem, thought about the implications of Rand’s dystopian depiction
of a futuristic world, I urge you to pick ONE of the following topics and develop a well-planned,
thoroughly-researched, and scholarly-written contribution to the work already in existence and
surrounding Rand’s novel and related topics.
The Topics:
1. Names in Anthem- How does Rand name her characters? What do the characters name each
other? In the end, why do the new names bear significance within the larger ideas of the novel?
Ask yourself what it means to name a person. Why are you named the way you are? Is the act of
naming powerful? Does the name a person has reveal information about the person, his or her
culture, opinions, convictions, etc.? What might persons, who change their names, consider as
they ponder new ones? What kinds of names are prevalent in contemporary American society?
2. Egoism and Selflessness in Anthem- How does Rand discuss these two concepts within her
novel? Explain what each concept means and how it has been discussed in philosophy of various
ages. Finally, find evidence in modern American society, which leads you to draw conclusions
about the social value and social acceptance of each of these concepts. Explain why one concept
is preferable over the other one, or why neither concept is preferred.
3. Free will and determinism in Anthem- How does Rand depict the concepts of free will and
determinism in her novel? Review examples from the novel and draw conclusions based on what
you already know about Rand’s political and social opinions and convictions. What do you
observe in contemporary American society when you look for evidence of either free will or
determinism? Collect evidence as you make a case for either one or the other of the two concepts
as the future of our society. How will your adult life further the perpetuation of one or the other
ideal?
The Process:
You will work in groups of three (not two, not four). Within your group, you need to decide and
agree upon one of the three possible topics. Next, you need to gather evidence relating to your
topic from the novel, possibly from “Logan’s Run”, and any other materials that come to mind.
Following that, you will need to decide on a medium to situate your contribution to the existing
scholarship. Will you offer your findings in a talk-show setting (video or live), in a lecture
format with PPT, in a newspaper-like publication, or in a different manner? What aspects of the
topic-based discussion will you focus upon? How will you inform your listeners/readers/viewers
of the research you have tapped into and the additions you have made?
Finally, you will present your contribution to existing scholarship surrounding Anthem to the
class for assessment. The class will examine your efforts, your submission, and your overall
findings in relation to the initially posed question.
The Outcome:
The outcome is a comprehensive presentation to the class addressing the chosen question in an
innovative, interesting, yet scholarly manner, offering a plethora of viewpoints, ideas, concepts,
as well as possible implications for the future. At least one-third of your presentation should be
based on Rand’s novel, the remaining two-thirds on the research articles and scholarship you
find. A Q&A session related to your findings and presentation will be offered to the class and
lead by your group. The discussion will be intellectually valuable and topic-focused. All group
participants need to participate actively in the presentation as well as the written parts of the task.
Mandatory components:
1. Log of Progress for each group (dated entry- signed by all group participants when they were
present and contributed)
2. Works Cited Page (following MLA format, of course) listing ALL sources you consulted to
gather evidence (should contain at least ten, hopefully more, sources)
3. Description of the project (2-3 typed pages; one per group; MLA format) providing an
overview of the process and an outline of the main findings.
Useful resources:

Anthem by Ayn Rand

Existing scholarship about Rand’s work (requires citation, of course)

“Logan’s Run”

http://library.hesperiausd.org/ (here you will find links to the County Library online, the
CSUSB Library and the Library of Congress)

Reference library books (after you have determined topics to be looked up- the library
charges 10 cents per photocopy)

Carry a thumb drive at all times during the project- back up your work often

Keep potential sources on the thumb drive for later evaluations- these might very well be
homework assignments for your group.
Project Schedule:
Monday, April 8th, 2013: (in D-2) Formation of Groups and Discussion of topics within the
groups; initial exposure to research websites; Due: Log entry with Group Topic
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013: (Periods 2 and 3) in D-4- Exploration of research websites;
accumulation of evidence from Anthem; Due: Log entry explaining today’s use of time
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013: (in D-2) Further exploration of research topics; Close look at
evidence from Anthem; connections to other sources; specific questions about the issue you have
selected; initial discussion of the medium of delivery- what will you present? Due: Log entry
explaining today’s use of time and sketching of progress
Thursday, April 11th, 2013: (Periods 5 and 6) in D-4: Further exploration of research websites;
accumulation of evidence from Anthem; Due: Log entry explaining today’s use of time
Friday, April 12th, 2013: in the Library- Specific planning of the presentation needed to
exemplify findings and discoveries related to the chosen topic; commence work on works cited
page and collection of resources; Due: Log entry detailing daily progress
Monday, April 15th, 2013: in D-4: Continued work on the project; focus on resource discovery
and integration into your project; discussion of presentation; Due: Log entry of specific progress
and perspective presentation
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013: in D-4: Finalizing of project; final compilation of resources in works
cited page; trial-run of presentation; specific list of Q and A questions for class discussion. Due:
Log entry detailing specific progress
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013: in D-2: Finalizing of project; final compilation of resources in
works cited page; trial-run of presentation; specific list of Q and A questions for class discussion.
Due: Log entry detailing specific progress
Thursday, April 18th, 2013 in D-4: Finalizing of project; final compilation of resources in
works cited page; trial-run of presentation; specific list of Q and A questions for class discussion.
Due: Log entry detailing specific progress
Friday, April 19th, 2013 : in the Library; Finalizing of project; final compilation of resources
in works cited page; trial-run of presentation; specific list of Q and A questions for class
discussion. Due: Log entry detailing specific progress
Monday, April 22nd, Tuesday, April 23rd, and Wednesday, April 24th, 2013: Class
presentations
In order to receive credit for your participation, you need to be seen working and you need to
have signed the Log Entry for that specific day. If you were absent on a day, you will not get
receive participation points for that day.
If you have any issues, concerns, or need further clarifications or instructions, please address me
as soon as those issues arise. As it is paramount that you use the allotted time to work diligently,
you cannot afford to squander time wondering about the task.
Looking forward to your scholarly contributions!
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Anthem: An Intellectual Discussion and Presentation of Thoughts