Anthem Notes Ayn Rand

Anthem Background
Ayn Rand
Background on the author
A. Ayn Rand was born in 1905 and died in 1982
She was born in Russia and lived during Communist
C. Growing up as a child in Russia she experienced
“firsthand the horrors of totalitarianism”, and this
greatly influenced her novella Anthem.
Utopia vs. Dystopia
A. Utopia is a perfect or ideal society.
B. Dystopia is the opposite; it presents the world
as it should not be.
C. Do you think it is possible to create a truly
utopian society? Why or why not?
Rand’s Philosophy: Collectivism
A. Collectivism “means the subjugation of the individual to
the group.” In Rand’s philosophy, collectivism means the
individual is owned by the group, and exists only as part
of the group. A person’s worth is thus determined by
how useful they are to the group.
B. Do we have any elements of collectivism in our society
or world today?
Rand’s Philosophy: Individualism
A. Individualism “regards man-every man-as an
independent entity who possesses a right to his own life.”
Basically, this means that every man is an individual and
that every man has the same rights. An individualist says,
“I will not run anyone’s life, nor let anyone run mine.”
B. Do we have any elements of individualism in our society
or world today?
Egoism and Conformity
A. Egoism means “concern with one’s own interests.” An egoist
lives for his/her own happiness and interests and does not
seek to influence others.
How can egoism be a good thing? How can it be a bad thing?
B. Conformity means to do as others do or “adhere to
conventional behavior.”
Questions to Consider
A. As we read Anthem, keep in mind the following
1. Is this society a collectivist or individualist society?
How do you know? Is the main character a
collectivist or individualist? How do you know?
2. Is this society a utopia or a dystopia?
3. What does the society in the novel value? What
does it fear?
4. What does the main character value? What does
he fear?
The Novel
A. Point of View: First person, told from the
perspective of the main character
Equality 7-2521.
B. Setting: Sometime in the future in an
unnamed city.
C. Main Character: Equality 7-2521
D. Novella, or short novel
Literary Terms
A. Foreshadowing: Hints or clues about what will happen
later in the story.
Symbol: A word, character, or idea that represents
more than just its literal meaning.
C. Protagonist: The main character
D. Antagonist: Character or force that opposes the