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An Introduction to Anthem by Ayn Rand
Transcript of An Introduction to Anthem by Ayn Rand
by Ayn Rand
Anthem is written as the diary of Equality 7-2521, a young man living in a future in which people have lost all knowledge of individualism. It is a world in which the word “I” has vanished from the language and aspects of daily life are dictated by those in charge. But Equality's curiosity leads him to forbidden discoveries and eventually the greatest discovery of all.
A place, state, or condition that is ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions.
A society characterized by oppression, misery, and the illusion of a perfect society.
Information, independent thought, and freedoms are restricted.
Citizens fear the outside world.
The natural world is banished and distrusted.
Citizens live in a dehumanized state.
Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individuality and dissent are bad.
A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society.
The Dystopian Protagonist:
Often feels trapped and is struggling to escape
Questions the existing social and political systems.
Believes or feels that something is terribly wrong with the society in which he or she lives
Helps the audience recognize the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his or her perspective.
How does the society in the video clip compare to the definition of a utopia?
About the Book
Does Neo fit the description of a dystopian protagonist? Why?
What criticism is made through this exaggeration in the clips? What is being addressed?
What illusions of a perfect society is depicted n the clips?
What is the society like in reality?
What kind of control is used to keep the members of this society oppressed?
What current trend, societal norm, or political system is exaggerated in this world?
Dystopias, through an exaggerated worse-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm or political system.
Examples of Dystopian Societies
About the author
The transition from adolescence to adulthood involves developing a personal identity, a sense of self. Write a paragraph that describes you, and explains what makes you uniquely you. Consider your future goals and dreams; what you value in a friend; favorite pets; preferred sports and hobbies; best-loved music, literature, movies, etc.
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1905
Lived during the Russian Civil War and the Bolshevik Revolution; these gave way to the Communist era in Russia
Father's pharmacy was taken by the government and the family lived in extreme poverty.
She escaped to the U.S. in 1926, after
Stalin ascended to power.
Anthem was published in Great Britain in 1938.
Stalin was the leader of the USSR. He ordered the execution of all those who opposed him, especially independent thinkers and intellectuals. Millions were killed ranging from government officals, those in the military, and the everyday person. Forced labor camps were also assembled and many died of starvation within.
What major historical event took place during this time?
“The subjugation of the individual to the group—whether to a race, class, or a state does not matter. Collectivism holds that man must be chained to a collective and collective thought for the sake of what is called ‘the common good’.”
The individual is owned by the group
No right to private existence
No right to lead his own life
No right to use his own property
No right to go after his own happiness
Worth is determined by his service to the group
The purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of their own happiness. The only way that can happen is in a social system that fully respects individual rights.
Ayn Rand's personal philosophy in life is objectivism.
“Individualism regards man—every man—as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life"
This does not mean that one can do whatever he feels like doing, it means that every man is an individual and has the same rights.
“I will not run anyone’s life, nor let anyone run mine.”