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Transcript of Ayn Rand
The novel ANTHEM and Objectivism
Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum (A.K.A Ayn Rand) was born February 7th, 1905 in St. Petersburg Russia.
Rand and her family fled to Crimea, which is south of Russia in Ukraine.
WE THE LIVING was what she called "the closest thing to an autobiography I will ever write".
It is based in Soviet Russia and the struggle of being an individual in the state run communist system.
In 1925, Rand was granted a visa and went to visit relatives in the U.S.
Her other famous book, ATLAS SHRUGGED, was a book that helped her create one her most famous philosophies: Objectivism.
During this time period, she made a living as a screenwriter, she had her first literary success in 1936 with her semi-autobiographical book WE THE LIVING.
They moved here because at the time the area was occupied by the loyalist White Army.
One thing that is interesting about Rand's works was how much trouble she had to get most of her work published.
Her novel THE FOUNTAINHEAD was rejected by over twelve publishers before one decided to publish it.
Her most famous novel, Atlas Shrugged, was the same way.
In Atlas Shrugged, Rand begins to show her philosophy known as Objectivism.
Visiting New York especially changed her view of the world.
During the creation of one of her most famous novels, THE FOUNTAINHEAD, she wrote the novella ANTHEM.
Upon her return to St. Petersburg (named Petrograd at the time) she attended Petrograd University and studied social pedagogy
Pedagogy. What does it mean? What would social pedagogy be? How could that fit into our previous novel Animal Farm.
Rand's family was a member of the
Russian Jewish Bourgeoisie. After the
Bolshevik Revolution, her father, a pharmacist and businessman, had his business confiscated.
Rand was a tireless worker, but worked herself into severe amounts of exhaustion. After completing The Fountainhead, a work that took her almost seven years, she was ordered by doctors to have two weeks bed rest. They also prescribed her a drug called benzadrine to help fight fatigue, but she unfortunately used to excess over the course of thirty years. Causing her to have notorious mood swings.
The name "Objectivism" derives from the idea that human knowledge and values are objective: they exist and are determined by the nature of reality...What does this mean?
As Rand states it in Atlas Shrugged: My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.
Morally, Objectivism advocates the virtues of rational self-interest—virtues such as independent thinking, productiveness, justice, honesty, and self-responsibility.
Culturally, Objectivism advocates scientific advancement, industrial progress, objective (as opposed to “progressive” or faith-based) education, romantic art—and, above all, reverence for the faculty that makes all such values possible: reason.
Politically, Objectivism advocates pure, laissez-faire capitalism—the social system of individual rights and strictly limited government—along with the whole moral and philosophical structure on which it depends.
How does this contradict some of the ideas of communism? Also, how does it contradict what we know as "Altruism"? What is altruism you ask?
So what are some positives of Objectivism?
What are the negatives?
Let's review again.
What is an allegory?
What is Animal Farm allegorically telling us?
ANTHEM: Characters, Themes, Motifs.
Our protagonist who even though he cannot completely express it yet, feels a sense of uniqueness. The only downside of this is that in this dystopian society, individualism is essentially outlawed. Ideas of creativity, passion, love, and ambition are not allowed, and in many ways, are phased out of day to day living.
Liberty 5-3000 (A.K.A The Golden One)
Even though she is a vital character, she is a very underwritten character. What I mean by this is that her main purpose is that of a love interest. Even though we find ways in which she shows emotional strength, she doesn't get to the degree of expression that we have in Equality.
The Transgressor of the Unspeakable Word
Although, like the Golden One, it is a briefly described character, this character serves as a type of martyr for Equality. He shows dignity, and in many ways uniqueness, in his selfish sacrifice.
Equality's friend in the story. He is a character that is torn between two worlds. Admiration of his individually evolving friend, and loyalty to the only world he knows and understands out of habit than respect.
Leader of "The World Council of Scholars". One of our main antagonists that pushes for the conformity of "collectivism". Character feels only the council can make and "create" ideas for all to know, not individuals.
The true value
Without individual identity, what are you more than simply a name and a number.
How sacrifice for an idea is a true mark of heroism.
To quote Martin Luther King "A Man who won't die for something is not fit to live"
The Faults and eventual failures of "collectivism" and Communism. Rand feels that a complete and truthful consensus is impossible. Forcing it only strips away the true moral intent.
Symbols to look for in the story.
How fear is used to manipulate, pay attention to the names and the use of naming, pay attention to the concept of shapes and the shapes of people.
A story in which the characters
represent historical people or abstract qualities
From a very young age, Ayn Rand was a very
mature and intelligent child. She wrote her first book at 10. She wrote her first screenplay at 8.