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Berryhill Introduction to Anthem by Ayn Rand

Dystopian Society, Collectivism/Objectivism

Anne Berryhill

on 24 March 2015

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Transcript of Berryhill 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?
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.
Quick Write
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? Hint: it was a war.
“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.”
Ayn Rand
Taught herself to read at age 6. She idolized fictional heroes in magazines
Decided to become a writer at age 9
Introduced to American history in high school. This helped her develop the idea of freedom
She lived in New York, Chicago, & Hollywood. Worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood and published books.
“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”
– Ayn Rand
How does this quote show objectivism?
What influence will this have on her writing?
Metaphysics – reality exists independent of man’s consciousness – rejects any belief in the supernatural

Epistemology – Reason above all else – rejects mysticism (faith, feelings) and skepticism (certainty, knowledge are impossible)

Human Nature – man is a rational being – rejects the belief that there are forces beyond man’s control

Ethics – the proper standard of ethics is whatever is needed for man’s survival – rejects the idea that a moral life consists of living for others

Politics – no man has the right to seek values from others by the use of physical force – men must deal with each other as traders (give value for value) – rejects any form of collectivism (fascism, socialism) or any notion that the government should regulate the economy and redistribute the wealth

Esthetics – Romantic Realism – present people as they ought to be and place them in present society – project the ideal man

Big Ideas in

The belief that the primary importance of an individual lies in self-reliance and independence.
Concern for one's own interests and well-being; usually possesses a sense of self-importance
Desires freedom from government regulation in preference for personal goals
The belief that the primary importance of an individual lie in the idea that the right action will produce the greatest benefit to others.
Concern for everyone's well-being and interests
Supports complete government regulation in order to pursue the goals of the society
The belief that actions and behaviors should correspond to socially accepted standards, rules, or laws.
Acceptance and agreement to obey without question
Concern for everyone's well-being and interests but has a sense of selflessness
Advocates for freedom from or complete control through government regulation as long as it is what everyone wants.
The belief that opinions, actions, and/or behaviors are the opposite socially accepted standards rules, or laws.
Refusal or failure to obey; always questioning
Concern for one's own interests and well-being; usually possesses a sense of self-importance
Advocates no government regulation in the pursuit of personal goals
A feeling or attitude of devoted attachment or affection
faithful, fidelity, allegiance, patriotism
unfaithful, infidelity, disloyalty, traitor
The state of being the same
inequality. different, uneven
sameness, equal, even
Full transcript