A Bit About Anthem by Ayn Rand - Central Dauphin School ...
About the Author Ayn Rand was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1905. At age six she taught herself to read and decided to make fiction writing her career at age nine. About the Author Rand was age 12 at the time of the Russian (or Bolshevik) Revolution (1917).
Even as a young girl, she objected to the Communist principle that man must exist for the sake of the State. About the Author The final overthrow of Russia by the Communist party brought the confiscation of her fathers pharmacy and periods of near-starvation for her family. About the Author At the University of Petrograd, Rand studied
philosophy and history. When introduced to American history, she immediately took America as her model of what a nation of free men and women could be. Eventually, Rand obtained permission to leave Soviet Russia for the United States. She spent six months with relatives in Chicago and then worked in Hollywood as a screenwriter for much of her adult life. About the Author During her career as a screenwriter, Rand
began writing novels. Between writing chapters of The Fountainhead, Rand worked on the anti-collectivist novella Anthem (1937). After writing several more novels, Rand wrote and lectured on a personal philosophy she called objectivism. This philosophy upheld her belief in reason, individuality, and capitalism. More on Rands
Philosophy Objectivism rejects any belief in the supernatural and any claim that individuals or groups create their own reality. Man is to perceive reality-not create it. Objectivism rejects mysticism (acceptance of faith or feeling as a means of knowledge) and skepticism (the claim that certainty or knowledge is impossible). Objectivism rejects any form of determinism, the belief that man is a victim of forces beyond his control (such as God, fate, genes, etc.).
Relevant Vocabulary Collectivism Collectivism means the subjugation of the individual to a group--whether to a race, class or state does not matter. Collectivism holds that man must be chained to a collective action and
collective thought for the sake of what is called the common good. (The Ayn Rand Lexicon, pg. 74) Example of Collectivism We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE, One, indivisible and forever. (pg. 19) Objectivism
The name of Rands philosophy She states: Reality exists as an objective absolutefacts are facts, independent of mans feelings, wishes, hopes or fears. Reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by mans senses) is mans only means
perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival. Individualism Individualism regards man--every man --as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being. Individualism holds that a civilized societycan be achieved only on the basis
of the recognition of individual rights--and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members. (The Ayn Rand Lexicon, pg. 218). Example of Individualism I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a bandage for their wounds. I am not a sacrifice on their altars. I am a man.
(pg. 95) Altruism The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and valuewhich means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a
standard of the good. (The Ayn Rand Lexicon, pg. 4). Examples of Altruism If you are not needed by your brother men, there is no reason for you to burden the earth with your bodies. (pg. 22) Indeed you are happyhow else can men be when they live for their
brothers? (pg. 45) Egoism Egoism states that each mans primary moral obligation is to achieve his own welfare, well-being, or self-interestHe should be selfish in the sense of being the beneficiary of his own moral actions. (Glossary of Definitions by Ayn Rand, pg. 12)
Example of Egoism My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose. (pg. 95) Conformity The act or habit of bringing [oneself]
into harmony or agreement with others; of adhering to conventional behavior. (Websters Dictionary, pg. 149). Example of Conformity It is not good to be different from our brothers (pg. 21) Obedience Complying
with a command; yielding to those in authority. (Websters Dictionary, pg. 533). Example of Obedience You shall do that which the Council of Vocations shall prescribe for youfor the Council knowsbetter than you. (pg. 22)
Independence Ones acceptance of the responsibility of forming ones own judgments and of living by the work of ones own mindis the virtue of independence. (Glossary of Definitions by Ayn Rand, pg. 23) Example of Independence We
forget all men, all laws and all things save our metals and our wires. So much is still to be learned! So long a road lies before us, and what care we if we must travel it alone! (pg. 54) Laissez Faire Capitalism Men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit.
No man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects mans rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church. Dystopian/Anti-Utopian
Literature This type of literature presents the world as it should NOT be. Collectivism is presented as the worst possible society.
type of work Novella genre Anti-Utopian (The world presented is the world as it should NOT be.) time and place written The United States, 1937 narrator Equality 7-2521 writes the journal of the events as they transpire over the course of several months. point of view Equality 7-2521 speaks in the first person (plural) He will refer to himself as we instead of I.
tone Equality 7-2521 records his thoughts and actions in a straightforward manner, with no trace of irony. tense Present, with some past-tense narration Key Facts setting (time) Sometime in the distant future, after the collapse of the social order because of the common acceptance of collectivist values setting (place) An unidentified city; much of
the first half of Anthem is narrated from a tunnel underground where Equality 7-2521 is hiding, and the second half is narrated from a forest where he has taken refuge from a society that hates him. protagonist Equality 7-2521 symbols Light; the forest; manuscripts Key Characters & Organizations Equality
7-2521 > The Unconquered >Prometheus Liberty 5-3000 > The Golden One > Gaea Fraternity 2-5503 International 4-8818 Solidarity 9-6347 Union 5-3992 The Transgressor of the Unspeakable Word The Saint of the Pyre Key Organizations:
Council of Eugenics Council of Vocations World Council of Scholars Equality 7-2521s New Name Equality 7-2521
The Unconquered Prometheus In Greek mythology, Prometheus surpassed all in cunning and deceit. He held no awe for the gods, and he ridiculed Zeus. Prometheus was the creator of man. He
stole fire from heaven and gave it to his human creations. Liberty 5-3000s New Name Liberty 5-3000 The Golden One Gaea
In Greek mythology, Gaea is known as Earth or Mother Earth. She is considered the primeval divinity of earth, one of the primal elements who first emerged at the dawn of creation, along with air, sea, and sky. She was the great mother of all. The Ayn Rand Institute (ARI)
The Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) is a nonprofit organization that works to introduce young people to Ayn Rand's novels, to support scholarship and research based on her ideas, and to promote the principles of reason, rational self-interest, individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism to the widest possible audience. The major ARI objective is to cultivate a generation of
intellectuals who will be effective advocates for the fundamentals of reason, rational self-interest, individual rights and capitalism. These professionals will be capable of articulating those ideas, at the highest level, to peers and students through publishing and teaching. The ARI gives free copies of Ayn Rands novels to teachers and classrooms all over the world. The ARI also gives out thousands of dollars each year through its essay contests. http://www.aynrand.org
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