Anthem by Ayn Rand



A bit of a post-apocalyptic world, "Anthem" follows Equality 7-2521, a young man living in a "utopia." I'm talking about a society where everyone refers to themselves as "We." It's a society for the brotherhood, with a "Brave New World'' kind of vibe. Ayn Rand brilliantly tells the story of a man who uncovers some ruins left from the "Unmentionable Times'' and how this discovery leads him to further discover personal freedoms. Essentially everyone has to wear a toga, and are assigned their life work by a council of graying middle-aged men and women who are completely out of touch with the interest of the people. It's like Congress…


Equality 7-2521 finds the tools to harness electricity and attempts to show the Scholars that there is a more efficient way to light things than candles. When he approaches them with his findings, his brilliant brothers admonish him for working in solitude, after shrieking over his invention. This leads Equality 7-2521 to escape to the Uncharted Forest, assuming-ly to die.


"Anthem" is a great book about the problem with "We." It's no secret that she believed in capitalism but "Anthem" is a story about personal freedoms. It imagines a world where these personal freedoms are out aside for the "betterment" of men. I personally agree that everyone should live for themselves. What brings you the greatest joy does not necessarily do the same for me. "Anthem" is a great reminder that "the pursuit of happiness" is unique to each of us, and should never be abandoned for the "good of our brothers."