Anthem by Ayn Rand
The story of Anthem takes place in an unnamed Communist- or Fascist-like dictatorship of the future, where an individual has no rights, existing solely to serve the state. The hero, Equality 7-2521, is a brilliant young man who yearns to be a scientist, but who is commanded to be a Street Sweeper by a government that fears his independence of mind.
The citizens of this society are pawns without rights who exist as wards of the state. They are born in state-controlled hospitals, raised in state-controlled nurseries, educated in state-controlled schools, toil at state-assigned jobs, and sleep in massive barracks organized by the state. Citizens have no personal lives or loves; they cannot choose friends or lovers. Instead, they engage in state-controlled breeding, in which the government decides who sleeps with whom and when. Even their names are variations on collectivist slogans — Unity, Fraternity, International, and so on — followed by numbers, indicating the many "brothers" who share the slogan for a name.
Ayn Rand Oscar White/Corbis
Original name: Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum
Born: February 2, 1905, St. Petersburg, Russia
Died: March 6, 1982, New York, New York, U.S. (age 77)
Major works: The Fountainhead, Anthem, Atlas Shrugged
|"Ayn Rand." Britannica School. Encyclopædia, Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 3 Feb. 2014. http://school.eb.com/levels/high/article/62648.|