Essay on Anthem

Essay on Anthem

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Throughout the history of mankind, there is a defining characteristic of endeavors to oppress others. In turn, man has risen to these hindrances and repeatedly prevailed. This occurrence has been proven again and again over time, both in reality and within the pages of literature; Ayn Rand’s Anthem is no exception. The novel is a symbolic reflection of her oppressed childhood in communist Russia, and how she finally broke free from those confines. Ayn Rand’s inherent opposition to the collectivism of her Russian upbringing greatly influenced the overall plot structure and context of her novel, Anthem.
There are a variety of different themes within Anthem. The most obvious one is that of the importance of freedom and individuality. The society depicted in Anthem is quite similar to Ayn Rand’s upbringing in communist Russia. She was born in St. Petersburg in 1905, and was raised during one of the Soviet Union’s most tumultuous periods in history. Rand’s father owned a pharmacy, which was eventually confiscated by the Russian government, and her family went through periods of near starvation because they were so poor. Rand viewed America as a model of what a nation should be; she valued freedom above all else, and believed it was utterly essential for the spirit of man to thrive. When collectivism is introduced, it poses a threat to these core values of sovereignty and independence. In Anthem, Rand removes this concept of free will from the society, so that man is rendered wholly submissive to the governing body. Individuals are forbidden from doing anything without the unequivocal permission of the council, and especially from ever being alone. They are not given names; instead, each citizen receives numbers by which they are inde...


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...sful in schools. She states that “student response and performance have been positive” (Stadnychenko 77). Since students appear so receptive to the novel and eager to learn about it, his further demonstrates the extensive versatility and appeal of Anthem.
Ayn Rand overcame many oppressions throughout the course of her life, but none impacted her greater than the environment of a collectivist society during her childhood in Soviet Russia. The experiences she had lingered with her for the rest of her life, and greatly influenced not only her path in life but her works of writing as well. This is evident all through the plot and structure of Anthem, and contributes to its success as a novel and universality today. Anthem is appealing because it shows the power of the human spirit to rise above oppression and claim his independence, no matter how stifled it may be.

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