Adult Fiction RAND
Summary: Written with all the power and conviction that made The Fountainhead a classic of Americanletters, Ayn Rand's Anthem is a hymn to man's independent spirit and to the highest word in thehuman language - "Ego."First written in 1937, Anthem was published in England, but was refused in publication inAmerica, for reason which the reader might discover by reading it for himself. In 1946, it appearedas a pamphlet, issued by Pamphleteers, Inc., of Los Angeles. This is its first American publication inregular book form.Anthem tells the story of a man who rediscovers the individualism and his own "I" - in a world ofabsolute collectivization, a world where sightless, joyless, selfless men exist for the sake of servingthe State; where their work, their food and their mating are prescribed to them by order of theCollective's rulers in the name of society's welfare - a world which has lost all the achievements ofscience and civilization, when it lost their root, the independent mind, and has reverted to primitivesavagery - a world where language contains no singular pronouns, where the "We" has replacedthe "I," and where men are put to death for the crime of discovering and speaking the"unspeakable word."The story tells of one man who rebelled, of his struggle and his victory. Assigned to the life work ofstreet sweeper by the rulers who resented his brilliant, questioning, unsubmissive mind - hebecomes a scientist, secretly, risking his life for the sake of his quest for knowledge. In the midst ofcollective stagnation, where men toil at manual labor by the light of candles - he discoverselectricity. In the midst of eugenic planning and State-controlled Palaces of Mating - he discovers apersonal love and a woman of his own choice. In the midst of brutal morality which proclaims thatman is only a sacrificial animal to the needs of others - he discovers that man's greatest moral dutyis the pursuit of his own happiness. He endures danger, denunciation, imprisonment, torture - buthe breaks the chains of the Collective, he escapes with the woman he loves, to start a new life inan uncharted wilderness, and he reaches the day when he is able to predict that "my home willbecome the capital of a world where each man will be free to exist for his own sake."Anthem presents not merely a frightening projection of existing trends, but, more importantly, apositive answer to those trends and a weapon against them, a key to the world's moral crisis andto a new morality of individualism - a morality which, if accepted today, will save us from a futuresuch as the one presented in this story.
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Yearns to be a scientist; held back by the government who fears his intelligence; dares to have a free will which is a crime in the dark world of Collectivism.