Thomas Harley, Photographer

Our Rating: A

In the dystopian novel Anthem, written by Ayn Rand, the concept of individuality has been removed. Names have been removed, individual decisions have been removed, and all unique attributes of a person have been removed.  The story is told through the eyes of Equality 7-2521, a teenage boy born with a curse (as seen in the eyes of the authority) which makes learning much easier for him. This extra intellect and curiosity is condemned vehemently and has led him into unfortunate situations in the past.

Through a majority of the book, the pronoun “I” is forbidden and from being used. But as Equality 7-2521 begins to realize the flaws of his supposed utopian society, he looks for the word that truly unlocks a sense of individuality. The moments that lead up to his realization are filled with discoveries and rebellion.

Having read the book last year, the characters have faded slightly but the story itself is still vivid in my mind. Anthem was really a different type of story.

— Adriel Mendoza

This book gives a great analysis of what it is like to live in a communist society. With personal experiences, Rand is able to depict the collectivism and major flaws that hold back this society.

Pullquote Photo

This novel honestly gave a great perspective of a this type of society. The characters were mysterious but also had such vivid personalities.

— Dylan Carol

In the past, this work has evoked both praise and condemnation. Critics feel that it is slow at some parts, but they also really connect with the play on the human identity and individualism that Rand makes. Some believe that the the characters are too shallow and one dimensional, but the beauty of the novel comes not from the characters, but the overall story they come together to make. Growing up in communist Russia, Rand uses this novel as a vessel to explain the flaws of living in a suppressing society. She portrays the benefits of living as an individual human instead of only as a part of the state. This book is both educative and interesting, and has a plot that would interest any avid reader.