Friday, January 25, 2013

A story about independence: Anthem



Title: Anthem
Author: Ayn Rand
My Rating: 4.0


"It is a sin to write this. 
It is a sin to think words no others think 
and to put them down upon a paper 
no others are to see. 
It is base and evil."

This book drew me in from the first second I opened it. It had been sitting on my shelf for ages. I bought it almost six months ago on a recommendation from an English Professor. He and I had been discussing my writing and the books that I had enjoyed reading. He told me that this one was right up my alley, and was he right!

I was very cautious to read it since some of Ayn Rand's political views can be quite abstract. But none the less I gave it a try. And I'm glad I did. This book isn't about her political views as much as human reasoning.

"We strive to be like all our brother men, 
for all men must be alike."

The first person journal format is sometimes frustrating as the reader can only see what the narrator describes. There was much to this post-apocalyptic world that could have been shown in greater detail, or at least that was my first impression. But when reading this book, one must understand that it's not a YA novel. It was not written with deep imagery so that the reader can picture this futuristic setting. The point of this book is psychological. It is about man and how man acts. About our behaviors. The things that make us human, that shape our society. There are literary techniques that while confusing at first, become second nature to the reader after a few minutes. They add so much the the story and play a key role in the development of the main character Equality 7-2521 (best name ever).

It's very George Orwell and one can also draw parallels between this and most YA dystopian fiction that is read today (most specifically Matched). I found this book extremely compelling and a quick and enlightening read. Four stars because I've read it three times now and still get goosebumps. She was ahead of her time with this, and well beyond any other novels I've read. It was a pleasure.

The beginning will intrigue you, the middle will have you on the edge of your seat, and the ending will send a chill down your spine.

"We are all one in all and all in one.
There are no men but only the great WE,
One, indivisible and forever"-

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