Anthem by Ayn RandParts 3 & 4
How did historical events influence the ideas in the novel? What cultural issues may have influenced, challenged, or inspired the author?
First of all, to make this simpler, let us refer to "Equality 7-2521" simply as Jackson.
|A picture of Ayn Rand|
I think that this book is greatly influenced by historical events, especially since it was written during a time that is similar to the one presented in the novel. One of the huge connections that I can find between the author and her opinions and the ideas in the book is the idea of Happiness and Freedom. In the second chapter, Jackson meditates on the idea of happiness. He appears to think that happiness involves fear and freedom. Rand, on the other hand, disagrees. She thinks that happiness is impossible without freedom, and having freedom expunges any type of fear. I think it's very interesting how she created a protagonist with such a contrasting mindset from hers'.
One thing that I think was greatly influenced by historical events is the government. More specifically, the book dwells into the roles of the government, and how they are defined. The reason this book is so government-oriented is because of how Rand grew up. A combination of living in Communist Russia as well as being an intellectual allowed Rand to really think deeply about the type of totalitarian government that was ruling over her. The reason this book was even written in the first place was because of her experiences as a child with the communist government. To show the differences and similarities between the the communist government the Rand grew up with and the type of communist-totalitarian state that she created, lets create a compare and contrast chart.
As you can see, although Rand has tried to, at least partly, mimic the type of government she grew up with, she has clearly made it more totalitarian and extreme. In conclusion, although this book clearly bears resemblance to Rands childhood and the historical time-period in which it was written, it is most definitely not a carbon copy of it.