Sunday, October 19, 2014

Historical Context - Isabella F.

What is the cultural and educational background of the author and how did this background influence the book?  In what ways do the events in the books reveal evidence of the author’s world view?

Brief Background of Ayn Rands life: Ayn Rand was born on February 02, 1905, in a small town named St. Petersburg Russia. Her parents were called Zinovy Zakharovich Rosenbaum and Anna Borisovna. Also, she was the oldest of three daughters. Ayn was a very smart girl, she taught herself how to read by the age of six. By the age of nine, she had decided to herself that she would be a fictional writer, after discovering her favorite author, Victor Hugo. During high school, in 1917, Ayn Rand was witnessed to two different revolutions. The Kerensky Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution. This was causing too many wars, so her family fled to a Crimean Peninsula, where she could finish high school and her family could be safe. During her last year in high school, she was presented to the american history. She was really interested, so when her family went back home from Crimea she entered college to study philosophy and history. She studied in the University of Petrograd.  In 1924, her last year at the university, is was "invaded" by a group of communist thugs, which lead her to the interest of Western films and plays. That took her to enter the State Institute of Cinema Arts, for her to study screenwriting. 
Later on in 1925, she received permission to leave Soviet Russia for a trip the the United States. Although she was told for it to be a short visit, she knew that her path was to never come back. She stayed with her relatives in Chicago for about six months, until she decided to go to Hollywood to pursue her career as a screenwriter. She firstly noticed that studios wouldn't take her work, for somewhat reason. But, she didn't stop. She supported herself as a waitress, a store clerk, a movie extra, and many different jobs. She wouldn't stop until she published her first novel, The Fountainhead. This book was written in 1935, but only accepted to be published by a company called Bobbs-Merrill Company, in 1943. It was said to be the best-seller after two years, which gave the author, Ayn Rand, recognition for being the champion of individualism. Also during 1937, Ayn Rand wrote the book Anthem. Anthem is the book I will talk about in the following paragraphs: 

I think that her idea of the world, using her past and her thoughts, influenced the way she wrote this book. This book is all about an individual going against the idea of a society being able to control one person's life, to benefit a whole bunch of people. Ayn Rand, since she was just a child, was a victim of this kind of "judgment" or idea. She was opened to different revolutions, for different meanings. This influenced the book because she used the way she see's the world, the way she pictures different societies to write it. She created the place where one person refers themselves as we, our, us, etc. This creates a perplexed feeling in the reader because we don't know to who Equality 7-2125 is relating to. Equality 7-2125 or Liberty 5-300 can be a group of people or a individual, we will never find out, unless Ayn Rand gives us clues throughout the book. I think she chose to do this because it may be demonstrating the feelings she had, when she was growing up. There is a small paragraph in the book which makes me think a bit: 
"No single one can possess greater wisdom than the many Scholars who are elected by all men for their wisdom. Yet we can. We do. We have fought against saying it, but now it is said. We do not care. We forget all men, all laws and all things save our metals and our wires. So much is still to be learned! So long a road lies before us, and what care we if we must travel it alone!" 
The way I see this paragraph, it may explain some of her feelings, by describing that everyone has to find knowledge. What someone is passionate about, and that is what she did during high school. She found her passion which was writing and history. She followed it and became a successful author and screenwriter. She shows this in her writing because I believe that she will be giving messages to us like this one throughout the whole book. Because she is trying to make a change in us, the perplexed readers. 

1 comment:

  1. Isabella,

    I find it interesting what you finished your post with. I'd never thought Rand might be giving us "clues" throughout the book, thus it was nice to see what you thought. I also really liked the brief biography you added to your post, it helped me understand it more.

    Now that I've finally read Rand's biography, I wonder if when she wrote "Anthem", she intended for it to become a movie or something similar thanks to her interest in screen writing. I could really see the novel on the big screen in my head, with the vivid descriptions and somewhat cryptic dialogue, not to mention how short it was. What do you think? Could Anthem have been intended for a movie? Or do you think that it is merely a book?