Saturday, October 18, 2014

Historical Context - Lexi Farnes

Anthem by Ayn Rand
Parts 3 & 4
Historical Context
Lexi Farnes

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 book reveal evidence of the author’s world view?

Rand was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1905.  "When she was twelve, the Bolshevik Revolution occurred and the Communist Era was ushered into existence" (Book Caps).  Her family then fell into extreme poverty, and they lost their business.  Rand completed high school outside of Russia, to avoid the Civil War.  But she returned to attend college only.  Rand then moved to Chicago in 1926 so she would not have to live under the reign of Joseph Stalin.  "Shortly after, she moved to Hollywood to pursue a career as a screenwriter, was married, and began to write fiction.  Anthem was published in the United States in 1946, nine years after its publication in Great Britain" (Book Caps).  The novel Anthem is a political manifesto for Rand, and is quite popular in the dystopian literature.  This novel, is "Rand's idea of what would happen to a society if it embraced collectivism and mirrors the reign of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union.  Rand rejects the idea of group conformity and organized religion band instead embraces the idea of self-determination" (Book Caps).

Rand wanted to make it "...obvious to all the people that the world is headed toward a complete disintegration of the kind she portrays in Anthem" (Spark Notes).  In the book, Equality 7-2521 is a part of a society which is controlled and concentrated on the concept of "we".  Hence wise, the book is written in first person plural point of view.  The only point of the society in which Equality 7-2521 is a member of, is to be united and equal with everyone else.  "It is not good to be different from our brothers, but it is evil to be superior to them" (Rand 4).


  1. Hi Lexi,
    I really like how you not only put images, but you also added a GIF to make your post even better for the reader to understand. First of all, I would like to say that I agree with everything you said in your post. You mentioned that Ayn Rand and her family ran away from Russia to avoid the civil war. This is makes me predict that in Anthem Equality-7-2521 might run away from her society, looking for a new place to live. Adding to this prediction, he might learn many new things and later come back to his old community as a wiser, and more powerful person. What do you thing?
    Lucas T.

  2. Hi Lexi, I enjoyed your post and completely agree with what Rand did and why she did it. In fact, I was even writing about what you said before I even read this! I think your post is very well thought, and has ideas no-one has placed in their blog. Why do you think Rand disagrees with this form of government if it improved her own country? What negative side effects does communism have on a country?

  3. Lexi,

    Very thorough research. While I was reading your post, I considered the fact that some of Ayn Rand's educational experiences connected to the book. Something that caught my attention in the blog was Gaetano's post. In his post, there were connections within Ayn Rand's life and the book Anthem. He thought that since Ayn Rand had a different point of view in freedom and happiness, she would limit these kinds of concepts in her book. Further, what I mentioned in my comment was that writing about not having freedom was the only thing she knew to write about. In addition, I think that Ayn Rand suffered a lack of freedom herself and didn't know how to write something that utterly described how freedom felt like (Individual Rights).

    "Individual Rights." Ayn Rand Lexicon. Web. 20 Oct. 2014. .