Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ivanna's Historical Context - Question 3

Ivanna Hidalgo
Anthem by Ayn Rand
Question #3
Week 2 - Part 3 & 4 

Why was this book controversial?  Which themes or ideas were challenging to society?
"Julian Megson Ocean Ventures | There’s No I in Team." Julian Megson Ocean Ventures RSS2. Web. 19 Oct. 2014. <>.

      To begin with, Anthem by Ayn Rand is about a dystopian society that has 
restrictions such as not saying the word "I" ever. If said, there would be persecutions and deaths. Therefore, Equality 7-2521 was taught to always refer himself as we, us, etc.  
   Anthem can be classified as a utopian world, rather than a dystopian world. It's really how people see the book's perspectives and rules (Anthem: Ayn Rand's Dystopian Masterpiece). As a result, just a few people may perceive how utopian of a society Anthem is. However, many people see this book as a very controversial one because of it's small details, etc. From what many people think, Anthem contains absurd limitations, complexity in use of words, and certain regulations. For example, the fact that people can't sing without a reason makes them look like the law owns their will of choice. In today's society, people can do whatever they please with their body because its them who owns it, and not somebody/something else (The Truth About Power). Having the free will to sing should be something that is normal and rational, and shouldn't be questioned whether to do it or not. As a matter of fact, questioning whether you should do something with your body makes the world wonder if they have power over their bodies. Consequently, this book would be classified as a very controversial book.
   As a second point, Anthem contains ideas/themes that sometimes challenge society in their daily lives. One of the most challenging parts of their society is that humans have to refer to themselves as "we" instead of "I" (The Meaning and Importance of "I" in Anthem). Still not fully known why, saying "I" is a sin that ends up with consequences if said. In my opinion, Ayn Rand tries to convey the world that the idea of "I" shows selfishness and ignorance. In one of her interviews, she explains how men should sacrifice things between each other showing how they should always be one. As one quote states in the book, "the laws say that none among men may be alone, ever and at any time, for this is a great transgression and the root of all evil". People like Equality 7-2521 don't struggle as much because they never lived in the era where everyone said "I" in a normal basis; however, older people struggle more because they lived in a time where everyone was independent. Therefore, it was a challenge to change their way of talking and living in general.  

"Anthem: Ayn Rand’s Dystopian Masterpiece." Marginal REVOLUTION RSS. Web. 20 Oct. 2014. <>.

"The Truth About Power." Catherine Collautt PhD. Web. 20 Oct. 2014. <>.

"Anthem By Ayn Rand Critical Essays The Meaning and Importance of I" in Anthem"" The Meaning and Importance of I" in Anthem" Web. 20 Oct. 2014. <>.


  1. Ivanna, I agree that the books main idea so far is not referring to yourself as "I" and having to say we, us, etc. I also answered this question and mention how no one has an identity. Everyone is the same. And with everyone being the same, there will be no chaos. For example, no one can want what someone else has because they already have it. I think this happens with the idea of having control over everyone. I didn't really think about the older people struggling with the new rules since they used to be independent. This part reminds me of Red Scarf Girl when the elders couldn't adapt to the changes since they were raised differently. Do you think the elders will come around ?

  2. Ivanna, I agree with you that it depends on how people see the books perspective and rules. That determines whether you think it is a utopian world or a dystopian world. I think this society these people live in, is sort of a good thing and a bad thing. It would be good to live in a society like the one Equality lives in because you would learn how to work as a team, be united with everyone, and learning not to be so self centred and selfish. At times though it would be confusing when people would use the words we, us, etc because you wouldn't know if they were talking about themselves or others. To me it would be bad living in a society like this, because of the language they use like I just mentioned. Would you ever want to live in a society like the one Ayn Rand portrays in Anthem?

  3. Dear Ivanna,

    To start with, your post was very good. It included details, information, and an image. However, since you have your points of view, you could've added a second picture that gives a small clarification of your ideas.

    In your first paragraph, you give the fact that in this dystopian society people don't have the power to control themselves.There is always going to be someone watching over them, like they are a prisoner under surveillance. I totally agree with you because freedom isn't a word that exists in this community. Maybe Equality 7-2125 will end up discovering what the word freedom means, because he is in search for new things, for example, metal. As someone who loves music and singing and dancing when I am alone, it seems like a horrible place. But what do you think drove the person who rules this government to create such a place? The way I see it, this is taken place in the future because communities like this are usually built after a revolution that destroys the world. Also, he found already used wires under ground. Maybe something happened in this revolution, if it is a revolution, that changed the mind of this person who rules this society.

    Overall, I really enjoyed reading your post and looking at the book in a different perspective. Thank you!

  4. Hey Ivanna, have you ever thought that this book could anger a whole community, and not just people who saw this as a utopian and dystopian society? I just want to bring this up. If your country was reigned by this government, and ever since this government was placed has been thriving, would you feel like it is a problem? This is what was happening to Russia when communism was in power. It had caused for Russia to rise in power, both economically, and militaristically. People were so happy with the government, anything against it would be felt as uncarpeted to the Russian society.