Sunday, October 19, 2014

Nico A Historical Context

  1. How did historical events influence the ideas in the novel?  What cultural issues may have influenced, challenged, or inspired the author?

       History shapes everything.  It determines what a book is about and what it is for.  For example, a book made in 1960 or 1970 might talk about the space race due to the fact that it was a large and usually discussed topic.  In this case, Anthem discusses government and its roles due to the fact that Russia at that time was communist.  The author Ayn Rand displays totalitarianism and communism through the eyes of a citizen living in a dystopian society where equality among people is such a key part to the government that even if you are smarter than someone you get punished.  
           You can see Rand's home country played a role in this book due to the fact that Russia was communist, and the book displays high levels of dystopian communism (Wikipedia, Rand) .  A reader can see disagreement towards these forms of government because of the authors use of anachronism to use the candle as if it were invented during the time of communism when these two discoveries are as far apart as 2,000 years (Wikipedia, technology timeline).  This shows that this form of government only slows down technology and human advancement.  This was influenced upon due to the fact that Rand disagreed on communism and became to form her on liking of government after she was one of the first women that attended college in Russia.  In conclusion, one can notice government of Soviet Russia influenced and challenged Rand to exhibit the form of government in her book.


  1. Nico, I agree with you about how Ayn Rand growing up in a communist nation deeply influenced writing the book. I see the society in which Equality lives in as a more exaggerated version of the USSR regime, and the protagonist as Rand's own personal beliefs masked in a story. I thought it was interesting that you mentioned the criticism and how she is criticizing the communist concept of no individuality through her book. You said that she displays totalitarianism and communism through the eyes of a citizen, which was one aspect that I had not thought of myself. Firstly, Equality looks at his society through different eyes than the rest, which could have been the way that the author saw her society as well. Like the previous book I read, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, in which the author was aiming to expose what it was like to live inside a Soviet labour camp, this book is also showing a bit of what a communist society was like. Unlike some modern dystopian novels, Rand actually knew what it was like to live in a similar regime. This clearly influenced her beliefs against this way of life, which resulted to the writing of this and various other novels regarding her views on individualism, socialism and self expression. It is metaphorical. In the book, people refer to themselves as "we", this is criticism in a certain for of irony. Kind of following the feeling of "look at the point that we will soon get". This causes the reader to think and reflect in their own beliefs in this topic.

  2. Nico,
    By Ayn Rand living during the communism period in Russia did influence her novel, Anthem in many ways. In a way Anthem displays dictatorship by excluding the words I and Me (First Person). They completely banish the idea of having individualism in the 'dystopia'. In a dictatorship, everything is about the dictator, as he is the priority. Equality 7-2521 is the 'protestor'/'antagonist' as not conforming to their rights.

  3. Nico, I do agree that history shapes everything, also it does determine what it is about. What the setting will be, the characters, etc. In the book it surprised me that someone would get punished just for being smarter than someone. Yes, Rand's home country did play a big role to this book. How do you think you would feel living in the society that Ayn Rand has portrayed in this book Anthem?

  4. Nico,
    I really liked your post, especially the part about the technology gap and how Rand decided to portray it. It caught my attention not because I merely thought it was interesting, but because I hadn't thought of that beforehand. I mean, I could see Rand's general idea that the form of government was slowing things down incredibly, but not the technology. I guess that's because I didn't really know the time period, so that limited me on connecting certain ideas, but now that I have a rough idea It'll be much easier to. Now that I think about it, I think the book takes place after our time period, I just don't know which one. I'm pretty sure the Unmentionable times are the ones in which we live as we do now, or some time in the past, and something must have happened to change everyone's mind on how everything should be run, or else we'd end up as we are now. But what do you think that could've been? Why do you think everyone in the book is so afraid of those times?