Anthem is a dystopian fiction novella written by Ayn Rand and the winner of the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award. Rand saw the first bits of the Russian Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution, as well. There, her family escaped Russia to Crimea. Rand was fascinated by America during the last year of high school in Crimea. She studied philosophy and history in the University of Petrograd. She then entered the State Institute for Cinema Arts. After, she immigrated to America where she got a career. She spent her life in Italy, Nazi Germany, and in America. This story didn't start as a book, it used to be a play that Rand saw as a teenager. Rand didn't expect to write Anthem but reconsidered after reading a story in The Saturday Evening Post. She wrote the story in 1937, when she was taking a break from work for her following novel, The Fountainhead. The original title was Ego, but she wasn't satisfied so she ended up with Anthem. Ultimately, Anthem was influenced by Rand's life in Russia.
Yet some even say that the 1921 novel, We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, shaped Anthem. Zamyatin also lived in communist russia. Research shows that there are many common subjects between these two books. For example, both novel takes a form of a secret diary/journal, people have numbers instead of names, and etc. Also, both books talk about individualism being discarded through the favor of collectivism.
Rand found collectivism-the idea that individuals should be controlled by the group and should sacrifice for it thus giving it more priority for it's own common good-as a moral evil but also as the essential cause of the political evils then sweeping the civilized world. Since she lived during the times when collectivism was a trend, the whole book is clearly about a male protagonist that is against collectivism and represents the spirit of individualism-the principals of giving an individual more priority. Already, we can read that the main protagonist is rebelling, not necessarily directly but rebelling against the government's belief of collectivism.