Ayn was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on February 2, 1905. Her father was a successful pharmacist who owned a pharmacy. By the age of 8, Ayn was already writing screenplays. By 10, she had written her first novel. During the Russian Revolution, her family fled to the Crimean Peninsula. There, they lived in poverty, where they faced desperate conditions. At 16, Ayn was one of the first woman to enroll in University, where she majored in History. After graduating, she moved to the US to pursue her screenwriting career. After a couple of unsuccessful pieces, she wrote her first successful novel, The Fountainhead, which opened her path to prominence. After The Fountainhead, she wrote several successful books, most acclaimed Atlas Shrugged.
|Image representing collectivism & rebellion|
Ayn was of the opinion that collectivism was evil, which is the main reason she wrote Anthem. Collectivism is the idea of interdependence, or the elimination of any individuality. Because of her life experience with this idea (Communist Russia), she was convinced that any type of collectivism was vile. She expressed this through the main character and his rebellious nature. The main character rebels against the governments idea of collectivism. I think that the dystopia in this books represents her time living in the Crimean Peninsula. The government in the book appears like a type of totalitarian state with extreme communist ideas. The government in Russia back then was similar to this- perhaps not as extreme, but still similar.