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Author: Rand, Ayn

Genre: Novel

Year: 1938

Characters: The Saint of the Pyre, Liberty 5-3000 Gaea, Equality 7-2521 Prometheus


AYN RAND's novelette Anthem (1938) tells the story of one man's rebellion against a totalitarian society. When the novel's hero, Equality 7-2521, commits the unpardonable crime - independant thought - he sets himself in conflct with the moral strictures of his world - a world in which all expressions of individualism have been suppressed, where the very word "I" has been banished from the language - a world of joyless, selfless men permitted to exist only for the sake of serving the group.

Written in 1937, as "a kind of a rest" from work in her novel The Fountainhead, Anthem anticipates some of the former's themes. Anthem's theme is meaning and glory of man's ego. It's style os unique among Ayn Rand's works in that is written in the form of a prose poem - an anthen to the ego.

Intiallly refused publication in America (one publsher rejected it on the grounds that "the authoer does not understand socialism") Anthem was first published in England. An American Edition appeared in 1946 and the novel remains in print to this day, widely used in classrooms across the U.S.

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