Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Over the Memorial Day weekend I had the opportunity to read Ayn Rand's Anthem. It's a pretty short book, only 105 pgs. I can't say that I enjoyed it nearly as much as I did Atlas Shrugged. I did enjoy the imagery of Prometheus, though. In the book, the main character likens himself to Prometheus for bringing light to mankind. Both were punished for "helping" humanity. Unlike Prometheus, though, Anthem's character was not bound and tortured for eternity - instead he escapes into the Uncharted Forest, with the love of his life, and there sets out to free humanity from its bondage to altruism. Anthem parallels Atlas Shrugged at least in one way, though. In both, the brilliant of mankind are shunned or punished because they are not working to better the brotherhood of humanity or the less fortunate. They respond by removing themselves from society and building a better society based on self-interest alone. When you consider the fact that Rand comes out of communistic Russia, it makes sense that she would see "brotherhood" and "community" very negatively.

Next on my list of Rand's works to read is The Fountainhead. It's another long one, so I'm interested to see how that one compares to Atlas Shrugged.

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