Anthem by Ayn Rand
Published: Penguin Modern Classic
First published: 1938
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This book is a secret journal / diary of a group of men, which is the main character, called Equality 7-2521. They won’t present themselves as “I”, but “we”. The world of this story is very alike to the background of 1984, dark and totalitarianism. People in the society are forbidden to do a lot of things but only the assigned job. There is a lot of groups like Equality 7-2521 with different group name. But Equality 7-2521 is a little bit different, they will think and question about the society and the government. Then, they discover a mysterious tunnel, where lots of secrets about the society that they are living is unearthed. The story will continued to record their adventure and discovery after they have found the tunnel.
It is quite a short story to read, but it is not a shallow story. I feel like the author want to reflect the reality in this story. Ayn Rand was born in Russia, which is not a democratic country. Socialist countries usually conceal a lot of secrets which the regime doesn’t want their people to know. You better not try to discover the things they don’t want you to know, because once you knew it, you’re doomed. They will find a way to vanish you so the secrets keep secrets. Or when those who recognized the secrets tried to run away from their own country, they will be delighted and feel that they finally have freedom.
This book emphasize the idea of “Ego”, which is Latin word means “I”, “self”, simply said, the idea of individual. I think Miss Rand is trying to reproach the idea of Socialism and Communism through this book. Since these two ideology emphasized group, party, not individual anyhow.
I don’t really have much to say about the character, because they are groups of people. This is special, I’ve never read a book which its characters are presented in form of a group of people. In this way, the characteristic of them doesn’t really shaped.
Pacing is great, it gives a comfortable read.
Why read it:
(1) It is short
(2) Great plot
(3) Deep meaning in the story, not a shallow one
Why not read it:
(1) No shaping of character at all
(2) Not an exciting book to read
(3) Not a great ending at all
4/5 stars. I definitely recommend it to all of you.