Mrs. Schuet's AP Literature Class of '16 discussion

Anthem
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Anthem by Ayn Rand

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message 1: by Ella (last edited Dec 07, 2015 07:01PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ella Pinco | 12 comments a. I chose Anthem because I consistently saw great reviews from my peers after they read the book. I also remember listening to the impromptu speeches and thinking it was really interesting that Rand made all her characters address themselves and everyone around them at "we". This unique style made me want to read the book for myself and observe how it contributed to the novel.

b. Currently, I am on page 37. Although initially Equality tried to convince himself that he should conform to the brotherhood by accepting the job he is assigned to and no going against the rules as you did when he was in school. After he began his job as a sweeper and fell into a routine, Equality stumbled upon an opening that led to underground tracks. He then began to steal different chemical from the place where all scientific materials are thrown away, sneak into the underground tracks when his work was done and all the other sweepers were at the evening assembly to perform experiments. During this time he discovered things that even the brotherhood's scholars have not discovered and seemed satisfied with himself.

It seem that Equality does not care that he is breaking the rules and committing sins, but still there are little instances where it also seems that he is content with the life he is living for the brotherhood. For example, when he is assigned his job he acts as though he is relieved to be a sweeper, but later begins running science experiments in the underground tracks. This could mean that he is conflicted between doing what is allowed and doing what he loves. That said, Equality does break the rules and does not care if it means doing what he wants.


Aniketh Bhat (mynameisaniketh) | 4 comments Ella wrote: "a. I chose Anthem because I consistently saw great reviews from my peers after they read the book. I also remember listening to the impromptu speeches and thinking it was really interesting that Ra..."

I've read this book, and it is evident that Equality likes to break the rules of the strict society often. Look out for more patterns of this behavior as you continue reading this book. How might his rebellions contribute the overall theme of the book, considering that they live under many constraints?


message 3: by Sydney (new)

Sydney Chan | 4 comments Anthem is a very well written book. Anthem and 1984 have similar topics on the idea of totalitarian societies. He refuses to believe his intelligence is not up to the standards to go on as a scholar, but is pleased with knowing his sins can go unknown. Equality 7-2521 feels obligated to sacrifice his life in order to release himself from the collectivist society. Would you also say Equality 7-2521 is a divided self and trying to choose between whether he wants to live for himself or the brotherhood?


message 4: by Rick (new)

Rick Franc | 4 comments I just read this book and I thought it was great and you will probably enjoy it. Ayn Rand wrote this around the time of World War II, I believe, and so she is commenting on how Communism might affect society and individuals who want to achieve more. To further develop Sydney's question, is Equality 7-2521 or the Council making the better decision with freedom versus society working as a whole?


message 5: by Tricia (new)

Tricia | 4 comments I really enjoyed reading this book, not only because it was easy to understand and interpret, but also because of the underlying themes and symbols. In regards to symbols, what could Equality 7-2521's friend, International 4-8818, symbolize, taking into consideration his personality and his actions?


message 6: by Madison (new)

Madison Kaeding | 4 comments Patricia wrote: "I really enjoyed reading this book, not only because it was easy to understand and interpret, but also because of the underlying themes and symbols. In regards to symbols, what could Equality 7-252..."

I agree that this book was easy to understand as I just finished it also. I think International could symbolize the fact that Equality has the courage to act on his independence, where as International hides from his. On another note, International does not want to speak out or act out, but he agrees to keep Equality's work a secret. Why is this?


Aniketh Bhat (mynameisaniketh) | 4 comments To add to Madison's answer, I think that International also symbolizes loyalty, especially towards his friend Equality. You'll see that it is what drives him to keep all of Equality's secrets and to assist him with his acts of going against the government.


Ella Pinco | 12 comments To Sydney:
I agree he is divided between living for the brotherhood and himself. I also think that because of his friends, he feels guilty for being so curious about science since he knows what kind of trouble they could all get into if he was caught. His inability to control his passion is what makes him continue to experimenting even though he understands the severity of his actions.


Ella Pinco | 12 comments To Sydney:
I agree he is divided between living for the brotherhood and himself. I also think that because of his friends, he feels guilty for being so curious about science since he knows what kind of trouble they could all get into if he was caught. His inability to control his passion is what makes him continue to experimenting even though he understands the severity of his actions.


message 10: by Oded (new) - added it

Oded (odedtzori) | 4 comments Ella wrote: "a. I chose Anthem because I consistently saw great reviews from my peers after they read the book. I also remember listening to the impromptu speeches and thinking it was really interesting that Ra..."

Ella, what do you think Equality is looking for? It is obvious from the beginning of the novel that he is different than his brothers, but why? What is he missing in his life? More importantly, why do you think that only he is missing this and not his brothers? Could it be that his brothers also feel a void in their lives?


message 11: by Ella (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ella Pinco | 12 comments Oded,
This book reminds me a a lot of The Giver, so I'm not sure that Equality's brothers feel a void or at least they choose to ignore it more than Equality. I understand their desire to ignore the void since that is what was taught and ingrained into them by their society. Doing so allows them to pretend that everything is fine and fair, which is ironic since it isn't yet they name themselves "Equality".


message 12: by Ella (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ella Pinco | 12 comments Patricia,
I think the symbols you described are meant to show that although there is "equality" the consequence is being stripped of an identity. Which is strange since in order to live life peacefully the author is insinuating that you must give up all control of yourself and give it away. Rather than seeing a persons individuality as something useful, this society thrives by taking it and that is what makes a "brotherhood" as an excuse.


message 13: by Ella (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ella Pinco | 12 comments Patricia,
I think the symbols you described are meant to show that although there is "equality" the consequence is being stripped of an identity. Which is strange since in order to live life peacefully the author is insinuating that you must give up all control of yourself and give it away. Rather than seeing a persons individuality as something useful, this society thrives by taking it and that is what makes a "brotherhood" as an excuse.


message 14: by Ella (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ella Pinco | 12 comments Ok, now that I have finished the book I really think that the ideas within "The Giver" and "Anthem" are extremely similar. Both describe a society your life is assigned to you and freedom of thought is not permitted. Also, both end up running away after falling in love. These societies take away free will and leave people with no identity, thus they are not truly living. But once the characters allow their curiosity to guide them, they are able to discover who they want to be and become this.


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