Anthem: Theme Analysis

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As with all of Ayn Rand's works, the purpose of Anthem is to glorify human potential and individual self-worth.  Though Anthem is shorter than Rand's other books, the basic tenets of her objectivist philosophy are still present.

Taken politically and economically, Rand's philosophy is libertarian.  Rand believers are the arch proponents of capitalism and the free-market system of classic liberalism and Austrian economics.  Rand herself immigrated to the United States after her native Russia adopted Communism as its political and economic language.

Taken socially, objectivism teaches the power of the individual and his reasoning capacity.  Rand was not a fan of collective power and control over society; sacrificing for the sake of one's brother is not simply inefficient and impractical to Rand, but diametrically opposed to man's human essence.  Once society loses the word "I," Rand believed, it would self-implode.

Taken morally, Rand's philosophy is completely atheistic.  Rand despised all religion, believing that it kept men in bondage to backward thinking, such as the faulty ideals of altruism.  Throughout Anthem, Rand associates the corrupt ideology of the collectivists with religion.  For example, she describes the daily City Council meetings in the format of church services.  Even the word Anthem itself has a religious connotation.  Rand consciously chose to describe her story using traditional religious images, hoping to replace God with an exalted view of man.  Indeed, her anthem is to the individual human being who realizes his glorified state of existence and uses it to his own advantage.

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