Bookcover - Anthem


by Ayn Rand

Rating: 7/10


A rather short book about a dystopian world. The people in this world live miserable lives in small rural communities. Every little bit of individuality is artificially repressed and held down. They have forgotten words such as "I", "my" and "yours" everything is "us" and "ours"...

The protagonist, one day, starts "waking" up and exploring the world on his own, figuring out how things work, eventually building electricity in his little basement layer and slowly becoming more and more of a scientist, while being deeply confused about what is happening to him and at the same time afraid, that he will be found out by the others eventually, and killed or stopped from living his identity.

Detailed Notes:

There is evil in your bones for your body has grown beyond the bodies of your brothers. But we cannot change our bones nor our body.

We wished to know. We wished to know About all the things which make the earth around us. We asked so many questions the teachers forbade it.

And questions give us no rest. We know not why our curse makes us seek we know not what, ever and ever. But we cannot resist it. It whispers to us that there are great things on this earth of ours, and that we must know them. We ask, why must we know, but it has no answer to give us. We must know that we may know.

Human curiosity is wonderful. A curse and a blessing at the same time. Restlessness, about knowledge, that's what curiosity is and a world where that is stifled is not a world worth living in, as this book tries to show.

We have come to see how great is the unexplored, and many lifetimes will not bring us to the end of our quest. We wish nothing, save to be alone and to learn, and to feel as if with each day our sight were growing sharper than the hawk's and clearer than rock crystal.

The internet gives instantaneous access to this vast unexplored territory. It's frightening and wonderful at the same time.

We do not know, but we shall learn. We cannot stop now, even though it frightens us that we are alone in our knowledge.

We have broken the law, but we have never doubted it. Yet now, as we walk the forest, we are learning to doubt.

In the book at some point, there is a change from the protagonist always using the word "we", to always using the word "I" and my hairs stood on end when it happened. It's like the main figure awoke from a bad dream and found out that there is something worth living and fighting for, they have found their identity.

Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a bandage for their wounds. I am not a sacrifice on their altars.

What is my life, if I am but to how, to agree, and to obey?

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