|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic|
Anthem is a novella by Ayn Rand (contrast with Atlas Shrugged). It touches on the usual Objectivist themes, but it has a more fantastic, sci-fi setting, and it's pretty much the concentrated embodiment of The Evils of Free Will. In the future, humanity has fallen into a dark age brought on by the evils of collectivism. Individualism and freedom have been stamped out to the point where speaking the words "I, me, my, mine, ego" is a crime punishable by death. Society is ruled by several dictatorial Councils that outlaw all new ideas and inventions; as a result, science and the arts have stagnated.
The book is the secret journal of Equality 7-2521, in which he recounts his youth and tells of his emancipation from Ayn Rand's Dystopia. He had been born with a "curse" -- a strong sense of curiosity, eagerness to learn and question everything, and an unwillingness to subordinate himself to society.
For more information on Rand's ideas, please see Objectivism.
This work provides examples of:
- Ambition Is Evil: Well, by Anthem society standards it is.
- Author Tract
- Blue and Orange Morality: Shades of this. The dystopia's morals kinda seem like our own, but they're distorted (or simply practiced in a brutally consistent fashion) to the point of, well, creating a dystopia.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Equality is tortured for not attending one of the community's compulsory gatherings.
- Dystopian Edict: The words "I, me, my, mine, ego" are forbidden on pain of death.
- The Evils of Free Will
- Good Is Dumb: Equality is considered evil by Anthem's society for being too intellectual.
- How We Got Here: The book starts with Equality hiding in a dark tunnel, he explains from the beginning why he is there.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Equality, at first.
- Individuality Is Illegal: Deconstructed.
- In Medias Res
- Individualism Equals Isolation: Prometheus does have Gaea, but it's still just the two of them in the middle of nowhere.
- Language Equals Thought: Inverted. The banning of first-person singular pronouns is a consequence of the society's philosophy of collectivism rather than the cause of it.
- Loners Are Freaks: Subverted. Even if Anthem's society doesn't think so, Loners are awesome!
- Love At First Sight: Equality and Liberty
- Meaningful Name: Prometheus, Gaea
- Meaningless Meaningful Words: The names of all the characters are a combination of one of these with a series of numbers.
- Pride: Subverted in that the prideful upstart is actually successful.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: The entire story centers around Equality throwing off future humanity's hat of total subservience to the collective.
- One Steve Limit: Bizarre example. All people in this world are named a fuzzy, high-sounding word followed by a serial number, but all the characters who appear in the book happen to be assigned different words.
- Planet of Hats
- Recycled Premise: Anthem received some controversy for its similarities to Yevgeny Zamyatin's novel We.
- Screw Destiny: Anthem's society operates on a sort of caste system where one's fate is determined by the government.
- Shallow Female Love Interest: Gaea.
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Deconstructed. Anthem's dystopia is built on this concept. It isn't a nice place to live.
- The Ubermensch: Equality
- You Are Number Six