Anthem is a book that I look at with duality. In my own opinion, this book is to be read with caution in mind and taken with a grain of salt.
The theme of standing up for your individual rights is one I applaud. However, the idea of living for one's own self is one that I scorn.
Equality 7-2521 was a rebel against a loveless, suffocating Communistic society. Equality stood against the suppressing power of what we call peer-pressure... only it was a pressure that promised death to those who defied it.
I agree that individuality is important, but I don't think that fellowship with ones 'brothers' should be abandoned.
True, in Anthem, 'fellowship' was a twisted means of control. But real fellowship (friends, family, colleagues) is essential. What must not be forgotten is the need for balance between the two: working together in a group without forgetting that every member of that group is a unique individual in their own rights.
Towards the end of Anthem, the word ego took on both its 'truest' meaning, as Ayn Rand put it, and the meaning we use more commonly.
I no more endorse this book than I do oppose it. Anthem was a story of hope and the importance of self, but it feels to me that Ayn Rand took her 'truest' meaning of ego just a little too far...
- the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its though
- egotism; conceit; self-importance