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Ayn Rand My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. 
— Ayn Rand, Appendix to Atlas Shrugged. Biography Philosophy

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Ayn RandMy philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. 
— Ayn Rand, Appendix to Atlas Shrugged

  • Biography

  • Philosophy

  • Anthem Introduction


  • Alissa Rosenbaum was born on February 2, 1905, in____________________________.

  • The daughter of a middle-class family, her family lost their small business after communism came to power in _________

  • Alyssa dreamed of becoming a writer, but feared her dream was not a reality in Russia where free expression was prohibited


Questions for discussion
Questions for Discussion

Why would a family like Ayn Rand’s with a small business be a target when communism became the governmental system in Russia?

Why would free expression be prohibited under communism?

What conclusions can we reach about how Ayn Rand felt about the fundamental principles of communism as a result of her background?

Biography continued
Biography, continued

  • Alissaescaped from Russia and, two weeks after her twenty-first birthday, arrived in ________________

  • To free her writing from all traceable associations with her former life, she invented for herself the name Ayn Rand

  • Hoping to write for film, she traveled to ____________, where she found that the studios had little interest in her work.

  • She supported herself as a waitress, a movie extra, a clerk in a studio wardrobe department.

  • In 1935 she enjoyed her first success: her play,_______________________.

Rand s philosophy
Rand’s Philosophy

_________ vs. ______________

  • Collectivism

  • “Society cannot be truly democratic unless its citizens possess substantially similar values, convictions, and degrees of wealth.”

  • --Jean-Jacques Rousseau, early collectivist

  • Appears in all visions of an “ideal world”, including:

  • Thomas More’s________ and George Orwell’s ________

  • Views ___________ as “heartless”, “wasteful”, and “undisciplined”

  • In every real-life collectivist state: "freedom" is regarded as inseparable from "equality," and "equality" is enforced by _________________________

  • Objectivism

  • “The _________ of Objectivism are achievers who ______ businesses, _______ technologies, and ________ art and ideas, depending on their own talents and on trade with other independent people to reach their goals.”

  • From www.objectivistcenter.org

  • Progress is dependent on the freedom of the individual mind

  • Individuals rather than social forces learn, create, and discover

  • For example: When we think of great technological or scientific accomplishments, we think of individuals: Galileo, Edison, Franklin, not the Ninth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

Ayn Rand distinguished herself from other anti-collectivists by her position that it was not only an offense to human rights, it just wouldn’t, and didn’t, work.

  • Why?

  • She believed that no person or group of persons can ever know enough to be successful in planning other people's lives.

  • How do you plan for the welfare of everyone when you cannot decide what is right for any particular person?

  • Is it possible for a group of people to decide the best possible fate for any one person, or for any group of people?

Which leads us to
Which leads us to ________…

Written in 1937, published in 1938

It is a story of the individual's struggle against collectivism, against the idea that society has the right to direct each person's life for the benefit of all. Rand's story carries the collectivist program to its logical conclusion: a society in which people are simply numbered units, __________________________________________________________________________________________

-- Stephen Cox, Anthem: An Appreciation


Main Character: Equality 7-2521

Primary Conflicts: Man vs. Self and Man vs. Society

The name of the novel’s hero is satirical: nothing is more democratic than the idea of equality, yet in the book, Rand is illustrating his story as anything but democratic. Rather it is a commentary on true collectivism.

Anthem journal 1
Anthem: Journal 1

In your composition notebook, respond to the following:

Based on what you now know about Ayn Rand, her philosophies, and the basic premise of Anthem, how would Rand respond to the question: How can the power of my brain change the world?