Anthem- Ayn Rand


We consider a life lived for others as the best kind of life that can be led. In Anthem, a book by Ayn Rand we see the reality of such a life. There a man lives only for his brothers, he cannot prefer one over the other this means no relationships of any sort other than that of brotherhood which he must feel for all his brothers. He has no voice, no opinion. Even his thoughts are not free of societal expectations. Love in it’s  true sense does not exist but he must love all of his brothers and sisters. Why? Simply because they have been born.

But the biggest crime is uttering the forbidden word. At first I was expecting it to be something like ‘love’, or ‘hope’, or ‘rebel’ but the word was a much simpler one ‘I’.  But it makes so much sense, you cannot express your love for someone without using the word ‘I’. Who will you rebel for if not yourself in a world where you live for everybody but yourself.

The leaders shredded any sense of individualism, by not even allowing them to have a name. A word followed by several numbers dehumanize them. At the same time it’s difficult to consider someone human when he has no sense of individuality or even self. In a world where we are all trying to figure out who we are, ripping away our very essence seems to be the worst thing that someone could do.

Eventually our protagonist does learn to think for and about himself, shall we say that he learns the virtue of selfishness. He finally stops using ‘we’ when referring to himself and finally begins using ‘I’. I don’t think that I have appreciated a word more than ‘I’ at that very moment.  I think that in a way he learnt of his existence when he learned the word ‘I’. He learns that the transgression of preference is not a transgression at all and that he is not obligated to love anybody.

After finishing the book I have read a little bit into her philosophy of objectivism. A philosophy that seems to celebrate the existence of man. There is no point of morality if it does not ensure happiness. Reason is a habit that we must culminate in ourselves and of course the importance of think for and about ourselves. A true objectivist build businesses, invents technologies and creates ideas.

In this philosophy selflessness is not a virtue but a vice. A man wants what’s best for himself and he’ll do anything to get it. After all your happiness does not come at the expense of others happiness. But in the world that we live in and not some dystopian future do we need more people who think only for themselves or do we need more people who are willing to live for others?


The Perks of being a Wallflower

I have just finished rereading Perks for a school project and I have fallen in love with it all over again. The first time I read it was just before getting into high school. I have been meaning to reread it for a bit now and I’m so glad that I have finally gotten around to it. It’s coming of age tale is filled with smiles and laughs and cries.

I think that this book explains teenage in the best way possible. I relate to this quote in particular, ” I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” It’s true we are happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time. This book is rather simply written. This emphasises that we don’t need fancy words to convey deep emotions. And this novel is a rollercoaster of emotions.

This story revolves around a group of oddballs. The protagonist, Charlie is probably the weirdest of the lot. They have no intentions or desires of fitting in. I think that it is important to know that its okay to be different in a generation that is so consumed with fitting in. Teenagers are often trying to stand apart yet fit into groups. We want to find ourselves yet we more concerned with what others think of us and not of what we think of ourselves.

I also have this weird theory about Aunt Helen, I don’t think that she got into an accident I think that she killed herself. Her life was terrible enough for her to do it and maybe she couldn’t live with the guilt that she had become the very thing that she hated. And her dying was Charlie’s present.

Anyways I think that rereading this book has really cleared up some stuff for me and has given me further insight into the beautifully written story and its complex characters. I think that every teenager should read this book because it is so relatable and it describes teenage in the best way and most apt way possible. It’s like a spilled pallet of paint. I also felt like Charlie was actually my friend, and I think that that’s got a lot to do with the way the book has been written.

And I like Charlie maybe want to write when I grow up and we both don’t know what we would write. I really love this quote “Standing on the fringes of life… offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.” And I think that both Charlie and I need to get on the dance floor and start dancing.