>[*DISCLAIMER*] I claim no authoritative interpretation, nor can I even boast that this is going to be at all smart. This is merely my first impression of this work of literature. [*DISCLAIMER*]

I just finished my first novel by Ayn Rand, a person who, I am ashamed to say, I had not even heard of until about a month or so ago. Although I had heard of Atlas Shrugged, but had never contemplated it with any kind of seriousness before. So anyway, about Anthem. This is an introduction to Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, but I’m not going to talk about that right now. Instead I’m going to talk about a character. The idea that struck me most was the role of Gaea (the girl). Throughout the novel, the main character, Prometheus, was in constant search of knowledge, and he knew the whole time that something was missing from his life (or rather, that something wasn’t missing, and he needed to remove a lot of somethings to find that something). He wouldn’t give up until he found the truth. That’s what made him a perfect dystopian hero. However, I really admired Gaea, because even though she didn’t completely understand at the beginning what Prometheus was all about, she realized that he was different, and that he had something that she wanted. Even needed. She didn’t searh for knowledge or science or wisdom, but she recognized something good when she saw it. And because she wasn’t afraid to break the rules for Prometheus, she was allowed to partake in his knowledge and join him in his quest of freedom, ad ultimately, find it herself. That makes me feel better. To know that even if I don’t have all the answers, I can follow someone who does and learn from them until I am steady enough to stand on my own.
When I was young, my parents raised me to be a Christian, and taught me everything they could and showed me their pursuit of truth and knowledge. When I became older, I followed that path for myself, but I would never have found it if I hadn’t been shown it by my parents. Okay, so I realize that the two aren’t exactly parallel, since Prometheus fancied himself a god and my parents are more like prophets in that they speak on behalf of God, but you get the idea.

Or was Gaea being blind in her pursuit and had no idea what she was getting into? Throughout the novel she hardly says anything; did she really understand what Prometheus told her? Am I seeing her as a deep, thoughtful character, when in reality she’s a shallow, over-trusting product of the “We” system? Should we shun her behaviour because she followed him even with no proof that his view was the truth
Did she follow him just because she was in love with him, or did she love him because she saw the truth in him? Tell me what you think. I want to know!

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses to >Anthem

  1. mbmb says:

    >I was tending to think that the girl was really shallow just following along cause some guy looked at her. And yet, her speech to him when she finds him is very like that of Ruth and we aren't supposed to think that she is shallow and stupid, although sometimes I wonder about her.
    My main thought as I was reading it was, "how did he come to this conclusion that 'I' is synonomous with 'god'? Why does he think that he the individual as so much power and that the group is evil? I know that the group came to bad conclusions, but obviously they were powerful, so somewhere along the way, they had to think they were right and that that was all for the best. (Though that could be said of all dystopian set ups.) I'm rambling; I'm not really sure what I thought of the whole thing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    >Just so you know, I had to dig out my copy of Anthem Tue night and read it before I went to bed. Now I have to read the whole Rand ouvre again. I'm working on Fountainhead now. I've already shared my thoughts on Gaea with Jessie via phone (old-fashioned voice medium) As for Prometheus, he is not the only intelligent person left in the world. As in the case of Elijah, there may be 7,000 others "who have not bowed the knee to Baal," and Gaea is one of them. ppm

  3. Jes. says:

    >Mara: yeah, she seemed a little shallow to me at first, too, but Mom pointed out to me that it was she who first tried to find the word "I", and that's why I decided that she was really a deep character. As for the I=God, I can't see how he came to that conclusion except that it's the core of Rand's philosophy and therefore had to be expressed in some way. I guess it's becuase since the "we" were so afraid of the "I", he assumed it must be divine.

  4. Anonymous says:

    >I don't recall the girl being the one to search for "I". Just all of sudden there it was and then he explained that it was in the first book he read.

  • Pages

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives