Anthem, Ayn Rand, study guide questions introduction and Ch. I

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Introduction and Ch. I:

  1. Explain the book's title and why Ayn Rand chose it.

  1. What were Ayn Rand's "villains"? Explain.

  1. In what is Equality writing? (i.e., what format is he writing?)

  1. Describe Equality's physical appearance.

  1. What is Equality's curse?

  1. Compare the Home of the Infants, the Home of the Students, and the Home of the Street Sweepers.

  1. Why was Equality pleased with his Life Mandate?

  1. Describe a typical day in Equality's life.

  1. What is ironic about the Social Meeting?

  1. Why are friends forbidden?

  1. What is Equality's crime?

  1. Why does Equality feel no shame in committing his crime?

  1. Describe the government and institutions where Equality lives.

Ch. II

  1. What does Equality mean when he says, "They"?

  1. Who is Liberty and what does she do?

  1. What is a Transgression of Preference? How did Equality commit such a transgression or transgressions?

  1. What is the Time of Mating? Why does Equality think of being sent to the Palace of Mating as being a "shameful matter"?

  1. How are children raised in Equality's society?

  1. Why doesn't Liberty want Equality to be one of her brothers?

  1. Why does Equality care about Liberty's age? ‘

  1. What is wrong with Equality's brothers?

  1. Why is Equality afraid of the Uncharted Forest?

  1. What are the Unmentionable Times?

  1. What is the punishment for speaking the Unspeakable Word?


  1. What has Equality discovered and what has he learned from it?

  1. Why does Equality think that the Council of Scholars is blind?

  1. A euphemism is defined as "the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant; also : the expression so substituted" For example, Equality is not assigned a job; he is given a "Life Mandate". What other euphemisms have you discovered in this book?

Ch. IV

  1. What name has Equality given to Liberty? Why?

  1. What name has Liberty given to Equality? Do you think that the name is appropriate? Why or why not?

  1. What is Liberty's Life Mandate?

Ch. V

  1. What did Equality intend to do with his discovery?

  1. What is the World Council of Scholars and why is it significant?

  1. Why now does Equality feel the need to guard his tunnel?

  1. Why does Equality want, for the first time, to know what he looks like?

Ch. VI

  1. Why was Equality put in the Palace of Corrective Detention?

  1. How was he treated in the Palace?

  1. Why was he able to escape from the Palace, and why was it suddenly necessary to escape?

  1. Why did Equality not try to escape earlier?

  1. In this chapter, how does Equality refer to the pages that he has been writing?


  1. Why does Equality say, " We are old now, yet we were young this morning . . .?"

  1. What happened when Equality presented his discovery to the World Council of Scholars?

  1. When Ayn Rand writes, "for their eyes were still, and small, and evil," what does she really mean? How do you know this?

  1. Why is the World Council of Scholars concerned about Equality's discovery?

  1. Where does Equality go and why?


  1. Why does Equality experience a pride in eating?

  1. What else does Equality discover in the Forest?

  1. Why is he not concerned about being one of the Damned?

Ch. IX

  1. Who follows Equality into the Forest and why?

  1. What discoveries do they make in the Forest?

  1. Explain the importance of the following statement: "There is no danger in solitude."

Ch. X

  1. What discovery do they make in this chapter - left over from the Unmentionable Times?

  1. What does Equality seem to be searching for? Why does he keep writing?

Ch. XI

  1. "I am. I think. I will" What is the significance of those words? Explain fully.

  1. Discuss any three of the precepts which Equality adopts as his guide to life? Do you see any similarity between them and the thoughts of the transcendentalists? Explain fully.

  1. Explain what Equality means by the creed of corruption?


  1. Why does Equality believe that people require names?

  1. What name does he choose for himself and why?

  1. What name does he suggest for Liberty and why?

  1. How is Equality able to learn so much in the House in the Forest?

  1. What did Equality learn about slavery and freedom? Why did men give up their freedom once they earned it?

  1. What is the sacred word and why is it so important?


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