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”Anthem” by Ayn Rand

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 756
  • Category: Novel

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Directions: You will have the entire summer to read Anthem and write full paragraph responses to the questions below. Your paragraphs, typed or neatly written, will be submitted on the first day for students in 8th grade. It is recommended that you write the paragraph responses while reading, and you are reminded to support your statements with specific references to the text (except for the “Before Reading” question).

Before reading:
The transition from adolescence to adulthood involves developing a personal identity and a sense of self. You are not exactly like anyone else, even though your best friend may share many of your interests. Explain what makes you uniquely you. For this response, consider your future goals and dreams, the qualities you value in a friendship, preferred sports, hobbies, pastimes, favorite music, literature, etc.

Chapter 1:
1. Review your pre-reading activity. Describe the personal goals, values, activities, and/or preferences that would either be allowed or forbidden in the society portrayed in Anthem. 2. In many real and fictionalized totalitarian societies, children live apart from their families, e.g. the puppies in Animal Farm. Describe two societal advantages of such a living arrangement. 3. Explain why the “Council of Vocations” assigned Equality 7-2521 the job of street sweeper. For this response, consider whether or not the decision was an error, an accurate assessment of his capabilities, or reflected a sinister motivation. 4. Aside from being caught and severely punished for the three hours of the night that Equality 7-2521 and International 4-8818 spent in the tunnel from the Unmentionable Time, describe two other dangers they faced.

Chapter 2:
1. Explain why the “Council of Eugenics” of all the other councils, would take particular offense at the Transgressions of Preference made by Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000. 2. Of the entire range of feelings possible to humans (joy, anger, embarrassment, jealousy, etc.), explain why fear is the dominant emotion in this society.

Chapter 3:
Describe two ways in which Equality 7-2521’s pursuit of his discovery violated the commandments of the “Council of Scholars.”

Chapter 4:
Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000 shared the secret name each held for the other. Describe the appropriateness of the names they created as true representations of their characters.

Chapter 5:
1. Equality 7-2521 understood that his invention would benefit mankind. However, that was neither the main motivation for conducting the experiments, nor was it the primary source of the great joy that he experienced. Explain his main motivation and the source of the joy he felt. 2. Explain why Equality 7-2521 was interested in seeing his own image at this point in the novel.

Chapter 6:
1. Equality 7-2521 did not seem to recognize that the Council and the judges, who lacked curiosity, anger, and mercy, were simply interested in hearing ANY excuse or confession. The response he gave was, “We will not tell you.” In your paragraph, describe a response that he could have given that would be true of him, yet would not betray his discovery. 2. The old locks and lack of guards in the “Palace of Corrective Detention” indicated that prisoners never tried to escape. Explain why prisoners, whose transgressions had placed them in custody, would not try to escape.

Chapter 7:
1. Explain the REAL reason behind the Council’s rejection and fear of Equality 7-2521’s gift. 2. Refer to the sentence on page 68 that reads, “We are old now, yet we were young this morning….” Describe the truth of that statement based upon the events of this chapter.

Chapter 8:
Choose two of Equality 7-2521’s liberating experiences. Describe how each would have made the Council feel justified in sentencing him as “Damned.”

Chapter 9:
Equality 7-2521 questioned the morality of his former society. Contrast what he was previously taught about solitude, good, evil, and joy with what he came to believe on his journey through the Uncharted Forest.

Chapter 10:
Describe two features of the house or its contents that were unique experiences for Equality 7-2512 and Liberty 5-3000.

Chapter 11:
Given Equality 7-2521’s background, explain how the opening line, “I am. I think. I will.”, is a transformative discovery for him.

Chapter 12:
An “anthem” is defined as a song or hymn of praise/gladness. Using our national anthem or another rousing patriotic song, compose two or three stanzas for the music that Prometheus, Gaea, their children, and their friends might sing on occasion. Although not written in paragraph form, your anthem will refer to specific details in the novel. (Be prepared to sing the anthem!)

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