This week’s book recommendation is Anthem by Ayn Rand. This is actually a novella coming in at 108 pages, and was nominated for a Retro Hugo award for Best Novella as it was published in 1938. This story takes place in a dystopian future where humanity has entered a Dark Age. In this Dark Age, people don’t have names but rather designations and are also designated a job to perform in the society.
The main character is called Equality 7-2521 who works as part of the Home of the Street Sweepers. What made this story especially interesting is the lack of individuality and the use of language within the society Mr. Equality lives in. They do not have words for individuals. They exclusively use plural pronouns (such as “we”, “our”, “they”) when speaking to each other or of themselves. This solidifies the mentality of humanity as a collective and also snuffs out any thoughts of being unique. The strict rules of course don’t sit well with the main character as he discovers his individuality and the story ensues.
This novella was interesting and I read it in maybe a couple of hours. Because this story is in the public domain, I can offer you a free pdf of this novella. Here you go: Anthem by Ayn Rand