Saturday, March 19, 2016

Ayn Rand's Anthem: The Graphic Novel by Charles Santino, Joe Staton

genre: graphic novel

Equality 7-2521 is a man among many men, and yet, he is alone.  He alone chooses to think for himself, to explore the questions of his mind and dare to defy the communal "Us."  Living in a society that values conformity and unity above every other virtue, his explorations into a lost past and his discoveries that could change their future set him apart in such a way that he knows that "us" will never be enough.

So, I have never read the original but when I saw this I thought it would be a good chance to get the gist of the idea.  Since I cannot compare this adaptation with Rand's text, I can't say if it has the same feel but I thought it was full of very interesting ideas. There is a powerful creation-story element to it, as Equality 7-2521 decides to start a new way of living, that was intriguing to me.   I read it super fast, the text is sparse and the illustrations flowed.  It really made me think about society, as in, all of us collectively - what it can be good for and what it can really mess up.  It is true that one individual, only thinking about himself, can cause great destruction, but I think the opposite is just as true - one person, doing good, being creative, searching for answers, can also change the world for the better.    Now that I've read this I'm actually more interested in the book itself, it's a little much to wrap your brain around sometimes, but in a good way.

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