''Anthem'' is a novella by Creator/AynRand ([[{{Doorstopper}} contrast with]] ''Literature/AtlasShrugged''). It touches on the usual UsefulNotes/{{Objectivis|m}}t themes, but it has a more fantastic, sci-fi setting, and it's pretty much the concentrated embodiment of TheEvilsOfFreeWill. In the future, humanity has fallen into a [[{{Dystopia}} dark age]] brought on by the evils of collectivism. Individualism and freedom have been stamped out to the point where speaking the words "I, me, my, mine, ego" is a crime punishable by death. Society is ruled by several dictatorial Councils that outlaw all new ideas and inventions; as a result, science and the arts have stagnated.

The book is the secret journal of [[YouAreNumberSix Equality 7-2521]], in which he recounts his youth and tells of his emancipation from Ayn Rand's {{dystopia}}. He had been born with a "curse" -- [[RebelliousSpirit a strong sense of curiosity, eagerness to learn and question everything, and an unwillingness to subordinate himself to society]].

For more information on Rand's ideas, please see UsefulNotes/{{Objectivism}}.

Not to be confused with the Japanese HeavyMetal band or the Creator/NealStephenson {{Doorstopper}}, Literature/{{Anathem}}.
!!! This work provides examples of:
* AfterTheEnd: Occurs centuries after the collapse of modern society. Some critics of Rand posit this as a sequel to ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'' even though it was written first
* AmbitionIsEvil: Well, by ''Anthem'' society standards it is. Subverted by the Hero's example.
* AuthorTract
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Shades of this. The dystopia's morals kinda seem like our own, but they're distorted (or simply practiced [[{{Deconstruction}} in a brutally consistent fashion]]) to the point of, well, creating a dystopia.
* CardboardPrison: [[spoiler: The protagonist is put in this. Justified trope, in that the captors didn't imagine that anyone would dare escape.]]
* TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong: Deconstructed. Anthem's dystopia is ''built'' on this concept. [[CaptainObvious It isn't a nice place to live]].
* DisproportionateRetribution: Equality is tortured for not attending one of the community's compulsory gatherings.
* {{Dystopia}} - arguably of the [[MarySuetopia Straw]] variety
* DystopianEdict: The words "I, me, my, mine, ego" are forbidden on pain of death.
* HowWeGotHere: The book [[InMediasRes starts with Equality hiding in a dark tunnel]], he explains from the beginning why he is there.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Equality, at first.
* IndividualityIsIllegal: Deconstructed.
* InMediasRes
* [[IntelligenceEqualsIsolation Individualism Equals Isolation]]: [[spoiler: Prometheus does have Gaea, but it's still just the two of them in the middle of nowhere]].
* LanguageEqualsThought: Invoked. Banning of first-person singular pronouns is a ''consequence'' of the society's philosophy of collectivism.
* LonersAreFreaks: Subverted. Even if Anthem's society doesn't think so, [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped Loners are awesome!]]
* LoveAtFirstSight: Equality and Liberty
* MeaningfulName: [[spoiler: At the end of the book, our heroes rename themselves Prometheus and Gaea, respectively]].
* MeaninglessMeaningfulWords: The names of all the characters are a combination of one of these with a series of numbers.
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch: The entire story centers around Equality throwing off future humanity's [[PlanetOfHats hat]] of total subservience to the collective.
* NonActionGuy: Liberty 5-3000, in a gender-flipped example. She doesn't really do much except stand around looking pretty and agreeing with everything that Equality 7-2521 says.
* NoSexAllowed: Save for the mating ritual once a year.
* OneSteveLimit: Bizarre example. All people in this world are named a fuzzy, high-sounding word followed by a serial number, but all the characters who appear in the book happen to be assigned different words. Presumably, the names are re-used when their previous owners die.
* PlanetOfHats
* {{Pride}}: Subverted in that the prideful upstart is actually successful.
* PropheticName: Liberty 5-3000
* RecycledPremise: ''Anthem'' received some controversy for its similarities to Yevgeny Zamyatin's novel ''Literature/{{We}}''.
* ScrewDestiny: ''Anthem'''s society operates on a sort of caste system where one's fate is determined by the government.
* TheUbermensch: Equality 7-2521.
* YouAreNumberSix