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An American Anthem

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About Lauri Bohanan

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  1. I ABSOLUTELY loved Ayn Rand’s Anthem. We actually read it at the ninth grade level in high school. I too am surprised that it is approved. I also really liked your connection to what is going on today, Lauri. I never really thought of it that way. Your connection makes me want to read the book again! I am very interested in your students responses. I hope that they are a lot better than the high school level responses that I heard among my classmates. Sadly, they didn’t seem to care about the deeper message of the book.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Abigail. Unfortunately, many high school students lack interest in broad, whole-world issues. I, myself, could have cared less about history when I was in high school, and as an adult, I really adore it and wish I would’ve paid more attention when someone was teaching me about it. My college students seem to be more interested in what’s going on in the world, maybe because they feel like they are more a part of it. I’m sure autonomy has something to do with that. The more effected they will be by something, the more interested in it they will become. I just wish more young people would be engaged like you. I’m curious – what were some of the reactions you heard from your peers when reading this novella? They weren’t even drawn to the love story subplot?

      • If anything, they thought it was funny how Equality went from “collective caveman” to “enlightened individual.” They didn’t seem to quite care about the underlying message in the pronouns such as we, our, and us. They just wrote it off as weird. We also had to create our own extreme socialist societies and many of them did not take the assignment too seriously. The only other person who really saw the book for what it was was my best friend. I guess you could say it’s one of the reasons I am friends with her. The lack of maturity in the rest of the group, however, was completely disheartening. As for the love story, they thought that it, too, was strange. They didn’t really seem to grasp the big picture: that the love subplot is different and awkward because it is new and unfamiliar territory in context of the book.