Ayn Rand’s Anthem: The Musical

Members of the English II class are reading Ayn Rand’s dystopian novella Anthem. When half of the class was unexpectedly gone for a choir field trip, we put off reading Chapter 3 and instead broke up into small groups to create a musical version of Chapters 1 and 2. (Oh, the irony!)

Students were given the option of recording their songs for bonus. They had about an hour to write, rehearse, and record.

Chapter One: “We Are Equality 7-2521.” Lyrics by Kailyn, Taylor, Rachel, and Jeffrey. Featuring Jeffrey, Kailyn, Rachel, and Taylor as Equality 7-2521.

Chapter Two: “Equality and Liberty.” Lyrics by Janson, Hailey, and Kenzie. Featuring Janson as Equality 7-2521 and Hailey and Kenzie as Liberty 5-3000.

 

Note: Not surprisingly, there has actually already been an adaptation of Anthem into the musical format. Check it out here.

Should Ayn Rand Be Required Reading?

My English II class is reading Anthem by Ayn Rand this semester, but it’s not so they will all become good little Republicans. But that seems to be what Idaho senator John Goedde thinks the writings of Rand could help students in his state do:

If one Idaho legislator had his way, every student in the state would be learning ‘personal responsibility’ from Ayn Rand.

State Sen. John Goedde has introduced legislation that would require Idaho high schoolers to read and pass a test on Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” before graduating, The Spokesman-Review reported.

“That book made my son a Republican,” Goedde said, when asked why Rand was his pick.

Rand’s famous novel has been touted by conservatives like Rep. Paul Ryan and Rush Limbaugh for promoting freedom and personal accountability.

Ryan once said “Atlas Shrugged” as well as Rand’s “The Fountainhead” were “required reading” for staff in his office.

…Despite conservatives’ embrace of Rand, the author wasn’t a model of their touted values.

Not only was she an atheist who was pro-abortion, but she also hated Ronald Reagan.

via Idaho State Senator thinks Ayn Rand should be required reading for high schoolers  – NY Daily News.

If the bill did become law, which is unlikely since Goedde has said the bill was drafted as more of a “shot across the bow,” they might be able to get books for their schools for free. My classroom set of Anthem was donated free of charge through the Ayn Rand Institute’s Free Books to Teachers Campaign. Copies of Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and other Rand books are also available.

Still, I can’t help but think that maybe Rand wouldn’t like being associated with such a bill.