by Ayn Rand, 1937
Wayne read this in high school. He’s also read, Atlas Shrugged. This was a very short book; 105 pages–I read it in 2 days. It’s about a man, Equality 7-2521, who is unhappy in his life as a street sweeper. In this world, there is no “I,” only “We.” He knows he is sinning but he can’t help it. He escapes into a dark tunnel and re-discovers electricity. He tries to show it to the Scholars but they are outraged and afraid and want him destroyed along with his invention. He grabs it and crashes through a window and runs to the Uncharted Forest, where he sees beauty for the first time; colors, trees, mountains, birds (he kills one and eats it), streams. And the Golden One, Liberty 5-3000, follows him there, and they learn about human love, and the word, “I.” And they are changed forever.
Ayn Rand was railing against Communism. She elevates the idea of selfishness to that of religion, Wayne says, in Atlas Shrugged; she preaches ad nauseum how wrong it is to help others. Her philosophy is called, Objectivism.