Ayn Rand Analysis

Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

What are the physical and other characteristics, such as names and professions, of Ayn Rand’s sympathetic and unsympathetic characters? What purpose does she have in giving them these particular features?

How does Rand’s admiration for human beings as builders and creators show up in her fiction?

Rand’s novels often have long speeches by the characters justifying their actions. What purpose is served by these speeches?

Rand said that her purpose in fiction is to set forth a moral ideal. How do her heroes and their actions reflect a moral ideal?

How does Rand use her novels to contrast the values of individualism and collectivism?

How does Rand criticize prevalent social trends?

Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

0111207240-Rand.jpg Ayn Rand (Library of Congress) Published by Salem Press, Inc.

In addition to her three novels and one novelette, Ayn Rand published a play and several philosophical disquisitions. An early critique, Hollywood: American Movie City, was published in the Soviet Union in 1926 without Rand’s permission.


(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Ayn Rand won the Volpe Cup at the Venice Film Festival in 1942 for the Italian motion-picture dramatization of We the Living, a novel about the failures of the Soviet system. She was awarded an honorary degree, a doctor of humane letters, by Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, in 1963, but this sole award does not reflect the significance of her influence on America’s philosophical and political economic thought.


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Baker, James T. Ayn Rand. Boston: Twayne, 1987. An academic’s brief but objective and highly readable treatment of Rand’s life and work. Includes a chronology, references, and a bibliography.

Binswanger, Harry. The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts. Los Angeles: Ayn Rand Institute Press, 1990. Written by a philosopher, this is a scholarly work focused on the connection between biology and the concepts at the roots of ethics.

Branden, Nathaniel. Judgment Day: My Years with Ayn Rand. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989. A personal account by Rand’s disciple, organizer, spokesman, lover, and, ultimately, enemy. Includes photographs.

Branden, Nathaniel, and Barbara Branden. Who Is Ayn Rand? New York: Random House, 1962. This book contains three essays on Objectivism’s moral philosophy, its connection to psychological theory, and a literary study of Rand’s methods in her fiction. It contains an additional biographical essay, tracing Rand’s life from birth to her mid-fifties.

Britting, Jeff. Ayn Rand. Woodstock, N.Y.: Overlook Press, 2005. A readable biography of Rand’s literary and personal life but lacking in scholarly analysis.

Gladstein, Mimi Reisel. The Ayn Rand Companion. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1984. A...

(The entire section is 515 words.)