I decided to adapt Ayn Rand’s short story even though the author’s English is fairly readable–if clunky–even in the 21st century. Probably the least approachable feature of her story is the use of the pronoun “we” throughout. Her point was to show that everyone in her dystopian future had been brainwashed from birth to consider themselves part of the collective. While interesting, the use of the first person plural makes the story more difficult to read.
Why adapt this story at all? Rand is well known as one of the founders of Libertarian philosophy, and the utilitarian branch in particular. Libertarianism has long been a bridge between liberalism and conservatism, as well as a bulwark against authoritarians on both the left (Communists) and the right (Facists). Rand’s story allegorically illustrates where the Communist ideal of equality of outcome could lead if successfully implemented.
You can read my adaption of the full story here: Ayn Rand’s Anthem in Modern English. The original can be found here: The Project Gutenberg EBook of Anthem, by Ayn Rand.