Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
dcr

We the living

2 posts in this topic

Dear Mr. Bernstein,

I am currently reading "We the living".

In the book, Kiras family is described as being Russian-Orthodoxe. This can be especially seen from Lydias side.

What I do not understand is that Ayn Rand was born Jewish, so why didnt she describe the family of Kira as being Jewish?

Could the answer be that Ayn Rand wanted to get to as many people as possible and therefore choose the biggest religion in Russia?

I know it is a fictional book, but she even says, in the foreward, that the story is partly her story in Russia and characters can be taken from her family.

Furthermore I would like to say, that the Forum should have a topic of the discussion of Ayn Rands books.

Best regards,

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is Andrew Bernstein's reply to the question posed by dcr.

In part, the answer is that Russian Orthodox Christianity is the dominant religion of Russia. In part, it is because, more broadly, Christianity is the dominant religion of western civilization. But the main answer is philosophical. Christianity is much more distinctively religious than Judaism, i.e., more otherworldly, faith-based, and self-sacrificing. It enables Ayn Rand to show that religion, in the character of Lydia, is hopeless as a means of rejecting Communism.  Values cannot be achieved by a sincere devotion to Christianity, any more than Andrei can achieve them by a similar devotion to Communism.  Both are philosophies of death. The only way values can be achieved is by the rational secularism of Kira and Leo. In a free country, Kira and Leo would reach superlative success. But Lydia would still subsist as a candle-lighting, saint-worshipping, non-career-oriented, shrewish, shriveled old maid. The Communists are evil; the Christian rank-and-file are pathetic. One destroys life; the other fails to live. Neither can create values and flourishing, joy-filled life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0