. I don’t understand it myself, but there’s something that should be understood by all of us. “Did it ever occur to you,” asked Kira, “that I may be here for the very unusual, unnatural reason of wanting to learn a work I like only because I like it?” The Communists agitated for the bright future in which the unity of society would be the highest value. The one who doesn't - doesn't live at all.”, “Can you sacrifice a few? Perhaps you feel happier when you go fast. Welcome back. Can you sacrifice the few? It was I against a hundred and fifty million people. . You came and you forbade life to the living. Then you stare and wonder what it’s doing to us. The century. I want a woman like you. “Life becomes easier and more beautiful when we can see the good in other people.” ― Roy T. Bennett “Sanctity” is one of those terms (like “sacred,” “devotion” and “reverence”) that people think of as exclusively religious. I lost. I was born and I knew I was alive and I knew what I wanted. The bundles were wrapped in bed-sheets, newspapers and flour sacks. Desperate, she seeks help from Andrei Taganov, an ardent young communist whose love for Kira helps awaken him to the meaning of genuine personal values, not to be surrendered for others’ sake. It can mean so much that it really means nothing. Unlike other literary tools quotes, and short quotes, in particular, give you the ability to concentrate on one idea with no outside distractions. Because he sincerely devoted himself fully to a cause, Andrei belongs among the “living” in We the Living.But after realizing that he has sacrificed his life and most precious values to an ignoble purpose, he cannot live with the enormity of his mistake. this section. Enjoy some 'life quote' motivation, both serious and funny. Although they each passionately want to live, Kira and Leo cannot live a human life because they are trapped in a society that refuses to recognize or respect that right by leaving them free. "Behind her was a car overloaded with a freight of humans and bundles. She lost Andrei, she lost Leo, she lost her trust in her ability to conquer the state. . We can do it.”, “You are that which I’ve lost long ago. Andrei takes ideas seriously and sincerely believes that communism will shape a better world. These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. An edition revised by Rand was published in 1959, following the success of Atlas Shrugged (1957). . As a soldier in the Red Army, and later as a Communist Party stalwart, Andrei fights bravely for the revolution, believing sincerely that communism will raise everyone up to his level. Eventually, his greatest challenges are polishing boots and collecting matchbox labels. This section contains 1,009 words (approx. We can stand it. Kira is just the type of person Andrei thinks should prosper under communism. What do you think is alive in me? I, p. 19, "'Frankly,' said Victor, 'your attitude is slightly anti-social, Kira. These quotes about choices will help you make the right decisions in your daily life. The Russian Revolution began in 1917. Such a frank explanation was dangerous in the times when individualism was considered the most terrible crime. And for those you would sacrifice the few who know life, who are life? Things sacred because, and only because, one can say: 'This is mine'? Leo is best understood in contrast to Kira. An honest idealist, Andrei cannot close his eyes to the evidence that communism isn’t raising people up — it’s holding them down and crushing their lives, bringing only suffering to the woman he loves. The setting is Soviet Russia, early 1920s. Refresh and try again. Victor, to advance his fortunes, is willing to betray Irina and Sasha to the secret police, leading to their exile to Siberia. will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback. When Kira's family returns to Petrograd, how many years of revolution had the city already seen? It's a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own. They range from positive changes to the key to living a harmonious life. Life, undefeated, existed and could exist. Objectivist Conferences (OCON) and the Ayn Rand Institute eStore are operated by ARI. She was “against a hundred and fifty million people” and that was a case when the number really mattered. The Communists agitated for the bright future in which the unity of society would be the highest value. Kira dreams of becoming an engineer who builds bridges, but that plan dies when she is kicked out of university. Not only does a collectivist state suffocate its best individuals — those most passionately dedicated to their own values — it also rewards the worst individuals, those willing to betray or abandon all personal values. 5. The humans were bundled in ragged overcoats and shawls. She is Leo’s lifeline, but he lacks her strength to endure. The heroine is Kira, who is passionately devoted to her own life as her highest cause. I've forgotten the difference long ago, because it really doesn't matter, so long as you move.”, “She smiled. Dust had engraved wrinkles on the dry, cracked skin of faces that had lost all expression." Unlike Andrei’s communist ideal, Kira’s holy cause does not require sacrifice for something outside herself. To be alive is to be passionately devoted to one’s own life and happiness. Error rating book. You begin it, feeling that it's something so precious and rare, so beautiful that it's like a sacred treasure. Can I? The Question and Answer section for We the Living is a great But after they had torn each other to pieces, to the very bottom, they'd see that they had the same root.”, “Well, if I asked people whether they believed in life, they'd never understand what I meant. I want to go down, as far as you can drag me.”. Copyright © 1985 – 2020 The Ayn Rand® Institute (ARI). Because men are not equal in ability and one can't trust them as if they were.”, “Don't you know....don't you know that there are things, in the best of us, which no outside hand should dare touch? “Little notes of music trembled in hesitation, and burst, and rolled in quick, fine waves, like the thin, clear ringing of glass. Print Word PDF. And that’s all I have to offer you, Kira.”, “People create their own questions, because they’re afraid to look straight. We the Living dramatizes the evil of collectivism by showing how it chokes off personal ambition in the best people. What does Kira ask Leo to do after his night at the casino? Kira’s father, Alexander, owned a textile factory before the Soviets seized it. But Ayn Rand rejects religion’s claim on these moral concepts, arguing that they refer to an exalted but earthly state of consciousness. Although secret police, political executions and forced labor camps figure into her plot, Rand’s detailed focus is on the daily methods by which collectivism crushes the soul. We all need to live our lifes with more purpose and see the beauty in everything. Rand regarded Americans as far too innocent, and too ignorant of realities overseas, to understand how an all-powerful state forbids life to the living. . Rand held that each individual has a moral right to live for his own sake, to pursue his own personal happiness. You select a profession merely because you want it, without giving a thought to the fact that, as a woman, you would be much more useful to society in a more feminine capacity. Closing down factories and abolishing private property was supposed to liberate the nation. Sometimes you go very fast, and someti... And when you know what you want--you … Perhaps you feel happier when you go fast. Every man worth calling a man lives for himself. Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “We The Living” by Ayn Rand. I've forgotten the difference long ago, because it really doesn't matter, so long as you move.”, “Listen, here's something we can do: we can look at the moon, sometimes - and, you know, it's the same moon everywhere - and we would be looking at the same thing together that way, you see?”, “The basic cause of totalitarianism is two ideas: men’s rejection of reason in favor of faith, and of self-interest in favor of self-sacrifice. She more than any other character is aware of the injustice of the collectivist state, but her focus remains solemnly on life, for as long as she still has breath in her body. You’ve driven us all into an iron cellar and you’ve closed all doors, and you’ve locked us airtight, airtight till the blood vessels of our spirits burst! His readiness to destroy those “few” for the benefit of the millions frightens her. "Every citizen over sixteen had to have a labor book and was ordered to carry it at all times. Sometimes you go very fast, and sometimes only an inch a year. She wants her career, her music, her lovers — her most sacred values — for her own sake, and works tirelessly to achieve them.

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