The October Revolution in Russia as viewed by the American writers John Reed and Ayn Rand

Abstract: 

“Ten Days that Shook the World” by John Reed and “We the Living” by Ayn Rand are the works of American literature, depicting the events of the Russian revolution in 1917 and the post-revolutionary period. Both compositions, published with a 17-year difference, present the same event, but from different viewpoints. John Reed is known for his affection for socialism, while Ayn Rand is an ardent anti-communist. The article considers the correlation of the objective and subjective phenomena in the representation of a century-old historical event depicted by its contemporaries. The degree of objectiveness is defined by the documentary component in the researched novels, the degree of subjectiveness is composed of the author’s appraisal of the reconstructed events. The analysis of both texts allows us to state that both compositions reflect the objective reality and contain documentary material. Thus, J. Reed’s book abounds with dates, minutes of political meetings, and quotations from the speeches of political leaders. A. Rand’s novel shows the realia of life in the post-revolutionary period. Yet, the subjective component makes J. Reed regard the revolution as the birth of a better world, while A. Rand treats it as pestilence.

Key words: 

J. Reed, A. Rand, October Revolution, objectiveness, subjectiveness.

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