We the Living / LESSON 4
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We the Livinglesson 4

Secondary Characters in We the Living

The theme of We the Living is the evil of the collectivist state. The book conveys that theme by showing in grim detail how the novel’s characters are suffocated and crushed under Soviet communism. In this lesson — the first of two lessons analyzing the characters of We the Living — you’ll focus on a number of the minor characters in the story, such as Kira’s father, Alexander, and her cousin, Irina. What explains the fate of each of these characters, and how do their individual stories support Rand’s theme?

Spoiler alert: This lesson assumes that students have read We the Living.

Lesson Outline

Lead Instructor

Onkar Ghate
Onkar Ghate

Onkar Ghate is the chief philosophy officer and a senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute. He is the Institute’s resident expert on Objectivism and serves as its senior trainer and editor.

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