Collectivism — the political philosophy holding that an individual exists solely to serve the state — is dominant and has led to the establishment of a global dictatorship of the Fascist or Communist variety. Equality is a Street Sweeper of the city, having been chosen for this profession by the Council of Vocations. However, he has always been fascinated by the phenomena of nature and can't help but wonder what power of the sky causes lightning and how it can be harnessed to human benefit.
Each chapter of Anthem is an entry into the journal of the narrator, Equality Chapter One Equality describes the events of his life up to the point he began his journal. Until the age of five, he lived in the Home of the Infants, where he was often punished for fighting.
From the age of five to 15, he lived in the Home of the Students. He was a quicker study than his fellow students, and although he tried to hide his intelligence, he was punished more often than anyone else. He secretly longed to become a Scholar, so he could study the Science of Things. But the Council of Vocations assigned him to be a Street Sweeper.
Two springs ago, while working as a Street Sweeper, Equality and his friend International accidentally discovered a hole leading to an ancient tunnel. The tunnel contains metal tracks and other relics of the Unmentionable Times.
Rather than report their find as they are required to, Equality insists that they keep the tunnel a secret. Now he sneaks out every night to the tunnel, where he performs scientific experiments and reads manuscripts he has stolen from the Home of the Scholars.
It is in the tunnel that he has begun writing his journal. She is a Peasant who works in the fields. Although it is forbidden for men and women to take notice of one another, he is attracted to her, and she to him. In his mind, he has renamed her "The Golden One.
They talk with one another briefly before her fellow Peasants approach, forcing them to end their forbidden conversation. After his encounter with the Golden One, Equality ponders how he is different from his fellow workers, and thinks about the legends of the Uncharted Forest and the Unmentionable Times.
He wonders what those secrets might have been. He knows that there is a lost word, which people are forbidden to speak. Once during his youth, a man discovered it and was burned alive as punishment.
Equality recounts the fate of this "Saint of the pyre," and wishes that he knew -- even if he had to burn like the Saint -- what the Unspeakable Word was. He first stumbled on it accidentally two years ago, while using copper wires from the tunnel to hang up frogs for biology experiments.
He has now made it the main object of his experiments. The knowledge he has learned frightens him because he could be punished for discovering secrets unknown to the Council of Scholars.
From things he has found in the tunnel, he suspects that the people of the Unmentionable Times must have also had knowledge of this strange power.
He looks forward to learning more. He thinks about the possible uses of his discovery, and decides that he must present his light to the World Council of Scholars. They will be meeting in his city in a month.Equality 's development as a character throughout Anthem can be seen as a progressive move towards the distinctive way of thinking he discovers and presents in the final chapters of Anthem.
Equality , the hero of Anthem, is twenty-one years old when he escapes to freedom from a totalitarian state. The author of Anthem made the same escape, at the same age. Then, like her hero, she proceeded to rename herself. Alissa Rosenbaum, who became Ayn Rand, was born on February 2, , in.
- Anthem As the novel opens Equality states that what he's doing is a sin. In his society it is a sin to do things that do not involve others, and the words he thinks and writes are for no one eyes to see or hear, but his own.
Anthem: Metaphor Analysis, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature. The closest thing Equality has to a friend in the City, International is a humorous, ambitious artist who was forced to abandon his passion when he was assigned to work as a Street (read full character analysis).
Equality 's Egoism, or "How I learned it's not about We, it's about ME!" Equality 's development as a character throughout Anthem can be seen as a progressive move towards the distinctive way of thinking he discovers and presents in the final chapters of Anthem.