Before I answer the questions, I will introduce my perspective on this book. I think that the city Equality lives in is a city created by a neighborhood, organization or something of the sort. They were people who wanted the world to change and not be perverted by selfish thoughts. They wanted a community that would think for mankind and not man himself and they made plans for a new and better Earth they envisioned which became known as the Plans and the Great Rebirth is the application and initiation of the creator’s Plans.
The City has a lot of rules and regulations to ensure that the perfect society the creators fabricated doesn’t return to its previous state (which would be the present since Anthem is set in the future). I think that these rules were set in place to create a perfect utopia- In the City, there is no thinking for yourself and everyone is told what to do. You are given a job, an education, food, shelter, and everything you need to live. Everything works too perfectly and that is why Equality was able to break himself free from the City. He had a strong sense of self and was able to think for himself.
Additionally, he was a very bright student but the council and the scholars didn’t appreciate his intelligence. They [the scholars] and their precedents were passed down the knowledge that they should always think for the greater good and that anything not “‘… taught by men cannot be true.
‘” and that “‘ What is not done collectively cannot be done .‘” This led them to think that Equality’s “power of the sky”was a sin because he worked on it alone and no one but him believed it would do mankind any good. Furthermore, Unanimity 2-9913 mentioned (on page 74) that it took 50 years for all of the councils to approve the use of the candle instead of the torch and to amend the Plans to fit the candles in instead of the torches. I don’t think that Equality will enforce the laws and rules of The City into his own little community because he ran away from those things. Equality knew that he was special since the beginning [of the book] because he grew to be six feet tall and his teachers always told him that there was evil in his bones, he understood lessons from school faster than his classmates and his teachers looked down on him because of that.
He also committed Transgression of Preference which means he biased something over the other. In this case, he favored his science class instead of his history class,International over his other brothers, and the Golden One over anyone else. Equality tried very hard to please his teachers by trying to forget his lessons and trying not to wonder but, his educational level was far beyond anyone else’s in the city. Equality wondered a lot and the scholars and teachers didn’t like that, that is why they put him in the Home of Street Sweepers. The Home of Street Sweepers seems to be one or maybe the worst job possible to obtain in the City. It is apparent that if you are a misfit you are to be given a job there.
Equality’s classmate Union 5-3992 wasn’t a very bright student and he was sent there. Another worker there was International 4-8818. He made students smile and laugh without a reason which is prohibited by the rules. In addition to the above reason, he also had Liberty 5-3000 or, the Golden One. Equality saw her when he was sweeping the streets of the City’s outskirts and dirt roads. They showed mutual interest in each other even though that is illicit as well.
“And we take no heed of the law which says that men may not think of women, save at the Time of Mating.” This quote shows Equality’s attraction to the Golden One in a way that is not only as friends but as lovers too. And when Equality ran away from the CIty, the Golden One followed him. The rules and controls the City had in place were so their ideal nation wouldn’t fall apart. Equality would not execute those same regulations because they diminish a person’s ability to think for themselves.
Equality will create a small civilization with the same characteristics as one from the times before the Great Rebirth would have and it would grow to be bigger than the CIty and other communities like it. Equality’s community will ensure that outcasts from the City will be safe to immerse themselves in their ego.