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Equality 7-2521 is assigned the vocation of street sweeper, in his mind, because he has not sufficiently fit in and because he had ambition, both of which were cardinal sins. In Rand's dystopic society, young people are assigned their life's vocation at the age of fifteen. They have no choice in matter, but are given the occupation by the Council of Vocations, a group of men who visit the Home of the Students. Equality 7-2521 wants to be sent to the House of the Scholars, where people work to come up with useful inventions. But he recognizes that this is a "Transgression of Preference," and claims that he is happy to receive the job:
We felt the cords of our neck go tight as our heads rose higher to look upon the faces of the Council, and we were happy. We knew we had been guilty but now we had a way to atone for it. We would accept our life's Mandate, and we would work for our brothers...
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