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Why does the council of vocations assign Equality the job of street sweeper?

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bruhangkyut | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 9, 2008 at 8:09 AM via web

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Why does the council of vocations assign Equality the job of street sweeper?

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beckytkm | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted December 21, 2008 at 12:51 AM (Answer #1)

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Throughout his life, Equality 7-2521 has caused trouble by being smarter than the others.  He secretly longs to become part of the Council of Scholars.  The rulers of his society fear that his intellect will lead to things that will bring about technological advances that they are unprepared to deal with, so he is assigned a menial job in the hopes that he will dutifully accept his fate and live a life that does not threaten the society the leaders have worked so hard to maintain.

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dmcgillem | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:38 PM (Answer #2)

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Also, in addition to his intellect, Equality 7-2521 possesses detectable pride, and by assigning him a menial position, the Council hopes to break his pride, thus making him more compliant to their will.

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elocutus55 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted May 18, 2012 at 5:07 PM (Answer #3)

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Moreover, Equality is taller than the others, physically symbolizing difference which is not allowed in the dystopian society.

I think the intent of the council is more to relegate him to a position of non-threatening uselessness rather than any direct attempt to break his pride / will. He is only noticed in a negative way when he brings the light box to the World Council and causes such a violent reaction. In essence, before he discovers the tunnels, he completely incapable of causing a problem because he is surrounded by other controlled people, who, like all members of a dystopian world, are fully charged to tell the authorities if he made illegal statements which betrayed his thought life into real words.

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