In the novel, Anthem, the life expectancy for the citizens in this society is around 40, and when old, they are sent to the Home of the Useless to live out their pitiful lives. This society oppresses its people so much that there is very little will to live. Equality sees this among his brothers who cry at night and are fearful. There is no individuality and no way to express one’s feelings in this dystopian society. The society also works its citizens to exhaustion. Equality is a street sweeper, a job that restricts his intellectual abilities and keeps him equal to everyone else. There is no happiness or joy, and the only things the citizens have to live for are their fellow brothers. Imagine not being able to fall in love or question or learn. Your life is scheduled out with work and nightly meetings, and the government makes all the decisions for you in your life.
Life in this society is cruel and repressive because of the lack of self-expression. It is so oppressive that it breaks the spirits of its people at a young age, and the desire to live diminishes, and you are considered “useless” and sent away to die.