In Anthem, why did Equality stand out when he was in the Home of the Students?

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In AnthemAyn Rand portrays a world where being different is frowned upon and being superior is a criminal offense. Every person lives for the good of the whole. Even individual pronouns like I, he, and she are defunct. Only collective terms like we and they are spoken. Rand's protagonist, with his ironic name of Equality 7-2521, is the one who lives in fear because he is so different from his peers. It is during his time at the Home of the Students when he notices his superior intellect. All this we learn in the first chapter.

It was not that the learning was too hard for us. It was that the learning was too easy. This is a great sin, to be born with a head which is too quick. It is not good to be different from our brothers, but it is evil to be superior to them.

Equality first noticed he is different while at the Home of the Infants. He was always reprimanded for fighting with his brothers. However, at the Home of the Students his difference was more profound. He and his teachers saw how intelligent he was. Equality tried to hide it and behave like the slower students, but it didn't work. 

We looked upon Union 5-3992, who were a pale boy with only half a brain, and we tried to say and do as they did, that we might be like them, like Union 5-3992, but somehow the Teachers knew that we were not. And we were lashed more often than all the other children.

Additionally, Equality committed the Transgression of Preference, which meant that he coveted a particular job. He hoped that he would be placed in the Home of the Scholars upon completing his time at the Home of the Students. Against his desires and likely in fear of his superior intelligence, the Council of Vocations assigned Equality 7-2521 to be a Street Sweeper. 

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