How does Equality's physical features and character traits stand out from the other men?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The protagonist for Ayn Rand's Anthem is named Equality 7-2521 and the first physical character trait that he points out is the fact that he is six-feet tall. His teachers and leaders have told him that he is evil because he has taller than the other men in his community. His next sin is that he has forbidden thoughts, which are basically dreams he wants to accomplish and ideas he wants to study. Dreams and intellectual inquiry are strictly forbidden in Equality's world because he lives in a society that favors living for the benefit of the group over the desires of the individual. Equality tries to conform to the rules of his society, but when he finds a tunnel that used to be part of a subway, he becomes possessive and tells his coworkers not to tell anyone what he found. Progressively, Equality becomes motivated to rebel secretly by writing, studying, and becoming interested in a girl--all of which he is not supposed to do. Eventually, Equality becomes possessive of anything he desires to have, whether it be knowledge, a girlfriend, or control of his own destiny. By the end of book, Equality discovers exactly what was different about him from his brothers:

"What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it? What is my wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and the impotent, are my masters? What is my life, if I am but to bow, to agree and to obey?

"But I am done with this creed of corruption.

"I am done with the monster of 'We,' the word of serfdom, the plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame" (97).