In the Anthem, Ayn Rand starts on the story with Equality 7-2521 acknowledging the grave crime he is committing by thinking independent thoughts by himself.
It is a sin to think words no others think...no transgression blacker than to do or think alone.
May we be forgiven!
At every stage in the story the differentiating physical and character traits of the protagonist are highlighted. His physical appearance is different from that of others in the society.
We are six feet tall, and this is a burden, for there are not many men who are six feet tall.
Leaders pointed to us and frowned and said: "There is evil in your bones...
He has independent thoughts and likes some activities more than others.
...great Transgression of Preference. We preferred some work and some lessons to the others.
He does not like everyone alike and instead makes friends with some whom he likes.
International 4-8818 and we are friends. This is an evil thing to say, ... to love any among men better than the others
He craves to be able to escape all the places where he is forced to be with others and expected to behave like everyone else.
The laws say that none among men may be alone, ever and at any time, for this is the great transgression and the root of all evil.
Equality is the one who discovers the fact that people have an individual identity and it is their right to think for themselves and perform actions that benefit them alone, without bothering about a common good. This makes him an outcast in the system that prevails in the story.