Anthem, like all of Ayn Rand's books, is as much a theoretical essay expressing her ideological claims as a novel. In this book, the character Equality 7-2521 is a classic Rand superman, living in a dystopian egalitarian society. Despite his longing for knowledge and science, and his innate untutored genius, he is assigned a life as a street sweeper, but as always is the case in Rand's work, the hero rises above his external circumstances to fulfill his destiny. In his discovery of the grate leading into a hidden world, Equality 7-2521 casts off the laws created by the weaklings (the "brothers" of the quotation) to suppress the strong, and begins his path to freedom.
Renaming himself Prometheus, Equality leaves his society to explore the Uncharted Forest, discovering true freedom by escaping the laws and rules of the weak masses and standing proudly alone (with the Golden One). Somewhat ironically, the key to their survival and knowledge is actually the remains of an older civilization—perhaps the self-reliance is somewhat illusory.