The equality and conformity that characterize the collective society in Anthem clearly allude to the communism of Soviet Russia, which Rand herself experienced and fled. Rand critiques a society in which talent is not allowed to rise to the top and where individualism is crushed, which was her experience in the Soviet Union.
Rand also alludes to Greek mythology, which she uses as a positive ideology to counter the repressive qualities of collectivism. At the end of the book, Equality and Liberty rename themselves Prometheus and Gaea. In Greek myth, Prometheus defied the gods to give fire to humankind, for which he was punished. This name refers back to Equality's trying to give to his society the gift of the lightbulb, which he had rediscovered, and being punished for it. In Romantic thought, Prometheus is also seen as one who strives, which is what Equality does, for he is always seeking to improve. Gaea in Greek mythology is the earth goddess and mother of all life. Clearly, Equality and Liberty see themselves as people who will bring new life and new ideas to the world.