In Ayn Rand's Anthem, why does the Council of Vocations assign Equality 7-2521 the job of street sweeper? Is it due to error, incompetence, or a more sinister motivation? Explain.

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Equality wasn't chosen for the Home of the Scholars as he would have liked not because he wasn't smart enough; in fact, he was perfect for the Home of the Scholars, but it was his "curse" (22) that held him back. His biggest problem was his personality conflict with having a preference to do what he wanted rather than follow the rules and do what his authority figures asked of him. Equality even says, "We preferred some work and some lessons to the others. We did not listen well to the history of all the Councils elected . . ." (22-23). Basically, he didn't want to follow the rules.  There was no way that they would permit such a person in one of the highest councils of the society. They wanted people in the higher vocations to follow the rules of the society so that people like Equality wouldn't upset the balance of their lives. Equality couldn't be trusted as far as following rules.