Ayn Rand is the author of the novel Anthem, which shows an example of a utopian society; however one citizen, Equality 7-2521, wants more than his street sweeping job, which has been forced upon him. Equality 7-2521 finds a hole on the outskirts of town, where he conducts secret experiments. Doing other than what is assigned to you is a serious crime, Equality thinks his experiments will benefit mankind greatly, but this is not the only reason why he is doing his experiments. The wanting to discover the past of the ‘Unmentionable Times’, wanting to help mankind, and for his own feeling of self accomplishment are Equality 7-2521’s main motivation for conducting his experiments.
First, Equality was very curious about the events that occurred before his own time, him wanting to discover more about the ‘Unmentionable Times’ was the main purpose of his experiments. He even stole manuscripts about those times to help him with the research. “We have stolen manuscripts,” (Rand 36). The ‘Unmentionable Times’ was a time when people did not think of everybody as a one, which is a serious crime in Equality’s society so him wanting to learn about them is an offense. Not only does his desire to discover more is a crime but it is not what he was chosen to do. Equality is a street sweeper, whose one job is to sweep the streets, so his learning more about anything is against his people’s views.
Next, mankind is not advanced technologically at all in Anthem, using candles to light up there rooms and such. No cars, bikes, or phones. Electricity is basically non existent, until Equality after an extended period of time, unlocks the key a technology not known to his time, even by the wisest in his world. “But they looked upon us, and suddenly we were afraid. For their eyes were still, and small, and evil,” (Rand 71). He also was satisfied with finding it, because he thinks it would greatly improve the way his people lived everyday, no doubt.