We must know that we may know. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. Today, we spoke to the Golden One. What is the secret our heart has understood and yet will not reveal to us, although it seems to beat as if it were endeavoring to tell it? The word which can never die on this earth, for it is the heart of it and the meaning and the glory. Notes on Chapter Six Although he conceals where he has been, Equality 7-2521 apparently does not consider actually lying to either the Council of the Home or the Judges such as by making up a story about being somewhere other than the tunnel. Its walls were hard and smooth to the touch; it felt like stone, but it was not stone.
Equality 7-2521 discovers the power of I by the last chapter of the book -- he goes from referring to himself as 'we' to using the first-person pronoun. We found strange boxes with bars of metal inside, with many cords and strands and coils of metal. I am the warrant and the sanction. There are few offenses blacker than to fight with our brothers, at any age and for any cause whatsoever. They had no right to exist on their own, that right was taken away the second it became a collectivist society. For we matter not and it must not matter to us whether we live or die, which is to be as our brothers will it. If this is the great evil of being alone, then what is good and what is evil? We melt strange metals, and we mix acids, and we cut open the bodies of the animals which we find in the City Cesspool.
To be free, a man must be free of his brothers. When he and Equality 7-2521 discover the tunnel in which Equality 7-2521 hides to write his journal and make his discoveries, he is torn between loyalty to his friend and his desire not to break the law. Trees taller than we had ever seen before stood over us in a great silence. We were just like all our brothers then, save for the one transgression: we fought with our brothers. If we went back to hide in our tunnel, we would be found and our light found with us. But we pulled at the grill and it gave way.
The laws say that men may not write unless the Council of Vocations bid them so. We have Councils of Vocations, Councils of Eugenics, every possible kind of Council, including a World Council -- and if these do not as yet hold total power over us, is it from lack of intention? Because he wants to think about her all the time, and because the urge is so overwhelming, he gives himself to his sin. Do as you please with us, but do not send us away from you. The laws say that men may not write unless the Council of Vocations bid them so. What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and impotent, are my masters? Thus, the opening lines immediately establish the setting of Anthem as a dystopian world, while foreshadowing the main character's inner conflict regarding the relative merits of collectivism and individualism.
But there was an unbroken night ahead. We strive to be like all our brother men, for all men must be alike. And they could not speak. Then we knew what we must do. For men are forbidden to take notice of women, and women are forbidden to take notice of men.
They seemed older than the marble of the Temple of the World Council. I honor men with my love. For the first time do we know how strong our arms are. The word which will not die, should we all perish in battle. There was more window than wall upon its walls, and the windows went on straight around the corners, though how this kept the house standing we could not guess. But then came the day when the sky turned white, as if the sun had burst and spread its flame in the air, and the fields lay still without breath, and the dust of the road was white in the glow. We could not see our body nor feel it, and in that moment nothing existed save our two hands over a wire glowing in a black abyss.
For thirty days we have not been here, in our tunnel. We returned to the earth. We shall be forgiven for anything we say tonight. We think that in the wisdom of women the Golden One had understood more than we can understand. It is my mind which thinks, and the judgement of my mind is the only searchlight that can find the truth. They threw seeds from their hand as if they deigned to fling a scornful gift, and the earth was a beggar under their feet. This place belongs to us, Equality 7-2521, and to no other men on earth.
Think of it this way: would it give Equality 7-2521 any satisfaction to help others if he didn't care about their happiness himself? Equality 7-2521 is a man who holds on to his own mind in a collectivist society that demands blind obedience to the group. It is dark here in the forest. For one, he's a little too good to be true. They give him the security he needs to trust in himself. I know people want these things because they come to my website searching for them. We walked through empty passages and into the great hall where the World Council of Scholars sat in solemn meeting.