About the Book

Book Protagonist: Equality 7-2521
Publication Date: 1938
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction

Character List


By Ayn Rand

An interesting feature of the characters in 'Anthem' by Ayn Rand is the naming pattern. The names of the characters play a major role in depicting the societal construct of the City in which the story is set. In the midst of an extreme uniformity enforced by the authorities, some individual differences peek through in the characters.

The character list of Anthem is an interesting one, particularly because of the names. The characters are identified by social concepts and digits. The citizens’ names mirror the collectivism of the society and are so impersonal that they eliminate all trace of individualism, names like Equality 7-2521, Liberty 5-300, Collective 0-0009, Unanimity 7-3304, etc. The novella makes Equality 7-2521 the heart of the story as he is both the protagonist and the narrator and the other characters are more or less like backgrounds that give several aspects to the appreciation of Equality 7-2521 as an individual.

Equality 7-2521

Twenty-one years old, six feet tall, handsome, healthy, and virile. He is intelligent and curious. Daring, defiant, and independent in thinking. He is guilty of many of the transgressions laid out by the council but is torn between feeling remorse for them and reveling in them. He is idealistic and in his naïve idealism, he believed the City councils would pardon all his crimes and embrace his discovery.

He is resourceful, learns the workings of electricity on his own as a street sweeper, and learns to survive in the Uncharted Forest without being devoured by beasts or dying of starvation.

He is romantic and falls in love with a girl called Liberty 5-3000 against the rules of the city and even gives her a personal name of his choosing. He is possessive of the people and things he loves and this shows in his strong impulse to prevent Liberty 5-3000 from going through the ritual of mating organized by the state and in his fierce protectiveness of the house he finds in the Uncharted Forest. Liberty 5-3000 identifies his irrepressible individuality and names him The Unconquered.

The hallmark of his character development is when he fully accepts himself without the doubts indoctrinated into him by the authorities of the city. He later changes his name to Prometheus after the man he described as a bearer of light.

Liberty 5-3000

A seventeen-year-old slender and beautiful blonde girl. She works as a planter in the Home of the Peasants but carries herself gracefully and does her chores with a regal poise. She is also defiant and does not submit to the collectivism of the City. Equality 7-2521 names her The Golden One and later names her Gaea after a goddess.

She is determined, fearless, and goes after what she wants. As a credit to her courage, she escapes from the City into the Uncharted Forest, risking the dangers of the unknown in her world to search for the man she loves. She is bold and basks in her beauty, being fascinated when she discovers colors and fashion.

She, however, becomes easily subservient to the whims of Equality when she follows him into the Uncharted Forest and her character declines into a docile companion for Equality 7-2521.

International 4-8818

Friend and companion to Equality. He is strong, spirited, and healthy with a smiling gleam in his eyes. He is artistic and draws comic artworks to the disapproval of their Teachers.

He has a strong sense of camaraderie and confidentiality and does not betray Equality’s secrets privy to him.

Collective 0-0009

The oldest member of the Council of World Scholars. Averse to new discoveries and suggests that Equality be taken before the World Council for judgment.

Fraternity 2-5503

A quiet boy with wise kind eyes designated to the Street Sweepers’ home whose despair at the collectivist system makes him frequently burst into tears at various times of the day.

Solidarity 9-6347

Bright and bold twenty-one-year-old lad. He follows the routines of the Home of Street Sweepers and does his chores dutifully during the day. However, his nights are haunted by nightmares that make him scream for help in his sleep.

Democracy 4-6998

A member of the World Council of Scholars suggested that Equality 7-2521 be burned at the stake for defying the City Councils.


Union 5-3992

A pale, sickly lad who is mentally retarded and lacks spirit. The teachers like him for his dumbness and docility and Equality 7-2521 sometimes pretends to be like him in order to please his teachers.

Solidarity 8-1164

A member of the Council of Scholars who mentions that scholars who develop ideas that are not accepted by the majority have to perish those ideas.

Unanimity 7-3304

A member of the World Council of Scholars who was stunned at Equality 7-2521’s impetus and suggested a punishment of lashing him.

Alliance 6-7349

A member of the World Council of Scholars who declares that Equality 7-2512’s electric box is useless.

Harmony 9-2642

A scholar of the Council who predicts that the electric box would bring ruin to the Department of Candles.

Similarity 5-0306

A scholar who says that whatever makes toiling easier for men is evil and for that reason agrees that the electric box is destroyed.

The Ancient Ones

This refers to the members of the City who live up to the age of forty-five and beyond. This category of people is a rarity in the city and kids look at them in amazement.

The Teachers

The ones that teach the children of the City everything about the Brotherhood in the Home of Students where children are taught and indoctrinated for ten years beginning from the age of five years to the age of fifteen years.

The Useless

Citizens of The City who are up to the age of forty years and retire from all trades and occupations to live out the rest of their lives in the Home of the Useless.

Members of the Council of Vocations

These are five people made up of two women and three men. They assign vocations to the fifteen-year-olds of the city who have finished schooling. They are old and wrinkled. They look cold and emotionless as they assign duties.


What is Liberty’s new name in Anthem?

The character Liberty 5-3000 who is the protagonist’s love interest, adopts two new names in Anthem. The first new name she adopts is The Golden One, a name which her lover Equality gives to her in tribute to her blond hair and fairness.
Liberty 5-3000’s second new name is Gaea, after a Greek goddess attributed to being the mother of the Earth.

What will be Equality 7-2521’s new name? Why does he like it?

Equality 7-2521 who is the hero of Anthem, gets two new names in the story both of which he likes for different reasons. The first new name he gets is The Unconquered. He likes this name because it was given to him by a girl he loves and becomes it is an indication that both he and the girl he loves are resentful of the rules of the city.
The second name Equality 7-2521 gets is Prometheus also given to him by his lover Liberty 5-3000. He likes this name because he sees himself as a god who has discovered light through electricity and as one who will begin a new civilization Prometheus is a god in Greek mythology who gifted humanity with the light of the gods to make scientific innovations and begin civilizations.

What does Prometheus discover his invention was called?

Prometheus discovered his invention was called Electricity. Being from the dark ages, he had used many rudimentary phrases to describe his invention such as “light from the heart of metal”, but from reading books which he found in the Uncharted Forest, he discovered his invention was called Electricity.

Why did Equality get whipped?

Equality got whipped because the City Council discovered that he was absent at the City Theatre when everyone in the city was expected to be there. His absence had been noticed when he failed to sneak back in time to join the queue because he had been so wrapped up in the discovery he made in his tunnel that he did not keep track of time.

Onyekachi Osuji
About Onyekachi Osuji
Onyekachi is a lecturer of Public Administration and a Literature enthusiast. After gaining accreditation in English Literature, Onyeka analyzes novels on Book Analysis, whilst working as an academic and writing short stories.
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