Anthem Chapter 1 Part 2 Summary

     In the second half of chapter one, Equality usually works in a brigade with Union 5-3992, who is sickly and slow, and International 4-8818, who he admires. International 4-8818 also seems to have received the job of street sweeper as a punishment because he would draw pictures that would make others laugh, and only the artists are allowed to draw, and men are not supposed to smile without reason. Therefore, even though he is not supposed to have any preferences, Equality considers International a friend. One day when they were cleaning, they found an iron bar among the weeds. Equality pulled on it then asked International to help him and together they lifted a grill off a hole. Equality wanted to go down the shaft, but International was hesitant because it was forbidden, so Equality went down alone. He found iron tracks down there that he realized were left over from the Unmentionable Times. He returned to International and told him that they would not tell anyone about their discovery. Even though International knew he could be lashed to death for keeping such a secret, he agreed not to tell because he treasured Equality's friendship.

     Every night after that when Equality reached the Theater for the evening performance, he would sneak out and go to his tunnel. He collected things there and hid them. He began to do experiments and learn things. He even stole manuscripts, which are very precious because it takes a man from the Home of the Clerks one year to copy a single script. For two years Equality has been escaping to his secret hideout and learning more than he ever did at the Home of the Students. He knows what he is doing is wrong, and he believes no one in his memory has ever committed crimes so evil. Yet he does not regret his choice. Alone in his tunnel each night, he feels the greatest peace he has ever known.

     Chapter one is by far the longest chapter, filling about one third of the total pages of the novel. It portrays this society that is supposed to be a utopia where everything is fair and everyone is equal, yet the protagonist, Equality 7-2521 does not seem happy. He seems to know that this society does not allow for any freedom. Men here do not make any choices. They have no friends or family, they all receive the same food and clothing, they can't even choose their own jobs. Since they are forced to work ten hours a day from age fifteen to age forty, they die young without ever having made any relationships or done anything fun. Equality 7-2521 slowly starts to break the rules and make his own decisions, which clearly brings him the most joy he has ever experienced in his life.

Related Links:

Anthem Chapter 1 Part 2 Quiz
Anthem Chapter 2 Summary
Anthem Chapters 3-5 Summary
Anthem Summary
Anthem Quotes
Anthem Important Characters
Anthem Quiz
Literature Summaries

To link to this Anthem Chapter 1 Part 2 Summary page, copy the following code to your site: