Anthem

by: Ayn Rand

The Golden One

They stood still as stone, and they looked straight upon us, straight into our eyes. There was no smile on their face, and no welcome.

When Equality 7-2521 and the Golden One first meet, they intensely lock eyes in the fields. The Golden One doesn’t look away. She holds his stare. The Golden One appears hard and strong, just like Equality 7-2521. They both share a stoicism, which Equality 7-2521 recognizes in this moment and which will cement his attraction to her.

But Liberty 5-3000 saw it and understood. They raised their hand to their forehead and moved it as we had.

A day after their first meeting, Liberty 5-3000, whom Equality 7-2521 refers to as the Golden One, spots Equality 7-2521 and walks over to the side of the road where he is working. Equality 7-2521 gestures to her, and she mimics his motion, signaling that she recognizes him. Notably, Equality 7-2521 and Liberty 5-3000 do not use language to communicate with each other, suggesting that they recognize an affinity with each other much deeper than words.

You are not one of our brothers, Equality 7-2521, for we do not wish you to be.

After Equality 7-2521 tells the Golden One that he thinks she’s beautiful, she relishes in Equality 7-2521’s boldness, for she has fallen in love with him, too. After the Golden One asks Equality 7-2521’s name, she tells him she doesn’t recognize him as “one of our brothers” and how, ironically, this pleases her.

“Speak these words again,” they whispered.

The Golden One asks Equality 7-2521 to speak the words “dearest one” again. Equality 7-2521 knows that “never have men” said these words to women, for preferring one over another is forbidden in their world. By expressing his feelings, Equality 7-2521 has committed a serious offense, and the Golden One seems to enjoy this fact, for she finally feels what a person feels like to be preferred above others.

The head of the Golden One bowed slowly, and they stood still before us, their arms at their sides, the palms of their hands turned to us, as if their body were delivered in submission to our eyes.

Equality 7-2521 describes the Golden One’s response to him calling her “dearest one.” She appears to be offering her body to him in submission. The Golden One recognizes that Equality 7-2521’s feelings for her are so strong that he is willing to break the law to be with her. Her offer of submission is significant because in her actions, she reveals that she reciprocates his feelings. Readers may infer that the underlying message here is that love requires an amount of submission to the other.

“We shall bring water to you,” they said.

After signaling her submission to Equality 7-2521, the Golden One offers to bring some water to him, since it’s hot and he’s been working outside. The offering of water symbolizes that the Golden One now assumes the role of “caretaker,” but as a Biblical allusion. In the Bible, water often symbolizes life, and devoted supplicants often offered water to Jesus.

“We have followed you,” they said, “and we shall follow you wherever you go.”

The Golden One makes this declaration after she catches up to Equality 7-2521 in the Unchartered Forest. The Golden One feels exasperated at the gravity of her situation, but she appears resolute in her decision to follow Equality 7-2521 under any circumstances. The Golden One’s decision signifies her submission as well as her recognition of Equality 7-2521’s worthiness.

Your eyes are as a flame, but our brothers have neither hope nor fire.

The Golden One tells Equality 7-2521 that she sees a quality in his eyes that she has not seen in other men’s eyes. In this exchange, the Golden One articulates with language what she signified with gestures on their second meeting. The Golden One sees greatness in Equality 7-2521, and for that reason she has become devoted to him.

I love you.

The Golden One reveals her feelings to Equality 7-2521 after he shares with her his discovery of the word I in a book he’s found in the house in the Unchartered Forest. Equality 7-2521 and the Golden One have both struggled to find the words to express their love for each other. The words “we love you” haven’t seemed right as the statement represents a personal, individual feeling.

“It shall be my name,” said the Golden One.

Equality 7-2521 gives the Golden One a new name, Gaea, and she readily accepts. This renaming is the final act between them that completes their break from society and their newfound individualism. The Golden One will go on to give birth to a new race of children, just like the Greek mother goddess Gaea gave birth to the gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon.