The Transgressor of the Unspeakable Word, whom Equality 7-2521 also refers to as the Saint of the Pyre, serves to highlight both the egregious violence of the state as well as the power of self-actualization. When Equality 7-2521 is ten years old, he watches as the Transgressor, whose tongue has been cut out, burns to death in front of a crowd of men purely because he learned the unspeakable word, “I.” The description of this scenario may be brief, but it offers key information that will come into play as Equality 7-2521 begins his own journey toward embracing individualism. With the extreme response that the government has toward the Transgressor’s discovery, they reinforce the notion that they view the very idea of “I” as the biggest threat to their power. Not only do they ensure that the Transgressor can never vocalize the word by removing his tongue, they also guarantee that he cannot think or act as an individual by burning him alive. The multilayered nature of this punishment emphasizes the state’s need to control every aspect of a man’s being, leaving nothing to chance. What surprises Equality 7-2521 more than the display of brutality, however, is the calm attitude with which the Transgressor approaches his death. The sense of calm and happiness that he exudes as he walks toward the pyre reveals the other, arguably more powerful aspect of the word “I.” In addition to posing a significant challenge to the City’s collectivist culture, uncovering a sense of self gives the Transgressor an unmatchable internal strength, even as he faces death. He becomes a martyr, sacrificing himself for individualism, and Equality 7-2521 describes him as a Saint for doing so. Although he cannot make sense of it at the time, Equality 7-2521 is stunned when the Transgressor seems to lock eyes with him from his position among the flames. This moment represents the passing of the “I” from one sacrificial figure to the next, foreshadowing Equality 7-2521’s eventual conflict with the government. The Transgressor’s story demonstrates that the pursuit of self-actualization is timeless and more fulfilling than any collectivist life could possibly be.