In the society Equality 7-2521 lives in, everyone is equal. No one is allowed to talk to anyone else in a way that seems that they are unequal from everyone else. They are also not allowed to talk to anyone else that is not in their working group, Equality 7-2521 is a street sweeper so they are not allowed to talk to any other worker, nor are men allowed to notice women, and women allowed noticing men. “We wish to write this name.
We wish to speak it, but we dare not speak it above a whisper. For men are forbidden to take notice of women, and women are forbidden to take notice of men.”
“There is some word, one single word which is not in the language of men, but which had been. And this is the Unspeakable Word, which no men may speak nor hear. But sometimes, and it is rare, sometimes, somewhere, one among men find that word.
They find it upon scraps of old manuscripts or cut into the fragments ancient stones”. One might think that the unspeakable word is be “I”. Every person in this society is thought to be equal to everyone else. People in that society referred to themselves as “We, Our, Us”, not as “I, My, Me”. They refer to others as “They, Them”, instead of “You, Him/Her”. Seeing how they refer to one another, it is not thought to anybody to call themselves “I”. They are not taught that word in schools, because they are taught to be equal.
“But when they speak it they are put to death. There is no crime punished by death in this world, save this one crime of speaking the Unspeakable Word”. The unspeakable word is punishable by death. The reason for this, one might think, is because they are not allowed to think of themselves as unequal to anyone else in the society. The rulers of this society do not want people to learn the word “I” or for them to think of themselves as more significant or less significant that anyone else.
If the person who learned and spoke the unspeakable word was not put to death, then they would tell others and it would spread throughout the community and the people would repent against the society and would change everything. They would change how the children learned and the way everything is set up, including how the jobs are set up and how women and men are not allowed to speak to each other. The world would be more like it is today, with free will.
Everyone is equal and is thought of as equal to everyone else. If people found out the unspeakable word, everything would be changed and people would have more free will and have their own rights. Equality 7-2521 is only one person out of everyone that lives in the society, the only difference is that Equality 7-2521 listened to his thoughts and feelings instead of ignoring them and obeying the laws of the community.