Is Equality 7-2521/Prometheus (from Anthem) a model for John Galt?

A few major similarities:

  • Significantly, Equality calls himself Prometheus once he realizes that he has a right to exist as an individual. Francisco d'Anconia also compares John Galt to Prometheus.
  • Both were inventors
  • Perhaps most significantly is this quote from Anthem:

    I have learned that my power of the sky was known to men long ago; they called it Electricity. It was the power that moved their greatest inventions. It lit this house with light which came from globes of glass on the walls. I have found the engine which produced this light. I shall learn how to repair it and how to make it work again. I shall learn how to use the wires which carry this power...

John Galt's main invention in Atlas Shrugged is his motor.

  • Both called people out of the Looter society. The end of Anthem is quite explicit about Promethius's desire to have his house be a center of "the Resistance," in effect. Similarly, Galt's Gulch is the center of the Strike.
  • Both were driven in part by their love of the book's primary female character (Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged and the Golden One/Gaia in Anthem).
  • Equality 7-2521/Prometheus stated that "I owe nothing to my brothers, nor do I gather debts from them. I ask none to live for me, nor do I live for any others. I covet no man's soul, nor is my soul theirs to covet." Compare that to the Oath that all of the Strikers take in Atlas Shrugged: "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

The major difference, of course, is that, unlike Equality 7-2521, John Galt never accepted the looters' creed.

1 Answer 1


Anthem was published in 1938 and Atlas Shrugged in 1957 -- 19 year later. It seems that Equality 7-2521 is an early prototype for John Galt, much like the partially-completed remnant of the motor found in the ruins of the Twentieth Century Motor Company was an early prototype for Galt's working motor.

The similarities you point out are striking, and it's clear that the embryo for John Galt was growing in Anthem.

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