Why does the Council of Vocations assign Equality7-2521 the job of street sweeper? Is it due to error, incompetence, or a more sinister motivation? Explain.
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Equality 7-2521 does not enjoy his schooling because he is too intelligent for the subject matter and thus stands out from his classmates. He tries unsuccessfully to act like the slow-witted Union 5-3992 and is often punished for his differences. However, he believes in the Teachers because they have been appointed by the just and powerful Council, and he feels guilty because he wants a specific job after the end of his schooling, although he should accept the wisdom of the Council of Vocations.
He has always preferred science and, to the Teachers' dismay, asks too many questions about the subject. The Council of Scholars states that the world is flat and at the center of the galaxy, and the schools teach how to bleed men to cure them; Equality 7-2521 wants to know more and dares to wish for a work assignment to the Home of the Scholars. The Home of the Scholars is the source of all inventions, such as glass and the candle, the latter of which had only been discovered a hundred years ago, and Equality 7-2521 wants to join their investigations. When the Council of Vocations announces their assigned vocations, Equality 7-2521 hopes to be made a Scholar even more than a Leader, an honorable profession which leads to election to the City, State, and World Councils. Instead, he is given the profession of Street Sweeper, and he decides to atone for his sin of desire by proudly working his new job.
Equality is assigned his job as a street sweeper because the Council does not want individuality or ideas. They want conformity.