Many days pass before Equality 7-2521 speaks again to the Golden One. He tells her that, in his private thoughts, he does not think of her as Liberty 5-3000. She replies that she does not think of him as Equality 7-2521 and has also given him a personal name: The Unconquered. When he reminds her that such thoughts are forbidden, she answers that he thinks them and that he wishes her to do the same. “Yes,” he whispered. “Our dearest one, do not obey us.” She steps back, stunned at his words, her eyes wide. “Speak these words again,” she says. “Our dearest one.” Never, he thinks, have men said this to women.
Equality 7-2521 and the Golden One discover the meaning of love in a society utterly devoid of it. Love, the author shows, is a response to personal values. Equality 7-2521, a scientist, is a thinker, a man who values his own independent judgment over the unthinking conformity of the crowd. He values this quality in others, such as his friend, Independence 4-8818, who draws, even though it is forbidden for all except those at the Home of the Artists. Similarly, he values the proud posture and haughty demeanor of the Golden One, because these outer characteristics indicate a spirit that refuses to obey. Her independence of spirit, even more than her physical beauty, attracts Equality 7-2521. Indeed, part of the beauty that shines in her face and from her eyes is the outward reflection of the freespiritedness that forms the essence of her character. Similarly, because her spirit is unbowed, she prizes this attribute in Equality 7-2521 and names him The Unconquered.
Equality 7-2521 values scientific research and the independent mind that conducts the quest for timeless truth. These are the values most important to him. And he loves both Liberty 5-3000 and Independence 4-8818 because they embody such independence in their characters. Only men and women who hold personal values are capable of loving. The herd of conformists, who have relinquished their minds to the state, are incapable of experiencing this profoundly personal emotion. Love involves an individual casting an inner verdict of “yes” on another man or woman. To pass such a judgment requires a strong sense of self and of what one considers personally important. The sad majority of persons in Equality 7-2521’s society have had all sense of self drained from them by the state. Consequently, they exist in a loveless condition.
The Unconquered the secret name that the Golden One has given to Equality 7-2521 in the privacy of her own mind. She loves him because his straightness of spine and pride of bearing show that his soul has not been conquered by the state. His independence of spirit stands out in his demeanor, and the Golden One recognizes it.