The story tells of one man who rebelled, of his struggle and his victory. Assigned to the life work of street sweeper by the rulers who resented his brilliant, questioning, unsubmissive mind - he becomes a scientist, secretly, risking his life for the sake of his quest for knowledge. In the midst of collective stagnation, where men toil at manual labor by the light of candles - he discovers electricity. In the midst of eugenic planning and State-controlled Palaces of Mating - he discovers a personal love and a woman of his own choice. In the midst of brutal morality which proclaims that man is only a sacrificial animal to the needs of others - he discovers that man's greatest moral duty is the pursuit of his own happiness. He endures danger, denunciation, imprisonment, torture - but he breaks the chains of the Collective, he escapes with the woman he loves, to start a new life in an uncharted wilderness, and he reaches the day when he is able to predict that 'my home will become the capital of a world where each man will be free to exist for his own sake'.