In Greek mythology, Prometheus and Gaea were gods whom the people of the time worshiped. These two gods were important because they both associated with beginnings. Prometheus was the god of wisdom and could tell the future he also was said to have helped create man. Gaea is the Earth goddess who was the mother of all creation. When Equality 7-2521 and The Liberty 5-3000 renamed themselves it was a very symbolic part of the book because it signifies their own beginnings. Both the names Prometheus and Gaea were wise choices by the two because of their new start to a race of their own.
Prometheus was a Titan, one of the old gods who had been defeated by the new gods. As he was only a minor Titan, incapable of much, he was not treated as harshly as the other defeated gods were. However, later on, when he saw the plight of the men upon the earth, he took the gods’ sacred fire and brought it down from the mountaintop to the men. The condition of the men improved when they got the fire, but the gods, punished Prometheus for discovering something so important.
Prometheus was also the titan in charge of creating and protecting man-kind. This is significant to Equality because when he and Liberty go to run away together, they are starting their own new life and race. It is easy to see the similarities between the characters: both Prometheus and Equality brought a kind of fire down from the heavens to his fellow men, Equality in the form of electricity and the electric lightbulb. Though what they did was good, they were both punished for this accomplishment. These similarities ultimately led Ayn Rand to name Equality, Prometheus.
The symbolism of Gaea to Liberty is not as specific. Gaea is the goddess of Earth and she was to create the rest of the titans. She is said to have emerged with the beginning of all creation. Along with air, sea and sky. She was the great mother of all: the gods were descended from her union with different elements...