"Equality" is a sequel to Looking Backward and it expands on the theories first explored in it. The story takes up immediately after the events of Looking Backward with the main characters Julian West, Doctor Leete, and his daughter Edith. Julian continues to learn more about the world of the year 2000. His citizenship in the new America is recognized, and he goes to the bank to obtain his own account, or "credit card," from which he can draw his equal share of the national product. He learns that women are free to compete in many of the same trades as men. Handwriting has been virtually replaced by phonograph records, and jewelry is no longer used, since jewels are now worthless. Julian is amazed by a television-like device, called the electroscope. World communication is simplified, since everyone now speaks a universal language in addition to their native tongue. Not only are there motor cars, but also private air cars. Everyone is now vegetarian, and the thought of eating meat is looked upon with revulsion.
"Looking Backward: 2000–1887: Julian West, a young American, towards the end of the 19th century falls into a deep, hypnosis-induced sleep and wakes up 113 years later. He finds himself in the same location (Boston, Massachusetts), but in a totally changed world: It is the year 2000, and while he was sleeping, the United States has been transformed into a socialist utopia. The young man readily finds a guide, Doctor Leete, who shows him around and explains all the advances of this new age, including drastically reduced working hours for people performing menial jobs and almost instantaneous, Internet-like delivery of goods. The two start working on improving the future with the experiences from the past and the presence.