Matthew 25:21 (NIV):

His master replied, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!"

From Atlas Shrugged,

"That's not all," said Danagger. "There's something you'd want to hear from all of them. I didn't know it, ether , until I saw him for the first time" - he pointed to Galt - "and he said it to me, and then I knew what it was that I had missed all my life. Miss Taggart, you'd want them to look at you and to say, 'Well done.'"

Was this a deliberate Biblical reference on Rand's part?

  • 8
    Are you asking just about "Well done!"? It's quite a common expression—why would it suggest a Biblical reference? Also, while "Well done!" is the most common translation of those words in Matthew, several others are also used: "Excellent!," "Good job!," "Wonderful!," etc. So unless there's something in the larger context that would suggest a Biblical allusion, this parallel doesn't seem like enough to claim a deliberate reference.
    – verbose
    Apr 21, 2021 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


This particular scene was especially moving and powerful for me. Taken in isolation, it would be easy to say there is no evidence of a biblical reference, given the fact that the term "well done" is too vague and too extensively used throughout American culture and history to be called biblical. BUT it is overwhelmingly clear that John Galt was portrayed as a Christ-figure when he was taken and tortured by the looters. Consider the following:

  • Galt was stripped and secured to a mattress
  • Galt remained silent when the looters questioned him
  • Galt submitted to the torture with courage, dignity, and silence
  • The looters were nearly killing the very man that could save them all.

So, given the metaphor, I think it's very likely that the "well done" delivered to Dagny in the valley is meant to symbolize the "well done" that God gives to the righteous upon entering heaven, as described in Christian scripture. Matt. 25:21

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