Questions tagged [ayn-rand]

Questions about the works of the Russian-American philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982) or her life as a writer. If this question is about one of her books, the book in question should also be tagged.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4 votes
1 answer
114 views

Why do Ayn Rand's novels present specific, real things in a context designed to make them appear frivolous or ridiculous?

I will give only two examples. If anybody considers it necessary to see more than two examples, then it should be possible to find more examples. The first example is in Atlas Shrugged, chapter 3 &...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
71 views

Is this Atlas Shrugged quote a deliberate Biblical reference?

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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
16 views

Was Austen Heller's name inspired by Henry W. Austin?

It's no secret that Howard Roark was loosely inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. Interestingly enough, on a recent tour of Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Oak Park, IL, I encountered a park named after Henry ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
56 views

Why is Clem Weatherby described as a "technical expert on railroads" in Atlas Shrugged?

At one point in Atlas Shrugged, Dagny Taggart is in a meeting with various government officials. At one point during the meeting, the book remarks that [Dagny Taggart] noticed that Clem Weatherby, ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
639 views

What attracted Howard Roark to Dominique in The Fountainhead?

I can understand why Dominique was ultimately attracted to him. He really was the "Superman" she wanted, although it took her almost the whole novel to realize it. But Dominique disdained Roark for ...
user avatar
  • 421
1 vote
1 answer
207 views

Did Howard Roark contradict Henry Rearden on the purpose of work?

And Rearden said the following at his trial for the illegal sale of metal: “You pose as a champion of freedom, but it’s only the freedom to make money that you’re after.” “Yes, of course. All I want ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
115 views

Why was Dagny Taggart so reluctant to call Dr. Robert Stadler about John Galt's motor?

After Dagny Taggart found John Galt's motor, she tried to find a scientist who could reconstruct it. None of the people she interviewed worked out. She had tried to find a scientist able to attempt ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
46 views

Is this quote by Francisco d'Anconia a veiled reference to the Strike?

Early on in the book, Francisco d'Antonia comments, “In his lifetime, every one of my ancestors raised the production of d’Anconia Copper by about ten per cent. I intend to raise it by one hundred.”...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
346 views

Was Francisco d'Anconia's deliberate destruction of his competitors counterproductive to the purpose of the Strike?

Related: Why was Francisco d'Anconia amused by Ellis Wyatt's imminent demise? When describing what a playboy Francisco d'Anconia had supposedly become (including throwing wild and ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
52 views

How could Francisco d’Anconia work for Reardon without breaking his oath?

When Hank Reardon was finally ready to join the Strike, he found that Francisco had already been working for him as a furnace superintendent - and, characteristically, as a very good one. Clearly, ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
46 views

Why did the Looters meet with Hank Reardon in the same suite that Francisco D'Anconia used to lease?

When Hank Reardon met with the Looters to discuss the Steel Unification Plan, he noted with some consternation that they were meeting in the same suite at the Wayne-Falkland Hotel that Francisco d'...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
447 views

Why did Ellsworth Toohey advise people against doing what they really wanted when he was a career advisor?

Prior to his job on The Banner, Ellsworth Toohey spent awhile as a career advisor at a college. One of his distinctive traits as a career advisor was that he usually advised people against doing what ...
user avatar
8 votes
0 answers
344 views

What is Ayn Rand's view of marriage and children?

It's difficult not to notice that the vast majority of heroes in Atlas Shrugged are unmarried and have no kids. Dagny Taggart - unmarried, no kids John Galt - unmarried, no kids Francisco - ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
496 views

Why did John Galt explain how to fix the torture device?

Consider the following segment from Atlas Shrugged: "But I don't know what's wrong with it." The man sighed, bewildered. "I don't know what to do." "It's the vibrator that's out of order," ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
55 views

How did Guy Francon feel about the decline of his (former) firm after his retirement?

After he developed a number of highly successful buildings, Guy Francon was established enough in his reputation that he no longer had to do much actual design work on his own. Peter Keating privately ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
42 views

Where did the Deserters go?

After Directive 10-289 went into effect, there were a large number of people who simply couldn't stand living under the circumstances created by the directive anymore and simply vanished. Most of them ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
452 views

What were John Galt's criteria for being invited to Galt's Gulch?

Those who are in Galt's Gulch are there by invitation only. Dagny crashed the gate, but was clearly still on the future invite list. However, I find it interesting who got invited to Galt's Gulch and ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
98 views

Why did Henry Cameron tell Roark that it was all worth it?

At one point, Henry Cameron tried to fire Howard Roark and get him to quit architecture because he knew what kind of a struggle Howard would have later. However, towards the end of his life he told ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
337 views

Why did Henry Cameron say that Howard would have to fight Gail Wynand?

Towards the end of his life, Henry Cameron told Howard Roark that he didn't hate anyone anymore, just Gail Wynand because he represented "the triumph of overbearing vulgarity." He told Howard that he'...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
76 views

How expensive was electricity during The Fountainhead?

When Henry Cameron and Howard Roark were struggling to keep the office open, they had a number of failed bids. They were paid a modest sum for the proposals themselves, but apparently the fee didn't ...
user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Was Atlas Shrugged set in the future or the present?

Francisco d'Anconia at one point claims that "There are seven million people in the city of New York, at present." According to Wikipedia, the 1930 population was 6.9 million, the 1940 population was ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
127 views

Why did Tinky Holloway seem to contradict the principle behind Directive 10-289?

During a meeting with some governmental officials that precipitated him joining the Strike, Hank Rearden demanded to know why they thought that their policies would work: "Who will improve [...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
195 views

Why did Ellsworth Toohey ignore Peter Keating's confession?

When Elsworth Toohey and Peter Keating were arguing about Cortland and Toohey was trying to force Keating to admit that Howard Roark had designed the whole thing, they had the following exchange: "...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
219 views

What are we supposed to learn about the reality in "Atlas Shrugged" from "The Vulture is Molting"?

In Chapter 4 of Atlas Shrugged, Dagny is walking: She walked on. She stopped at the window of a bookstore. The window displayed a pyramid of slabs in brownish-purple jackets, inscribed: The ...
user avatar
  • 19.8k
2 votes
2 answers
467 views

Does Gail Wynand imply that he's going to kill himself at the end of The Fountainhead?

When he met with Roark about the Wynand Building, Gail Wynand repeatedly spoke of his death as if it were imminent, and his life as if it were essentially over at that point. For example: I told ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
195 views

Was John Galt foolish in wanting to return to the world so quickly?

John Galt was a genius. He invented "the motor" and executed the greatest strike in world history. And it's clear that he understood the danger he was always in (out in the world) and how the looters ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
89 views

Why wouldn't Guy Francon testify against Howard Roark?

In her testimony at the lawsuit over the Stoddard Temple, Dominique Francon mentioned that her father had refused to testify against Roark and that he thought that they "weren't behaving like ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
75 views

Why didn't Jim Taggart realize his real motive for saying this?

In the discussion of Directive 10-289, Jim Taggart said the following: Jim Taggart spoke first. His voice was low, but it had the trembling intensity of an involuntary scream: "Well, why not? Why ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
213 views

How much of the Looters' philosophy did Fred Kinnan actually accept?

Related: What was Fred Kinnan gaining from his racket? In their discussion of Directive 10-289, Fred Kinnan said the following: "Well, if you want to talk practice," said Fred Kinnan, "then let me ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
447 views

Why were Ellsworth Toohey and Peter Keating so afraid of the identity of Ellsworth Toohey's assailant?

Shortly after he lost a commission on the Cosmo-Slotnick Building, sculpture Steven Mallory took a shot at Ellsworth Toohey as he was getting out of his car to deliver a radio address (which missed by ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
62 views

What was Fred Kinnan gaining from his racket?

In the discussion of Directive 10-289, Fred Kinnan said the following: His smile disappeared, and with a sudden, bitter look of weariness he added, "...I'm not going to say that I'm working for the ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
219 views

Was Ellsworth Toohey's public speaking style modeled after Harold Laski?

The first time that Peater Keating hears Ellsworth Toohey speak, it's described as follows: It was not a voice, it was a miracle. It unrolled as a velvet banner. It spoke English words, but the ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
269 views

Is Ellsworth Toohey just giving the same speech over and over again?

In a labor meeting, Ellsworth Toohey said the following: "... and so, my friends," the voice was saying, "the lesson to be learned from our tragic struggle is the lesson of unity. We shall unite or ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
124 views

Why did Rand use opaque references to government bodies and offices in Atlas Shrugged?

I have read Atlas Shrugged many times and have often wondered why Ayn Rand makes opaque and ambiguous references to the US Congress and the President of the United Status. For example, she refers to ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
72 views

Why was Francisco d'Anconia amused by Ellis Wyatt's imminent demise?

At one point, Dagny Taggart confronts Francisco d'Anconia about what she believed to be his corruption. As part of that, they had the following exchange: "Do you... know Ellis Wyatt?" "Sure." "...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
188 views

Why were Howard Roark and John Galt both from Ohio?

Why were John Galt and Howard Roark both from Ohio? Was Ayn Rand making a deliberate parallel here, and why Ohio in particular?
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
366 views

Why did people feel like Howard Roark didn't see them?

Shortly after he was expelled from the Stanton Institute of Technology, Hoard Roark has the following encounter with Mrs. Keating: He stood looking at her. She knew that he did not see her. No, she ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
276 views

Who was Francisco d'Anconia thinking about when he asked John Galt to send word about Dagny?

After Dagny Taggart crash-landed in the Valley, most people thought she was dead. Hank Rearden, Francisco d'Anconia, and others spent a lot of time frantically looking for the wreckage of her plane. ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
106 views

Is Jim Taggart's claim that Dagny "never felt anything" parallel to Philip Rearden's claim that Hank never suffered?

From the scene early on in Atlas Shrugged where Dagny Taggart told her brother Jim that she had canceled his order with Associated Steel in favor of purchasing Rearden Metal track instead: [Dagny] ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
493 views

Isn't Ayn Rand a bit irrational in her criticism of altrusim in The Fountainhead?

In the speech of Howard Roark, or at most places in the book, altruists are shown to be in negative light/evil. But this criticism seems to constructed by deliberately painting such characters as evil....
user avatar
  • 159
4 votes
1 answer
139 views

Is Equality 7-2521 a model for John Galt?

Is Equality 7-2521/Prometheus (from Anthem) a model for John Galt? A few major similarities: Significantly, Equality calls himself Prometheus once he realizes that he has a right to exist as an ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
64 views

What philosophy question did John Galt ask?

Hugh Akston stated that, when he first met John Galt, John asked a question on Plato's metaphysics that he would've been proud to get from someone who had studied philosophy for six years, a question ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
723 views

What is the historical basis for Roark's claim about the Parthenon?

From Chapter 1, p. 23 of The Fountainhead: "Why do you want me to think that this is great architecture?" He pointed to the picture of the Parthenon. "That," said the Dean, "is the Parthenon!" "...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
61 views

Did Mr. Weatherby ever try to "cash in" on his access to Dagny?

When Mr. Weatherby's voice came on the wire, it sounded cautious: "Yes, Miss Taggart? Of what service can I be to you?" "You can tell your boss that if he doesn't want me to quit again, as he knows ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
192 views

Why did Hank Rearden call the formula for his metal his "personal secret," given that several other people in the book knew about it?

At the press conference that Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden gave announcing the opening of the John Galt/Rio Norte Line, Rearden stated that the formula was secret: "Inasmuch as the formula of ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
89 views

What knowledge was Jim Taggart trying to evade when he hit his wife?

[Cheryl Taggart] moved her hands in groping gestures, half-waving it away, half-trying to grasp it; when she answered, her words did not quite name it, but they were the only words she can find: "You.....
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
45 views

Why did Jim Taggart interrupt himself?

"I can't understand it..." said [Jim] Taggart miserably. "The top experts of the National Council of Metal Industries..." "Who's the president of the National Council of Metal Industries, Jim? Orren ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
178 views

Why did Dr. Pritchett criticize Francisco d'Anconia's (supposed) lifestyle given his own philosophy?

"Just what did Hugh Akston teach?" asked the earnest matron. Francisco answered, "He taught that everything is something." "Your loyalty to your teacher is laudable, Senor d'Anconia," said Dr. ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
89 views

Why did the Looters make so many decisions at parties?

[Dagny Taggart] did not ask why those men chose to make all their crucial decisions at parties of this kind; she knew that they did. She knew that behind the clattering, lumbering pretense of their ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
135 views

Was Mr. Thompson actually worried that John Galt might be dead?

"But, Miss Taggart -" [Mr. Thompson said.] "I didn't come here to argue." She was at the door when he sighed and said, "I hope he's still alive." She stopped. "I hope they haven't done anything ...
user avatar