Questions tagged [ayn-rand]

For questions about the Russian-American philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand or any of her literary works. If this question is about one of her books, the book in question should also be tagged.

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Did the Strikers assume that the Strike would change other countries as well?

Virtually all of the Strikers were American - it included, for example, Judge Narragansett (Illinois), Midas Mulligan (Chicago, IL), John Galt (Ohio), Ted Nielsen (Colorado), Roger Marsh (Colorado), ...
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Why didn't Eddie Willers ever connect some of the disappearances to his conversations with the Mystery Worker?

Eddie Willers periodically ate dinner in the Taggart cafeteria with the Mystery Worker (who is, of course, later identified as John Galt). They discuss a lot of different things, including the state ...
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What kind of engineer was Owen Kellogg?

Towards the beginning of Atlas Shrugged, Owen Kellogg was described as follows: [Dagney Taggart] knew that the superintendent of the Ohio Division was no good and that he was a friend of James ...
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Why did Eddie refer to himself as a “feudal serf”?

In the beginning of the book, when Eddie Willars confronted Jim Taggart about the poor condition of the Rio Norte Line, they had the following exchange: "Jim, what are you saying? Does it matter ...
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Why did Francisco D'Anconia show Dagney Taggart the Smelter plans?

When she was in the Valley, Francisco D'Anconia showed Dagney details of his plans for a Smelter and walked her through them in detail. However, John Galt had said that Dagney wouldn't be permitted ...
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Why did Owen Kellogg have a practical need for physics but Dagney didn't?

When Dagney Taggart spent time in the Valley, she asked to be allowed to attend John Galt's lectures on physics. He refused on the grounds that he didn't want to give her information or ideas that ...
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Why did Jim Taggart refer to Orren Boyle as a “fat slob” behind his back?

Jim Taggart periodically refers to the Orren Boyle as a "fat slob." Granted, Orren Boyle was notoriously inept, doesn't appear to actually produce all that much steel (and what little he produces ...
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Why and how is Mr. Thompson based on Harry S. Truman?

Wikipedia's list of characters in Atlas Shrugged describes Mr. Thompson as follows: Mr. Thompson is the "Head of the State" for the United States. He is not particularly intelligent and has a very ...
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Why did all of the Taggart Transcontinental engineers volunteer to drive the first train on the John Galt Line?

Early on in the book, the engineer running the Comet stopped for hours at a broken signal and spent hours waiting for someone to tell him what to do. However, later we see that almost every engineer ...
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Why did Robert Stadler claim that John Galt was “probably a second assistant bookkeeper somewhere”?

When Dagney Taggert went to see Dr. Robert Stadler at the State Science Institute, in explanation for his mistrust of humans and human reason, he told the story of his three students: "These three ...
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Did Ayn Rand interview Robert Oppenheimer, and if so, how did she use the material?

This is a follow-up question to this question. I thought that it was better to post this as a second, related question though to avoid the original question from being too broad. Wikipedia describes ...
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In what way was Dr. Robert Stadler based on Robert Oppenheimer?

Wikipedia describes Dr. Robert Stadler from Atlas Shrugged as follows: A former professor at Patrick Henry University, and along with colleague Hugh Akston, mentor to Francisco d'Anconia, John Galt ...
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Why did Lillian Reardon appear to admire the Steel Mills?

Shortly after their wedding anniversary celebration (p. 152 in my edition), Hank Reardon recalls Lillian coming down from New York on her own initiative to see his Mills: [Hank] remembered the day ...
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What should we make of the newspaper vendor in Atlas Shrugged?

Related: How should we view Dan Conway? First, a quote from the opening scene of the book: "Who is John Galt?" The light was ebbing, and Eddie Willers could not distinguish the bum's face. The ...
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202 views

How much did Eddie Willers understand about his situation by the end of Atlas Shrugged?

From the opening lines of Atlas Shrugged at the beginning of chapter 1: "Who is John Galt?" The light was ebbing, and Eddie Willers could not distinguish the bum's face. The bum had said it ...
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264 views

How should we view Dan Conway?

Dan Conway, head of the Phoenix-Durango in Atlas Shrugged, was evidently a superb executive. He also receives (largely) positive treatment in the novel. However, the book also says that he initially ...
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146 views

What is the significance of the fact that the covered wagons were traveling East at the end of Atlas Shrugged?

At the very end of Atlas Shrugged, a group of covered wagons picks up people who were stranded by the Comet's demise. Is it significant that they're heading east (e.g. that they were somehow "undoing" ...
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472 views

Did Rand think that people in the real world were that stupid?

Atlas Shrugged is a novel that was written for the purpose of expressing Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism. Generally speaking, barring those setbacks placed in their way by non-Objectivists, the ...
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611 views

The real-life inspiration for the characters of Atlas Shrugged?

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is a good story paired with a (sometimes belabored) expression of the author's philosophy. I was wondering if there are any real-life connections to the characters of her ...