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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
1answer
33 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
40 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
114 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?
3
votes
0answers
24 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.”...
2
votes
1answer
112 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: "...
2
votes
1answer
208 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'...
6
votes
3answers
470 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
118 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
679 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
28 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'...
3
votes
1answer
33 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
37 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
146 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
114 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 - ...
5
votes
1answer
267 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
224 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," ...
1
vote
0answers
39 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
30 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
51 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
61 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
50 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 [...
4
votes
1answer
111 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
59 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.....
6
votes
2answers
112 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
193 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
219 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
498 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

Did John Galt remove part of the manual for his engine from the 20th Century Motor Company?

When Hank Reardon and Dagny Taggart searched the abandoned 20th Century Motor Company, they found the prototype of John Galt's motor along with some documents describing it. However, the documents ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Why wasn't Ellis Wyatt researching new applications of oil (or at least diversifying his product line)?

When Dagny crashes in Galt's Gulch, we learn that Ellis Wyatt has been experimenting with new ways of producing oil. However, there's no textual evidence that he was researching new applications of ...
4
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
59 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
49 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." "...
2
votes
1answer
223 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
41 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
68 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] ...
5
votes
1answer
67 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
153 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
280 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
31 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
34 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
121 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

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 ...