Atlas Shrugged: An Analysis Of Central Characters

Atlas Shrugged: An Analysis Of Central Characters


This paper looks into two central characters in Ayn Rand’s fiction unique Atlas Shrugged, Hank Rearden and Francisco D’Anconia. As this paper explains, both characters are fantastic, driven and at one time were leaders in the very same market– metal. But, as the paper cites, the resemblances end there.

Their views, frame of mind and inspiration are as vastly various as east and west. While Hank Rearden embodies the capitalist and his motivation to produce, Francisco D’Anconio represents the ideals from the opposite of the fence– socialism through the strike. It is not unexpected therefore that both characters approach life differently and are motivated for different reasons.

Hank Rearden

Hank Rearden is among the industrialists in the unique “Atlas Shrugged”. He embodies success, is focused, single-minded and driven. He derives joy from the fruits of his own labor to the utter exemption of other areas in his life (that consequently impact negatively on his organisation).

Unlike numerous others who plod on with their jobs half-heartedly, Rearden’s commitment to his company, just out of pure happiness, is remarkable. He is self-actualized, self-motivated, confident to innovate, and withdrawn in what he thinks are shallow matters such as politics. Yet, for all of Rearden’s luster, he fails to see how his own household “lives” off him, similar to parasites, by making him feel guilty about his own successes.

Rearden’s family represents the basic sentiments and mindset of many poor and weak individuals then and now– they exploit their “pitiful” situation to require the much-reviled abundant manufacturers, and the government to help them (sometimes on dole-out) merely due to the fact that they believe that their scenario entitles them to such support.

It is not unexpected for that reason for the author Ayn Rand to identify Rearden’s family as “looters”. Sadly, so many looters are still strolling all over, declining to work and are simply content living off government’s dwindling resources.

No wonder our economy is in such a pitiful state. Rearden offers his spouse, Lillian, a metal bracelet (which represents the extremely fruits of his own hands’ labor) and after that laments how the bracelet represents Rearden’s repression when it is Rearden who is enslaved to his household.

At first, Rearden erroneously thought that the mind and body are separate and regarded sexual desires as base and low while anything associated to mind is completely unique and mutually unique of the real world. However, in the course of the unique, Rearden came to accept that both relate. By doing this, Rearden came to embrace his own worth.

Francisco d’Anconia

What could have inspired the rich, accomplished and exceptionally intelligent Francisco D’Antonio to ruin his own business d’Anconia Copper and lose huge investments at the same time? Through Dagny, among the book’s main characters, we discover that D’Anconio when held excellent promise as a future successor to the d’ Anconia Copper household organisation, yet in the course of the story, he chose to waste his time and energy away on useless and worldly pursuits, like women.

Francisco embodies the concepts and ideals of socialism, having actually been one of the leaders to hire similarly fantastic minds to go on strike. He personifies hatred of an apparently capitalist and humane society’s characteristics and fickleness– for instance, he hires staff members not on the basis of proficiency however just since they required the work and, rather of working to attain a revenue, he took losses rather. And since society reviles the profit-oriented domineering industrialists, he just let his assistants manage the venture.

We discover later on that his promiscuity obviously is a cover-up for his genuine activities– as an employer for the strike. Whereas Rearden was encouraged by the pure pleasure of efficient labor, D’Anconio was single-minded in his commitment to his own cause– his socialist perfects– through the strike, much to the hinderance of individuals who relied on his abilities and who entrusted their fortunes for him to manage.

It is this extreme commitment– to the exemption of everything else– that drives him away from Dagny, the only female he ever enjoyed, his buddies, his household, even his reputation and the exact same society whose foibles he discovers derisive.

Yet, regardless of their distinctions, the two characters have admiration and high respect for one another and handle to forge a complex and significant relationship that allowed them to check out their own weak points as individuals. It is D’Anconio who awakens Rearden about the looters in his life, and his requirement to fight them. Franciso even conserves Rearden from a mill riot.

For all their disparate efforts to pursue their own interests and ideals, both Rearden and D’Anconio had one common opponent– the looters. Rearden’s looters are represented by his family– the weak and unproductive members of the society who prefer to leech off of his efforts and strength. D’Anconio’s looters are the society’s capitalists, and all the evils related to it.

Works Mentioned

“Atlas Shrugged”. Spark Notes. 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009 from

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar