Atlas Shrugged Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Q: What is objectivism? How is it provided in Atlas Shrugged!.

    ?.!? A: Objectivism, a philosophy created by Ayn Rand, is worried primarily with the freedom of the person. Many of the conventional restrictions of community and service to others are denigrated in this viewpoint, and the imaginative and independent spirit of individuals is prized. The character of John Galt is the embodiment of the perfect objectivist male in Atlas Shrugged.

  2. 2

    Q: Why does Hank Rearden hate himself after he first starts his relationship with Dagny?

    A: Hank has some standard worths about sex, and maybe even some old ideas about women. When he initially sleeps with Dagny he is wed to someone else and, being an honorable man who prides himself not breaking his word, he is ashamed of breaking his oath to his better half Lillian. He likewise has constantly thought that ladies must be “pure” and not take pleasure in sex. The truth that Dagny does makes him hate himself for wanting to be with her. Hank is really conflicted about his desires, and this triggers him the “price of his self-esteem” (255 ).

  3. 3

    Q: At what point in the novel is it completely clear that America is becoming another “People’s State”?

    A: In Part II Chapter VI, when Wesley Mouch, Jim Taggart, the Head of State, and their cronies are talking about the passing of Instruction 10-289, which would successfully enslave the population in their jobs, it becomes clear that America has become an authoritarian communist state in all but name. All organisations must stay in operation or face prosecution (including desertion of head executives), all patents need to be “signed willingly” (538) over to the state, no brand-new gadgets shall be produced or invented, production levels need to be exactly what they produced throughout that year, everyone needs to spend the same amount every year, all earnings need to be frozen, and all decisions concerning business must be made by the Marriage Board.

  4. 4

    Q: Think of Ragnar Danneskjold came to you like he did to Hank Rearden. Hank is surprised due to the fact that Ragnar is a pirate, but Hank does not provide Ragnar away when the police are searching for him. How would you react?

    A: Hank has actually needed to provide over the rights to Rearden Metal, and he is not surprisingly nearing despair. Rearden reacts in the beginning like any law-abiding man would to a pirate. But when he sees that Ragnar is threatened by the cops, and he has had an opportunity to listen to Ragnar’s reasons for his actions, he can not give him up. Expand on how you would react, and why Rearden does what he does. Do you agree or disagree with Ragnar’s actions? What about Hank’s?

  5. 5

    Q: What is Dagny’s experience in Galt’s Gulch? How realistic is it?

    A: Dagny’s unintentional check out to Galt’s Gulch presents her to a self-contained, utopian society created by John Galt and his buddies. The “ray guard” that is developed to hide the valley from aircrafts flying above it is a science-fiction touch, for absolutely nothing like it existed in the 1950s when the book was written, or today. The truth that all individuals in the valley would voluntarily leave their own society and remove themselves to a remote life and stop contact with the outside world seems wonderful, but the society they left is also an extreme (and, possibly, impractical) one.

  6. 6

    Q: What is the development of Cherryl Brooks’ opinion of James Taggart?

    A: Jim Taggart’s partner, Cherryl Brooks, goes from bewilderment at Jim Taggart’s attention to her to a type of misdirected hero-worship when they start to have a relationship. By the time they are married Cherryl has a totally different idea of what Jim is than what is reality. Right after they are wed, nevertheless, Cherryl begins to comprehend that Jim is not the hero of market that he declares to be, and her disillusionment continues as the unique advances. She ends up having extremely little but contempt for her other half.

  7. 7

    Q: What sort of change does the Wet Nurse go through? What does it indicate to Hank Rearden?

    A: The young man who is appointed by the goverment to supervise Hank’s production levels at the Rearden Steel plant goes through a character change from thinking totally in the collectivist concepts of the government to a desire to work for his cash. In Part III Chapter V the boy asks to be a cinder sweeper or other menial task, just to get out of the “Deputy-Director-of-Distribution racket” (934 ). After numerous years of the policies of the looter federal government, even the federal government’s authorities are disappointed with the brand-new viewpoint and long to return the more capitalist principles represented by Hank’s business. Hank is not shocked that the young man has actually had a change of heart, however he shows his issue by advising him that there is no chance to lawfully change his task under the present system.

  8. 8

    Q: What does Rand indicate by the title of Part I, Chapter 9 “The Sacred and the Profane”?

    A: Rand discovered little in 1950s sexual morality to like; she thought that the limitations on ladies and the double standard, in specific, to be unjust and a type of incorrect modesty. However Rand is not an unrelieved sensualist. In all of the sexual relationships in this unique physical desire is an expression of a spiritual one. She sees no detach between the desires of the mind and the desires of the body, and draws a really clear line in between the sort of love Dagny and John Galt have for each other, and the meaningless pleasure looking for of Jim or his cronies. The combination of the sacred and the profane, in this chapter specifically in regard to Hank and Dagny’s relationship, is indicated to dissolve the contradiction of genuine physical desire being something to be ashamed of, as Hank is of his desire for Dagny. Dagny, nevertheless, represents Rand’s ideal, of the incorporated character which sees all her genuine desires as moral and ideal.

  9. 9

    Q: Francisco says “Do you wish to understand whether that day is coming? View cash. Cash is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by approval, but by compulsion– when you see that in order to produce, you need to acquire permision from guys who deal, not in items, however in favors– when you see that guys get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws will not secure you against them, however protect them against you … you might know your society is doomed.” (413) What does he indicate by this?

    A: Francisco is saying that the supreme unethical act of a federal government is the browbeating of sell any type. Especially the military or forcible control of service, or the risk thereof, is damaging to society in such a method that it suggests that the whole culture is tipping towards doom. Francisco thinks that there is no way that justice and reasonable dealing can survive in such a society.

  10. 10

    Q: Who is the mystical railway worker to whom Eddie Willers talks a lot in the lunchroom of the Taggart Terminal? Why is this character essential?

    A: This man is none aside from John Galt who has, for the last twelve years, been operating at a really menial task in the Terminal and spending a month each year in Galt’s Gulch. The value of these meetings with Eddie are to develop that John Galt has actually been observing Dagny from afar for several years, following her successes and her heroic battle against the looter government. He is the primary character in the novel in that he is the original motivator behind the damage of the American economy, quickening the fall of the looter federal government, helped by his friends Francisco d’Anconia and Ragnar Danneskjold. In the end, John Galt is the one who advises the American people on how to rebuild a simply and thriving society.

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