Atlas Shrugged Summary and Analysis of Part I, Chapters V and VI


In Chapter V “The Climax of the d’Anconias,” the long history in between the copper baron Francisco d’Anconia and Dagny Taggart is recounted. Dagny has checked out in the newspaper that the San Sebastian mines in Mexico, Francisco’s substantial job and a significant source of possible earnings for (and big financial expense by) Taggart Transcontinental has actually been taken control of and nationalized by the People’s State of Mexico. This is a catastrophe for Francisco, who has lost a lot of money, and for the train. Dagny has actually managed to decrease the loss somewhat by running rattletrap trains on the San Sebastian line, but the loss to the railway is still substantial. Dagny requires to see Francisco, and Eddie informs Dagny that Francisco has responded that she can see him “whenever you wish” (90 ). Dagny walks to the Wayne-Falkland Hotel, through the big-city twilight. At this time Dagny reflects on her history with Francisco.

Francisco’s family is friends with the Taggart household, and Francisco hangs out with Jim and Dagny every year. Francisco and Dagny are very friends. They both are enthusiastic and liked the family businesses that they were born to acquire, and Francisco considered them all the “crown beneficiaries” (90) of the new upper class of money. Eddie, who is a good friend of the household and lives nearby, Dagny, and Francisco were all of like minds; Jim was looked down on by Francisco as weak and unprincipled.

Francisco is the last of a long line of d’Anconias, who had actually been copper barons in South America for numerous centuries. As a young boy he exhibits all the qualities that one might desire; he is not only abundant and successor to a great business, however handsome and intelligent as well. He, Dagny, and Eddie contend each summer to go beyond each other in feats of physical or brainpower. Francisco, who is older than Eddie and Dagny, is the leader, and encourages them to push themselves much more. Francisco has actually even gotten a task at Taggart Transcontinental as a teenager, so that he could say that he had done so prior to Dagny had one. His slogan is “what for?” in response to every assumption that had been put to him. He is non-stop inquisitive and imaginative. Jim had been in opposition to Francisco’s single-minded mindset of production and achievement, which became Dagny’s and Eddie’s, too. While Jim had called their thoughts “self-centered” (95 ), they nonetheless established and fine-tuned their worths as they grow up. Francisco, Eddie, and Dagny come to believe that the most base kind of human being was a “guy without a purpose” (99 ). Eventually Francisco goes off to college, but he retains his friendship with Dagny and Eddie, and continues his summertime check outs with the Taggarts. Dagny, a few years more youthful, goes to engineering college, and leads a spartan life of study and railroad work. She does this partially in response to Francisco’s challenge to her to see which of them would honor their respective forefathers, Sebastian d’Anconia and Nat Taggart, the most.

Dagny’s mother provides her a formal debut in New York, and, for a time Dagny appears to be concerned with things lots of seventeen-year-old girls are; her ball dress, the flowers and lights at the ball, and dancing with young men. However by the time the celebration is over Dagny has seen that no one is really enjoying themselves, and what need to have been an event of appeal and delight is only one of pretence. The following summer, during Francisco’s popular check out, he visits her one night at her job as night operator of the Rockway station. After Dagny’s shift is over, they go out into the countryside, and Francisco and Dagny fall under an enthusiastic accept. That summer season the two young people end up being secret fans, hiding their relationship from everybody around them “not as a shameful regret, but as a thing that was immaculately theirs, beyond anyone’s right of debate or appraisal” (109) The affair goes on for several years, even after Francisco’s daddy passes away and he returns to Argentina to run d’Anconia Copper.

Finally, for strange factors, Francisco states he has to offer her up. He asks her never ever to be astonished by anything he would perform in the future. In later years she checks out him, and, according to the papers, he has actually ended up being the most depraved playboy worldwide. This remains in direct contrast to whatever Dagny had understood about him throughout their relationship, however she comes to believe it because there is no proof to the contrary. She had actually been sad that he had actually left her, and she had actually had no other males in her life to this point. Dagny believes on this as she enters his hotel space at the Wayne-Falkland Hotel, to see him for the very first time in several years. They discuss the nationalization of the San Sebastian mines and train, and Dagny wishes to know why he has sunk to this depth of wickedness. He describes things in an ambiguous method, exposing absolutely nothing, just going back to the theme (the title of Part I of the book, Non-Contradiction) that she must not assume something is what it is not. Either he is a tricking business owner who has actually completely reversed from his youthful concepts, or the important things he is doing are in keeping with those concepts. Dagny does not comprehend, and, even though Francisco guarantees her that he still wants to sleep her, the 2 part in disagreement.

Chapter VI, “The Non-Commercial” begins with Rearden fearing going to his own wedding anniversary celebration. His partner Lillian has stocked the celebration with her buddies, who are all members of the new group of “looter” philosophers– the author Bertram Scudder among them. Dagny attends, and attempts to make conversation with Hank Rearden. He is especially official and remote with her, but they share a moment of fulfillment over the brand-new track of Rearden Metal that will be laid on Taggart Transcontinental’s Rio Norte Line. Lillian wears the bracelet of Rearden Metal which Hank had provided her, and Dagny trades her own diamond bracelet with Lillian in order to get it. Dagny wears it proudly, while Lillian denigrates it.

Throughout the party the Equalization of Opportunity Act is talked about. It is a law which would avoid any businessman from owning more than one organisation. Hank and Dagny understand that this will harm Hank, as he will no longer have vertical integration of his materials, such as ore and coal, in order to develop Rearden Metal. Bertram Scudder and another intellectual, Dr. Pritchett, entertain the business with their eloquent assistance for this law, and also describe their ethical relativism to the put together. Dagny and Hank are disrupted by the talk around them.

Francisco d’Anconia appears all of a sudden at the party, and Hank is very careful of him. They have a conversation about the nature of organisation and the activities of the brand-new “looter” federal government, and Francisco attempts, guardedly, to give Hank some concepts to fight the looters. Francisco particularly challenges Hank’s assumptions that the people who call him “self-centered” are appropriate, because Hank works for his own specific achievement. Hank, while interested in what Francisco has to say, is revolted by what he believes is Francisco’s playboy lifestyle.


The long story of the history of Dagny and Francisco is both unexpected and revealing. Dagny, a girl raised in wealth and opportunity, is not the spoiled and self-centered individual that her brother James is. She has always worked hard for her accomplishments, and has actually risen in Taggart Transcontinental by nothing besides her own capability. It could be argued that a female, throughout this time, would have never been provided the possibility to become an station night operator, an engineer, or Running Vice President of a railway if she hadn’t belonged to the family which had founded that train, but Rand ensures that it’s clear that Dagny has worked hard for everything she has gotten. As a teen, specifically, she showed self-discipline and an exceptional sense of drive. For that reason, when the love affair of the teenage Dagny and college-age Francisco is recounted, it is somewhat unexpected that Dagny would have allowed herself the indulgence of a boyfriend. Although Francisco is a challenger to her aspirations, and a good example when it pertains to hard work and commitment, it appears disadvantageous to her objectives to end up being a train executive. The threat to her reputation, and, at the age of seventeen, to her status within her household organisation, seems terrific.

What Rand is trying to reveal is that those who work hard and are productive deserve indulgences of this type. Dagny, like Rand, is entirely devoid of any mid-century preoccupation with sexual morality, and Rand shows eloquently in the individual of Dagny her new, basic morality. Dagny and Francisco were brought in to each other, and each was accountable (Dagny does not conceive, nor exists risk of sexual illness, it appears, since they are true to one another) and disciplined youths. For that reason, their relationship is totally ethical in Rand’s eyes, particularly given that they were truthful with each other and didn’t base anything on deceptiveness or romantic impressions. That there would be youths of such discipline, honesty, and advanced morality in a time of sexual repression and conventional worths (especially considering that both were rich and indulged children) appears somewhat implausible, however the cult of Francisco’s personality for Dagny and Eddie seems to have actually refined their perceptiveness. Dagny even keeps in mind in later chapters that she never ever wanted to end up being Senora d’Anconia, and took pride in being Francisco’s mistress for many years. This is so counter to what the dominating morality was at the time as to be startling, however it puts the personality of Dagny, in specific, into sharp focus. She is a fairly easy individual, who does not appear to feel any dispute or embarassment.

Her supreme self-confidence in her own capability to end up being an engineer and executive at Taggart Transcontinental, and her unwavering conviction that her concept of reality and morality is appropriate, make Dagny unbending in her pursuit of her objectives and her willingness to obtain her desires on her own terms. By any measure she is an impressive young woman, not just since of her own convictions however since she has the ability to adopt and think in the principles Francisco show her. She is what psychologists call a fully integrated personality, with no internal conflicts and a remarkable absence of interest in gotten morality besides the work principles. That she has been slammed as too best is understandable; she can be seen as the allegory of the perfect modern lady.

Factor to consider of sexual risks, such as diseases, psychological damage, and unwanted pregnancy do not participate in Rand’s arguments. It is difficult to take Dagny and Francisco’s early relationship as a design for habits due to the fact that so few of the real-life issues of sexual relationships are thought about. Possibly Rand’s function in having Francisco and Dagny be lovers is to reveal their own potential and power. They were totally free in many other aspects of their lives (Dagny, specifically for her time, had impressive flexibility for a young woman) so they were able to reveal their sensations easily with their bodies. Given That Francisco and Dagny are characters nearly wholly without weak points, it makes sense in the story that they would have the power and capability to sustain a non-traditional relationship for some years.

At the party at the Reardens’ we first get a taste of the mystical undercurrent, mentioned by Francisco, of subversion to the dominating principles of the day. Given That Scudder and Pritchett are displayed in such an unflattering light, it appears that Rand does not want the reader to have compassion with their views. Though the proponents of this new morality are repulsive, at this point the tenets of this approach are still vague enough as to not seem completely without use. This will alter in later chapters, as the actions of the federal government encroach more insanely onto the personal flexibilities of individuals, and specifically maltreat the “producers” such as Dagny and Hank.

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