Atlas Shrugged Summary and Analysis of Part I, Chapters VII and VIII


The seventh chapter of Part I, “The Exploiters and the Made use of”, starts with Dagny monitoring building on the

Rio Norte Line in Colorado. She exists due to the fact that there has been problem with the new professional, and the loss of McNamara’s business on the task is acutely felt. Ellis Wyatt, for whose business the brand-new line is mainly being, appears at the construction site, and both Dagny and Ellis are pleased with the other’s interest in and commitment to the task. Hank Rearden is also at the website, and Dagny and Hank share an exhilarating moment when Hank tells her he might build a bridge from Rearden Metal. This would take less time to construct, and be both lighter and stronger than a bridge made of steel. It would provide the line a considerable benefit, however there would be strong public resistance to a bridge made from an “untried” metal such as Hank Rearden’s revolutionary alloy. Dagny admires Hank’s brand-new vehicle, a high-end model made by a new business Hammond of Colorado. Throughout the discussion Dagny discovers that he has flown his own airplane out to the work website. She asks if he is returning to New York, and he states he is not and for that reason can not take her back with him in his airplane. The minute feels awkward, and Dagny marvels why Hank is all of a sudden acting so oddly toward her.

Back in New York, Dagny and her bro Jim remain in a taxicab en route to the New york city Company Council dinner. Dagny is expected to make a speech at this meeting, however in the taxi she learns from Jim that it is to be an on-air radio argument between her and Bertram Scudder on the subject “Is Rearden Metal a lethal product of greed?” (175 ). When Dagny finds out the nature of this stunt, she gets out of the taxi cab to go house. She is unable to get another cab, and she strolls till she discovers a cafe. In it she is amazed to see an effective toaster and coffee boiler there, both made in Colorado. Since she looks depressed, a bum sitting next to her misguidedly tries to comfort her by stating that male is a “low-grade animal, without intelligence, without soul, without virtues or moral worths” (177 ). Dagny does not think it, and she wonders what has happened to make an educated guy so downtrodden and abject.

The scene modifications to Rearden’s workplace, where he is in conference with Dr. Potter from the government-run State Science institute. Dr. Potter wants to issue a declaration, vague in its phrasing and avoiding responsibility, which would challenge Rearden Metal. If Hank will take Rearden Metal off the market for a couple of years, the Institute will give the Metal their stamp of approval. When Hank declines, Dr. Potter attempts to buy the rights to Rearden Metal for any cost Hank would care to name. Again Hank declines, and Dr. Potter ominously alerts that the Institute will condemn Rearden Metal.

The general public denunciation, nevertheless slapdash and slightly worded, does originate from the Institute. Dagny knows that this could hinder her progress on the Rearden-Metal Rio Norte Line, so she goes to see the most noteworthy scientist in the nation. He is Robert Stadler of the State Science Institute, previously of Patrick Henry University. He has actually capitulated to the looter federal government, Dagny finds, and can not be swayed to back Rearden Metal. Though he rather confesses that the attack on the Metal is a piece of propaganda instead of science, he is so totally in thrall to his government masters that he refuses to assist Dagny or Hank. Prior to she goes, he informs her a cryptic story about three extremely intense students he had at Patrick Henry University. They were to be the kind of young men who change the world, however part of Stadler’s disillusionment is that two of them went on to ends up being a wastrel and a criminal. They were, respectively, Francisco d’Anconia, and the pirate Ragnar Danneskjold. The third Dr. Stadler will not name, but he states that he “vanished without a trace– into the excellent unknown of mediocrity. He is probably a 2nd assistant accountant somewhere.” (192 )

This public condemnation is the precipitating event which triggers the Taggart stock to plummet to such a degree that Taggart Transcontinental can not continue developing the Rio Norte line of Rearden Metal. Dagny, who is so dedicated to the project that she will even leave her household business to complete it, takes the job under her own direction as a separate company. Eddie Willers will serve as the acting Vice President in her absence. As a radical railroad contractor, Dagny takes Spartan workplaces near the Taggart Structure and, on an impulse, calls her company the John Galt line. She manages to scrape together funding from Hank and other companies in Colorado, and she continues to develop the line.

Hank Rearden’s mother pertains to visit him at his office, and she begs him to give his wastrel brother Philip a task at his mills. Rearden strongly refuses, citing Philip’s contempt for service and his rejection to work. Mrs. Rearden can not understand why Hank will not employ his sibling, for she says that he “requires to gain confidence and to feel essential” (207 ). Given that Philip is a grown male and should have the ability to work for himself, Hank feels no regret in refusing to hire him. At the end of this chapter, Hank learns that his guy in Washington, Wesley Mouch, will not return his calls after the passing of the Equalization of Chance Bill. Understanding that this will seriously obstruct his organisation freedom, specifically since he will not have the ability to own more than one business now, Hank aspires to do something about it. Mouch, nevertheless, has actually deserted him to enter into the looter federal government.

Chapter VIII “The John Galt Line” Eddie is having supper in the Taggart Terminal lunchroom with the mysterious railway worker again. Eddie puts out his fears for Dagny and her brand-new John Galt line, given that she has actually needed to leave the company and go it alone. Regardless of substantial public belief and a host of difficulties, Dagny succeeds. One lonely night when she is working in her workplace, she sees a male who comes and stands in the shadows outside her shoddy offices of the John Galt Line. She never sees his face, and he jerks back from the entrance without knocking. She follows him to see who it is, but he is gone. This encounter makes her feel a little anxious, as if she is being viewed.

The plan is now set to run a Diesel engine at high speed down the line of Rearden Metal, and across the bridge of Rearden Metal. Dagny does not wish to force any of her workers to go on the very first run, so she requests volunteers. She is touched to discover that every engineer in the business wants to be on the very first run of the John Galt Line. Dagny and Hank plan to ride in the cab of the engine on the first run to reveal their confidence in Rearden Metal. In the meantime Hank, due to the fact that of the Equalization of Chance Act, has to transfer his organisations other than Rearden Steel to Ken Danagger and Paul Larkin.

The first run of the John Galt line is a complete accomplishment, with the engine running at over one hundred miles an hour and the rail and bridge carrying out beautifully. Dagny and Hank remain in the cab of the engine for the very first run, and they are both ecstatic and moved by the success of their work. One of the line’s significant clients, Ellis Wyatt of Wyatt Oil, hosts the 2 of them for dinner. They remain at his home for the night, and as they increase to bed, Hank admits his desire for Dagny. She returns the ardor of his advances, though he is married, and the 2 begin an enthusiastic affair.


Chapter 7 has lots of hints to later events in the book. The aborted radio argument between Bertram Scudder is a foreshadowing of the real radio show Dagny is forced to do with Scudder in Part III Chapter III. At this point, nevertheless, Dagny is still completely girlfriend of her own affairs, and the hazards and pleas of her brother can not make her cater the existing looter federal government. Also, the reader gets the very first hint of triune of Francisco, Ragnar Danneskjold, and the unnamed third man. Later Dagny will learn how essential the conference of these three trainees of Dr. Stadler at Patrick Henry University really was. When Dagny sits in the slum coffee shop and sees the excellent devices, made in Colorado, the seed is planted in her mind that possibly she will have the ability to make something of the John Galt Line.

The imaginary Patrick Henry University, located not on the Ivy-League East Coast of the United States, but rather in the Middle West of Ohio, is one of Rand’s commentaries on higher education in the United States. Patrick Henry was a Founding Dad of the United States, and notoriously revealed to your house of Burgesses, before the American Revolution, “Give me liberty or give me death!” It is no mishap that Rand would send out the characters of her novel which are most responsible for the “strike of the manufacturers” to a university named after one of the most radical of the Establishing Fathers, and one who sought to get rid of the traditions and monarchical, authoritarian rule of a European power. For Rand America was the most moral of nations, and the American Transformation was the moral act of getting rid of tyranny and producing a capitalist state in which each human being might reach his/her own capacity. So the early, extreme hero of the Revolution, whose severe views were considered too extreme even by Franklin and Washington, would to Rand represent the sort of intellectual flexibility required for an excellent university.

The relationship begun, in Chapter 8, between Dagny and Hank, will prove to be of great value later. The general public knowledge of a popular, married entrepreneur having an affair with a single female executive (who would be held to a greater sexual requirement than men in service at this time in history) would have more explosive effects for both the business and personal lives of the people involved even than it would have in today’s world. Hank Rearden, especially, was referred to as a really rigorous and careful business person, and his affair would have brought a really genuine degree of destruction to his work and his social standing. Dagny, a minimum of under the old regime, prior to the looter federal government, would have been so badly chastised by everybody in her world that it would have been tough, if not difficult, for her to continue as Operating Vice President.

What is likewise fascinating about this extremely risky affair undertaken by two intelligent and successful company individuals is that, initially, there is no mention of love. It is definitely not a relationship of pure desire, for Dagny thinks, on their first night together, “Whatever I am, she believed, whatever pride of individual I may hold, the pride of my nerve, of my work, of my mind and my freedom– that is what I offer you for the pleasure of your body, that is what I desire you to utilize in your service …” (251 ). Rearden is, in the beginning, extremely disgusted with himself, and Dagny appears to obtain some fulfillment from his disgust and his insults to her. She sees Rearden as a sexual prize. It is an odd joining of individuals, which begins as attraction joined selfishness and contempt, and moves toward tenderness (rather than the reverse). While this might be a precise representation of some human relationships, it is odd that these two would choose to risk their all-important professions on something less than love; but this episode is utilized to show part of Rand’s approach about sexual morality. The fact that two “manufacturers” like Dagny and Hank were attracted to each other, and, at least in Hank’s case, would enjoy each other, makes ideal sense due to the fact that of their intrinsic morality. Definitely physical qualities play a part, and Hank and Dagny like the appearance of each other, but their striving, hard-working spirits are what truly produce their kinship.

The luminescent, triumphant run of the first train on the John Galt line shows Rand’s capability to develop a powerful scene of commercial success, and the significance of that success for society. Individuals cheering on the platforms as the train hurried by understood that the John Galt Line would bring their areas prosperity and chance. For transport, specifically, this romantic and passionate love for development penetrates Rand’s book. The function and goal of all business ventures is to produce joy, according to Rand, and the John Galt Line, at least temporarily, does just that.

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