Atlas Shrugged Summary and Analysis of Part II, Chapters III and IV

Summary

Lillian Rearden chooses to visit her partner’s suite at the Wayne-Falkland Hotel, and to spend a long time with him. Lately Hank has overlooked her even more than typical, especially after she had occupied their anniversary party with such sycophants as Bertram Scudder and Balph Eubank, males whom had actually directly assaulted Hank’s company in the press. When Hank returns to his suite in the early morning after spending the night with Dagny Lillian faces him and tells him that she understands he is having an affair. Hank refuses to inform her who his enthusiast is, and Lillian refuses to provide him a divorce. Lillian gushes vitriolic insults at Hank, and two part in anger.

Hank’s refusal to offer his Metal to the State Science Institute is to have impending and potentially dire repercussions. Dr. Floyd Ferris pertains to go to Rearden and threatens to prosecute him for his unlawful sales to Ken Danagger, a trusted business partner and Rearden’s main provider of coal. That the government would prosecute Rearden for something other than the important things they are attempting to oblige him to do is proof of its illegitimacy. Rearden is adamant about his right to sell coal to Danagger and his right to decline to offer Rearden Metal to the Institute. The prosecution will go on and Rearden will be put on trial.

Late one night Francisco d’Anconia sees Hank Rearden at his office, and they discuss what is occurring to business world. Hank is still battling his prejudice toward Francisco, believing he is a playboy and a destroyer of businesses. They speak about what Hank is doing, working for a system of federal government which is set on his own destruction, which his refusal to offer Metal to the Institute is insufficient to object unjust economic practices. Hank Rearden declines to give up Rearden Steel, however, however he is starting to like Francisco a good deal. During this discussion Francisco intimates that there is a group of individuals who are working to stop the financial motor of the world, and that it will be the equivalent of Atlas, the god whom the Greeks believed held the world on his shoulders, shrugging. This describes the title of the novel.

Dagny, understanding that Ken Danagger will be arraigned, rushes to see him in his workplace prior to he can be reached by the “destroyer”. She is too late, for a strange male leaves Danagger’s office before she can get in the door. When she lastly gets in to see the coal magnate he has decided to retire. Dagny tries to persuade Ken to stay and battle, but he refuses.

Chapter IV, “The Sanction of the Victim” describes among the precepts that the looters appear to need so desperately from the people they loot. Hank is starting to understand that this in not just what the federal government is trying to find when they attempted to make him sell his Metal to the State Science Institute, but what his bro, partner, and mom have been attempting to do by making him feel guilty about being their supplier for all these years. Rearden is tried for his unlawful sales of Rearden Metal, however he calmly refutes all of the courts declares versus him and reveals quite plainly that there are no unbiased rules or values held by that court anymore so it worthless for them to try him. He forces a capitulation by the judge by stating that they will have to force him to do what they desire. The court was hoping that the threat of a fine and imprisonment would be enough to make Rearden do as they desired him to, but they do not want to get the bad press of publicly forcing Rearden to do anything. Rearden is still a hero to lots of people, and the government would lose more than gain by making an example of him. Rearden refuses them the “sanction of the victim” and Rearden is let off with a nominal fine. This triumph promises to Dagny and Hank that they can win against the looters.

More of Francisco’s surprising nature is exposed when Rearden sees him at the Wayne-Falkland hotel and concerns him closely about his profligate nature. Another long conversation occurs between the two males, because Hank is ending up being fascinated by the contradictions he views in Francisco. When there was a heater surge at Rearden Steel Francisco had worked side-by-side with Rearden to stop the breach. That sort of physical guts Rearden had not anticipated to see in a worthless playboy like Francisco. As ever, Francisco has him examine his presumptions. Then Francisco describes that he is not the womanizer everyone thinks he is, and he has only ever had one lover in his life. Francisco sees sex as an expression of one’s self-respect, and a physical expression of the spiritual love of life. Casual or insincere relationships only show one’s self-loathing; guys like Rearden and Francisco must constantly want the special love of a “heroine” (491 ). Rearden starts to believe that the personality discussed in the papers is very different than the genuine Francisco d’Anconia.

Hank Rearden has ordered a lot of copper for Taggart Transcontinental from d’Anconia Copper. He makes the error of telling Francisco this. Prior to Rearden leaves, Francisco testifies Rearden that he is his pal, no matter what takes place. Rearden does not know what this implies, however when he learns that the well-known pirate, Ragnar Danneskjold, has actually sunk Hank’s whole shipment of copper Rearden no longer thinks him.

Analysis

Francisco interacts to Hank and to the reader another linchpin of the looter federal government’s plan to control the producers. The victims should provide the looters consent to take their wealth away from them, and provide their sanction that it is right, for the looters to continue to prop up their system of institutionalized theft. Throughout the unique the major characters on the side of the looter government ask reassurance and sanction from individuals they are hurting and exploiting. In this case, Hank Rearden is put before a tribunal that he has no self-confidence in, and, in a couple of rational sentences, can dismantle its paper power over him by revealing that it has no just authority or goal rights. If he had sent to its authority they would have given him a far even worse punishment than a fine, and the effect of that may have been that Floyd Ferris would have gotten Hank a suspended sentence on the condition that he sell Rearden Metal to the State Science Institute. Rearden will not submit, and he still has some power over public opinion, and the government has more need of him than he does of it; thus, by withholding the sanction of the victim Rearden renders the federal government relatively powerless. This is an extension of the concept of the “consent of the governed”. The people has been deceived into believing that the government has their benefits at heart, however Rearden does not believe it and for that reason is able to effectively address its power.

Francisco’s character is being exposed as far more in line with what Dagny and Eddie Willers knew of him as a child and young man than what the papers state about him. When Francisco tells Hank that he has only ever loved one female, the reader, but not Hank, knows that this need to be Dagny. Francisco has actually been devoted to Dagny all these years considering that they parted in their early twenties, like his ancestor Sebastian d’Anconia was to his love hundreds of years ago. The picture of Francisco is now totally different. He is not a womanizing playboy who lives for enjoyment, nor is he the competent beneficiary of the d’Anconia fortune he promised to be in early the adult years. He is working to destroy his business so that it can not be taken to serve the looters.

There have actually been several points out of the Norwegian Ragnar Danneskjold so far in the book, a seafarer who works to pirate legal deliveries in between Individuals’s States and take their freight. He is a figure who is wanted by several governments and, if found, would be shot on sight because he has caused such damage to nationwide economies. He takes cargo and typically, unless straight attacked, lets crews go complimentary. His objective is not bloodshed but simple piracy– the hijacking and destruction of goods in order to hasten the decline of looter federal governments. He will appear again later in the novel. What Francisco reacts to when Hank informs him about the shipment of copper for Taggart Transcontinental is the knowledge that he must now destroy that delivery. He knows that Hank Rearden will not comprehend, and he is appropriate. Hank becomes murderously mad at this theft, which he views as a perverse betrayal by a man whom he had actually very much wished to be his good friend.

This is the first clue that Danneskjold and Francisco might be interacting. Dr. Robert Stadler had told Dagny that the 2 boys were together at Patrick Henry University, so the connection seems obvious now. The third man, the innovator of the motor, is presumed dead by Robert Stadler, and there is currently no reason to think otherwise.

Rand’s concepts about sex and self-regard, as specified by Francisco d’Anconia, were advanced for her time (the 1950s). It is based in a logical humanism, with no received moral code from spiritual or cultural traditions. There is no reference of God or shame or modesty in Rand’s sexual code, and it is based in the presumption that all rational beings ought to make every effort to make the best of themselves and regard themselves as great and deserving of their own human desires. It is not an everything-goes viewpoint, for Rand believed that right-thinking people who know their self-respect will not wish to cheapen themselves by promiscuous or useless sex. Here Rand sees causality between belief in one’s self-worth and love of material life in the world, and healthy and wondrous sexuality. A sort of natural morality, she claims, through Francisco’s words, will emerge when an individual has no embarassment, a code of ideal values, and a view of him- or herself as a good, rewarding being. There appears to be little differentiation in between the codes of sexuality in between ladies and men, which would have been a rather extreme idea even in the 1950s, when feminism had actually not made many inroads into popular culture.

The value of this code is not always the sexual conduct of Rand’s characters, which may or may not appear ethical to readers, however the reality that this, like Rand’s aesthetics and political concepts, comes from what she believes to be objective reality and the vital significance of self-interest. Dagny acts in her self-interest when she starts her affair with Hank. She does not stress over the impact her actions may have on Hank’s wife or the rest of his family. Hank feels shame for his actions since he has been conditioned by his household to feel embarassment for his own desires. The marital contract, once it was developed that Hank and Lillian had no sympathy for each other, is considered null and space under Rand’s viewpoint. There is no factor, Rand (and Dagny) may argue, to preserve a sham marriage for the sake of appearances, for the sake of the state of marriage in the community, or simply to the keep a pledge. This would undervalue both parties. It is hassle-free for Hank that he has no children with Lillian, because it makes the dissolution of the marriage, and his subsequent conversion to ideas like Francisco and Dagny have, that much easier. He continues to support Lillian (and his mom and sibling) till they are divorced. It is only because Lillian acts so hatefully to him that he chooses to craft the divorce to leave her impoverished.

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