Atlas Shrugged Summary and Analysis of Part II Chapters VII and VIII


“The Moratorium on Brains, Chapter VII of this middle part of the book, has Eddie talking with his mystical railway-worker friend in the lunchroom at the Taggart Terminal again. He is fond of informing this understanding and anonymous guy the difficulties the train is having with the ludicrous demands of the looter government. He learns from the male that he is leaving on holiday for a month to go to buddies, a practice he has been providing for twelve years. This is the first real idea that the rail employee is not what he appears to be, for many people in his position would not have the cash to take a whole month off every year.

Hank Rearden instructs his lawyers to begin divorce proceedings against Lillian, and states that he does not care how they are able effect this dissolution of marital relationship other than that there is to be no monetary settlement and no spousal support for Lillian. His spouse is to be left impoverished. With the existing state of justice in the country, this sort divorce will be possible. Hank vacates your house and takes an apartment in Philadelphia.

A nocturnal vignette is the setting in which Hank first satisfies the popular pirate Ragnar Danneskjold. As Hank walks home from the mills one night he fulfills a man who stops him to talk. Ragnar tells him he wants to offer him a bar of gold, which is a mere fraction of the cash which is held in an account for him with his buddies in some mystical area. Ragnar tells him who he is, which shocks Hank, and that he, Ragnar, has in some way obtained Hank’s earnings tax records from the federal government and put aside the precise quantity Hank has actually paid to the government for numerous years. Hank contradicts the gold, but when a police patrol asks him if they have seen the well-known pirate, Hank lies to conserve Ragnar. When he turns back to him Ragnar has gone, leaving the gold. Hank takes it home and locks it in a safe in his house.

Bad things are coming for the Taggart Comet, which is bring some of the looter federal government’s authorities to a rally in San Francisco. Since Diesel engines are in brief supply, and because Ellis Wyatt has actually defected oil is less simple to obtain than coal, the Comet is being pulled by a coal-burning engine. Dagny is no longer in charge of the train so the culture of shirking responsibility has actually ended up being swarming in all the ranks of Taggart Transcontinental employees.

Kip Chalmers, the ranking authorities on the train, insists that they go through the Taggart Tunnel in the Rockies as soon as possible and he informs the train workers he doesn’t care how they get him through. The location manager and stationmaster duck duty, and the train goes through the tunnel with a coal engine, triggering the death by suffocation of everybody on the train. Another train carrying munitions runs into the stalled train, triggering a surge and the collapse of the tunnel. It is a disaster of legendary proportions for Taggart Transcontinental. There really has actually been a moratorium on brains in the ranks at Taggart Transcontinental, now that nobody takes responsibility for anything any longer. Before the tragedy, a description of much of the travelers shows that practically all have them think in the platitudes of self-sacrifice and public well-being, however they are hypocritical in their own devotion to self-interest.

Chapter VIII is called “By Our Love”. Francisco gos to Dagny at her remote cabin. She has been staying there entirely alone for a month, and has been doing make-work jobs such as rebuilding the stairs and painting and repairing the cabin. When Francisco goes to her, and she to him, they welcome each other with old labels from their youth and kiss. He tries to tell her that she does not have to fight the looters any longer due to the fact that “It’s over” (615 ). However Dagny isn’t ready to become aware of Francisco’s and his good friends’ subversive actions, since she hears on the radio of the disaster at the Taggart Tunnel. In a flash she is gone, back to her job at Taggart Transcontinental. She knows now that Francisco has actually waited on her all these years, but even that understanding is not enough to hold her back from wanting to save her railroad.

The transcontinental traffic will be very difficult to preserve now that the tunnel through the Rockies is irreparably blocked, however Dagny manages to find a workaround solution by patching together other railroad’s tracks and developing new tracks over the gaps. This considerably lengthens the journey throughout the country, but the primary line is lastly brought back. She orders rails from Hank, and they have now both concern the realization that the looter federal government and parasites like Jim are using Hank and Dagnny’s devotion– their love– for their work to keep them in their jobs. Jim Taggart thinks about resigning, however he is buoyed up by the return of his sister and propped up only by her skills. Dagny is not angry with Hank due to the fact that he signed the Gift Certificate– she says they have actually both given in. Hank and Dagny resume their relationship.


One of the extremely couple of points out of children in this unique happens in the description of the guests of the Comet prior to its damage. Rand describes the kids of a better half of a federal government authorities, who tucks them into bed and protects them from drafts and bumps, (606) however does not know how to safeguard them from the incompetency stimulated by the regulations that her partner is paid to enforce. Rand rarely discusses the education of kids or their location or welfare in either her philosophical system or the looters’. Her focus is totally on grownups in this unique, even developing a situation where her main character, Dagny, is able to have 3 enthusiasts in succession without ever as soon as thinking about kids or contraception. This was a taboo subject in Rand’s day, and the sexual problems of the single lady were not discussed as easily are today; still, in the contemporary reader’s mind, it can produce some sensation of doubt regarding the veracity of the characters in Rand’s novels.

Rand’s characters are, in some aspects, allegories, which suggests that they don’t always need to be portrayed with the all the information that a more sensible book would consist of. Rand’s main objective was not necessarily realism, although parts of this novel are very reasonable and illustrate really credible situations and occasions from the middle part of the twentieth century. Rand was upholding an approach in the type of an unique, and a number of the characters and circumstances were produced with the objective of discussing her approach instead of simply telling a story or creating a work of literature. While this works for the popular study of approach, it likewise somewhat distances the reader from the characters. It seems unlikely, for example, that Francisco, Dagny, Hank, and John Galt, all effective and attractive professional individuals in their thirties and forties, would not have or have actually ever wanted to have kids. It is the exact same with a number of the other industrialists in the novel (Wyatt, Danagger, and Mulligan, for instance). They are all without children or spouses, so when the time comes for the abandonment of their enterprises to eliminate the looter government there is nobody else to think about however themselves. This fits neatly within Rand’s doctrine of the “virtue of selfishness”– it is certainly simpler to be self-centered when nobody is depending on you for anything. None of the main characters, either, seem to have or to have ever had in the previous any sort of faith or religious beliefs hampering their intellectual approval of objectivism. This, too, seems statistically not likely in a nation like America, which, in the 1950s as now, had an unusually high rate of faith identification when compared to other industrialized nations. So in some ways Rand’s novel is skewed by being populated with a special sort of individual who would be complimentary to practice Rand’s values; this does not detract, however, from Rand’s capability to argue her case through occasions in a novel. Not every work of literature needs to be in the tradition of realism to consist of truths, needs to the reader find compassion with the author’s concepts.

Nobody is especially shocked when Dagny comes back to her task at the railroad; for her to abandon it at this vital point would indicate, probably, the deaths of many more passengers and team than if she had actually kept away. Dagny is not yet going to have that sort of regret on her head, despite the fact that she and Hank now know that they are being utilized for their own damage by the looter federal government. Francisco turning up truly wouldn’t have changed her mind at all, it appears. Although he was starting to inform her everything about his work versus the government, and the people associated with his motion, she was still not ready to hear it. His faithful love, through the years, is not enough to hold her to him. Possibly any love for him passed away out during the years when she believed he had actually deserted her and dedicated himself to debauchery.

The venality and stupidity of the team which sends the Comet through the tunnel is nearly unbelievable, however this part of the story is suggested to show that when the government asserts that there are no ethical absolutes then there will be no way to maintain order. The guy sent out to change Dagny as Operating Vice President, Clifton Locey, was the one eventually accountable for the damage of the train, but he managed to fob off duty up until it rested on the shoulders of a young boy clerk who did not comprehend what was being asked of him. This sort of passing of the dollar, Rand is saying, is endemic to collectivist societies, and is among its chief evils.

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar