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


Part III, “A is A”, begins as Dagny looks into the eyes of the male she has actually been pursuing, in one way or another, for many years. John Galt, who is undoubtedly the destroyer who has actually spirited Quentin Daniels away, has landed his airplane and seen Dagny crash-land hers. He concerns her rescue, however Dagny is only slightly injured. The airfield of the secret valley they are now in has actually been safeguarded by a ray-shield, made by John Galt, that has actually somehow produced an optical illusion that the valley is rocky and barren, when it is truly level and green.

In marvel Dagny is brought to John Galt’s home, and tended by a well-known cosmetic surgeon who had actually defected from the outdoors world long ago. While Dagny is in this amazing location, called Galt’s Gulch, she finally learns what has actually been occurring here in the last twelve years. Ken Danagger, Midas Mulligan, Ellis Wyatt, and Francisco d’Anconia, in addition to the thinker Hugh Akston, all have actually assisted construct this valley. Some of them, such as Francisco and John, have actually continued to work for eleven months of the year in the outdoors world, but the majority of individuals of the valley live there all the time. This enclave is totally unidentified and deliberately hidden from the outdoors world. The valley has actually been able to end up being nearly self-sufficient, with farming, manufacturing, and its own power production. The valley is powered by John Galt’s static-electricity engine, which he will not let Dagny see for worry she would take the details back to the outdoors world. They check out the power station while she is in the valley, and it is secured by a sound lock. The door to the little power station will not open unless John’s voice will recite his motto, carved above the door, which is “I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another guy, nor ask another man to live for mine.” This is the credo by which everybody in the valley lives.

John Galt declines to take Dagny back to the outdoors world up until the month of the annual getaway has actually passed. Francisco is on his method to the valley, as is Ragnar Danneskjold. Dagny now discovers that all 3 of them had been trainees of Hugh Akston and Robert Stadler at Patrick Henry University in their youth. Robert Stadler, the best scientist in the country, had been seduced by the looters’ beliefs, but Hugh Akston, the theorist, had actually become persuaded, like the three young men, that the only method to combat the collectivist policies which were growing in American society was to go on strike.

For that is what this group of people has actually been doing for the previous twelve years– going on strike. They have been working, either passively by withdrawing their production, like Ellis Wyatt’s desertion of his shale-extraction operations, or actively, like Francisco destroying his own company and Ragnar catching cargoes by piracy, to bring down the economy of the United States as rapidly as it can be handled. There is an ethical component to this too for them, because John and the others decline to offer the items of their minds to the looter federal government to be used for their own destruction. Dagny also meets Richard Halley, her preferred author, in this valley. He has actually been here writing music given that he left the world right after his night of triumph when he was finally recognized by the musical world, since he is unable to compose music for people whose minds have actually been damaged by collectivist idea.

In Chapter II, “The Paradise of Greed” Dagny is confronted with a choice. She can not leave the valley up until the month’s vacation is up, when John Galt will take her back to the outside world in his airplane and take her to someplace that she can get back to New york city. While she is there, Dagny refuses to take John’s charity, and she uses herself as a paid cook and housemaid. John takes her up on this, and they agree on her salary. All the exchange in the valley is done in gold, minted by Midas Mulligan’s bank, due to the fact that they no longer recognize the outside world’s cash and believe that cash must be backed by the gold standard. During the month Dagny exists, Francisco returns and tells her what he has actually been carrying out in the outdoors world to speed up the damage of d’Anconia Copper. He asks her to remain at his home the last few days of the month, but Dagny, who still likes Francisco a great deal but has actually fallen for John Galt, leaves the choice up to John. John refuses, saying that he is paying for her services which she need to stick with him

If Dagny decides to stay in the valley, she must quit her operate in the outdoors world. Dagny isn’t ready to do that yet, and she is still considered a “scab” by the people in the valley. She is invited by everyone, however, and Dagny feels extremely in your home in the valley cooking and cleansing for John. Their month cohabiting has the feel of a trip, or a blessed reprieve, to her.

John returns Dagny’s feelings, however they can not be together until she has decided to give up on the outdoors world. He states that quiting the static-electricity motor was not the most difficult aspect of going on strike. John had seen her, years back, in the Taggart Terminal in an evening gown. Dagny had been called away from a party to take care of some emergency at the train, and John had observed her working with efficiency and intelligence, and he had actually watched and appreciated her from afar since. Prior to they leave, the group offers John alerting that there will be riots and violence on the planet before the looter federal government falls; John decides that he needs to go to await Dagny, viewing her from a distance and not letting her know where he is, and Dagny needs to go back in order to attempt to conserve her train.

Chapter III of this last part of Atlas Shrugged is entitled “Anti-Greed”. An unexpected scene greets the reader, of Robert Stadler transported to Iowa to witness some federal government demonstration of “Task X”. Though Job X has actually been worked on at the State Science Institute where Stadler works for some time now, it is top-secret and Stadler understands nothing about what it is. The celebration faithful, or those intellectuals who state that they think in the looter federal government’s principles of self-sacrifice, authoritarianism, collectivism, and redistribution, offer and listen to vapid speeches on specious subjects such as the favorable effect of privation on human character. The demonstration of Task X ends up being a weapons test: Job X is a fatal weapon that wreaks destruction through sound waves. The assembled watch in horror as a barn and some connected goats are damaged in an instant by this weapon of mass destruction. The federal government scientists, lead by Floyd Ferris, have established this weapon based on Stadler’s earlier research study in cosmic rays. The speeches after the demonstration presume to proclaim this project as an instrument of peace, however everyone in the audience is frightened of the power of this brand-new, totally harmful weapon against which there is no defense.

Back in New York, Dagny is now subject to the whims of Cuffy Meigs, the Director of Marriage in charge of Taggart Transcontinental. There is no reason behind the choices made for the train anymore; it is all based upon favors and who is on the good side of Cuffy Meigs. Dagny knows that this will ruin the train in time; she is merely attempting to save the train up until she can beat the looters.

Lillian Rearden, Hank’s soon-to-be-ex-wife, concerns Dagny and informs her that she needs to do the radio address that the Marriage Board is attempting to make her do, since they learn about her two-year affair with Hank Rearden and are all set to expose it if she does not. Dagny, outflanking the federal government, appears on Bertram Scudder’s radio show and reveals the information of the affair for all to hear, showing no shame or regret. In addition, Dagny attacks the government by informing everybody that the only way that Rearden would have given up the rights to Rearden Metal was by the federal government blackmailing him with the exact same details. She is now removing any risk they have more than her or Hank by announcing the affair herself. After this statement, instead of receiving reproach from the general public, Dagny finds that people seem helpful of her honesty. Bertram Scudder, who was innocent of all this intrigue, is the one blamed by the federal government for this mess, and his radio program is taken off the air. Absolutely nothing is done by the federal government to Dagny.

When Dagny goes back to her house and sees Rearden he now understands that their affair is over. He has deduced from the period of her lack that the only thing that would keep them apart was Dagny satisfying a man whom she truly liked. In addition, in Dagny’s radio address, every verb she used to explain her affair with Hank remained in the past tense. It is a mentally challenging moment, however neither of them wants to injure the other so they part amicably.


At this moment in the story, when Dagny has actually been saved by the rushing John Galt and gave this Shangri-La of capitalist objectivism, it seems odd that she would even think about returning to the dull world of declining economy, evasive and incompetent employees, and criminal government “directives”. But Dagny has, given that her earliest youth, recognized herself with Taggart Transcontinental. When, in Part I, her bro Jim compared her to the statue of their forefather Nat Taggart – insulting her by stating that she looked more like Nat Taggart than his famously stunning wife the very first Dagny Taggart – she took it as a compliment. Dagny does not see herself as many female of her time did; she values her job extremely enough to compromise herself to it, on particular occasions. When she starts her affair with Hank Rearden, she tells him that if being with him needed more than she wanted to provide, such as quiting Taggart Transcontinental, she would leave him. The train has, up till this point in Dagny’s life, been more vital than anything to her. She has no hubby or children, and Taggart Transcontinental has been more to her, and more a part of her life, than either of her previous lovers Francisco and Hank (the initially who deserted her inexplicably, and the second who was wed and started an affair with her by calling her names). It is not unexpected that Dagny has actually put her work initially, up previously.

This is a part of Rand’s philosophy, specifically that a person’s work is one’s worth. The items of the human mind, appropriately a human being’s life’s work, are of utmost importance. But this is not a basic workaholic’s code; it is the reverse. Rand begins with the point that people are great– and in truth human life is the only worth (Uyl and Rasmussen 105) that can be genuinely believed. All other worths flow from it, and, for that reason, the truthful and rewarding work of a person, as a product of that important mind, is of excellent value certainly. This is perhaps hammered house a bit in Atlas Shrugged, to sharpen the contrast between the hard-working, uncomplaining characters such as Francisco, Hank, Dagny, and John, and the gelatinous, grumbling, inchoate characters, such as Wesley Mouch and Jim Taggart, who are always whimpering about vague concepts based on absolutely nothing rational besides their sensations. Worth of human work, Rand believes, is a value based in logic, not in sensation or instinct. This concept underlies all of Rand’s philosophy.

Stadler’s horror at his name being utilized as the innovator of Task X shows not only the perfidy of the federal government, but the perils of being an ivory-tower academic. When challenged by Dagny about the innovator of the static-electricity motor Stadler, is scornful about so brilliant a mind being lowered to producing “useful home appliances.” However Stadler, while working in an ivory tower, was not directing the practical applications of his works, so they were able to be used for wicked purposes by the federal government. This is an extreme example, obviously, for it is certainly not true that all theoretical scientific research might be used to make a weapon, however the point Rand is making is that John Galt, by utilizing his physics genius to make an useful, life-supporting innovation such as his static-electricity motor was utilizing his mind for a good function. While Stadler’s original purpose was certainly great, in the investigation of the universe for its own sake, he risked, by belonging to the looter government, that research would be appropriated and used by them for a function he had actually not intended. By getting away and going on “strike”, as John Galt has, Galt leaves this fate and rejects the looters access to the products of his mind. Again, this is an affirmation of the manufacturers’ refusal to take part in a government that plans their damage.

Task X is expected to be like the atomic bomb. This was written in the post-war world, when societies around the globe were just getting utilized to the idea that there were bombs which might wipe out whole communities or even countries, developed and focused on other states in a permanent Cold War. The fear in America over nuclear weapons, released by an authoritarian federal government such as the Soviet Union at the time, was very real, and this demonstration would have been especially cooling to Rand’s 1950s readers.

Hank and Dagny’s break up appears especially civilized, thinking about the tumultuous way they started their affair. However Hank has come to understand the Dagny will never love him, and he knows her well enough to understand that it is not because of any shortage in him, or fickleness on her part. Hank is now seriously disillusioned with whatever in his life however Dagny. The truth that she has been truthful with him and he can trust her and understand her ways that he will not rail against her now that their relationship is at an end. She is among the only individuals worldwide who concurs with him about the battle versus the looters, and he can not demonize her because she has fallen in love with another person. Though he feels understandable jealousy, he suppresses it. This is an especially mature and rational ending of a relationship, between two individuals who will always be fond of each other. Rearden, true to John Galt’s creed though he does not understand of it yet, does not desire Dagny to stay with him for his own sake. He really wants her to follow her own happiness, although it indicates losing her.

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