Atlas Shrugged/Synopsis/Chapters 1-5

See Also: Structure, Part 1: Chapters 1-5, Part 1: Chapters 6-10, Part 2: Chapters 1-5, Part 2: Chapters 6-10, Part 3: Chapters 1-5, Part 3: Chapters 6-10

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1Edit

CHAPTER ONE: THE THEMEEdit

Section 111: Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 1Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • Walking through a crumbling downtown Manhattan, Eddie Willers wonders why the world is in such a dilapidated state. He comes upon a bum, who asks him "Who is John Galt?"
    • After an unsuccessful discussion with Orren Boyle regarding yet another late order of steel, he returns to the Taggart Transcontinental Building in order to tell James Taggart the bad news about an unfulfilled steel order and another train wreck. His intent is to make Taggart see the desperate state of Taggart Transcontinental and the importance of the Rio Norte Line, which services one of the only remaining successful businesses in the world of Atlas Shrugged. After a bunch of invectives against successful businesses, Taggart shoos him away. Walking out, Eddie passes by Pop Harper, who complains in vain that the new typewriters cannot compare with the old ones.
  • The following Things in Atlas Shrugged are used as settings in this section:
    • Rio Norte Line
    • Associated Steel - mentioned
    • Rearden Steel
    • Phoenix-Durango
    • September 2
  • The following Places in Atlas Shrugged are used as settings in this section:
    • Downtown New York
    • The Taggart Transcontinental Building
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Bum Number 1 - first and only appearance
    • Eddie Willers
    • Ellis Wyatt - mentioned
    • Hank Rearden - mentioned
    • James Taggart
    • Orren Boyle - mentioned
    • Pop Harper - first and only appearance
  • Mysteries:
    • The question "Who is John Galt?" opens the book (and ends this section, as well as the first chapter) and is repeated over and over. Who is John Galt? Where did the phrase come from? What does it mean? Where did this question originate from?

Section 112: Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 2Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • Dagny Taggart is riding the Taggart Comet back to New York after inspecting the Rio Norte Line. She hears a Brakeman whistling an unpublished piece from her favorite composer, Richard Halley, but the brakeman refuses to acknowledge this or say where he heard it. After falling asleep and waking up, Dagny discovers the train has come to a stop at a siding. She finds the train crew passively awaiting instructions, and gives them orders on how to proceed. Faced with this incompetence, she decides to promote Owen Kellogg to superintendent of the Ohio Division.
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Young Brakeman
    • Conductor - first and only appearance
    • Engineer - first and only appearance
    • Dagny Taggart
    • Owen Kellogg - mentioned
    • Passenger Number 1 - first and only appearance
    • Passenger Number 2 - first and only appearance
    • Richard Halley - mentioned
  • Mysteries:
    • What was the Brakeman whistling?
    • Did Halley write a Fifth Concerto?

Section 113: Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 3Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • Dagny Taggart and the Comet arrive at the Taggart Terminal. She gets off the train inadvertently whistling the theme from Halley's Fifth Concerto. The Brakeman watches her tensely.

Section 114: Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 4Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • Dagny Taggart meets with James Taggart and Eddie Willers. She informs them that she has ordered Rearden Metal rail from Rearden Steel to be used to replace the tracks of the Rio Norte Line. Later she calls Mr. Ayers, who is the exclusive publisher of Halley's works, to determine if Richard Halley ever published a Fifth Concerto. Mr. Ayers says he has not. Dagny meets with Owen Kellogg who tells her he is quitting for personal reasons: nothing can make him stay - not even the promotion Dagny had decided to give him.
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Board of Directors - mentioned
    • Dagny Taggart
    • Eddie Willers
    • Ellis Wyatt - mentioned
    • Hank Rearden - mentioned
    • James Taggart
    • Mr. Ayers - first and only appearance
    • Orren Boyle - mentioned
    • Owen Kellogg
  • Quotations:
    • "I'm not interested in helping anybody. I want to make money." (29) - Dagny Taggart
  • Mysteries:
    • What is it that makes Owen Kellogg quit a job he admits he loves?


CHAPTER TWO: THE CHAINEdit

Section 121: Part 1, Chapter 2, Section 1Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • Hank Rearden watches triumphantly as the first order of Rearden Metal is poured. As he walks home, he reflects on his life and the ten years of struggle spent to produce Rearden Metal. To celebrate his triumph, Rearden makes a Bracelet out of the first Rearden Metal that is poured and gives it to his wife, Lillian. Lillian belittles the triumph this gift symbolizes and uses the occasion to ridicule her husband's sentimentalism. She makes a big deal about Rearden attending a party she is throwing in three months time (see section 161). Also at the Rearden home are his brother Philip Rearden, his mother, and a friend, Paul Larkin, who has come to warn Rearden of possible trouble in Washington. His family insults and criticizes Rearden for the crime of being able to support them. He tries to understand their behavior but cannot come to acknowledge the depths of their depravity. He believes they are expressing the same concerns that he feels, but only in a different way, and that he is morally required to tolerate them because they are weaker than he is. This is the first glimpse of the Sanction of the Victim, which is a central concept of Atlas Shrugged. The abuse Rearden receives from his family in the second part of this scene creates a stark contrast to the triumphant achievement at the mill in the first part of the scene.
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Gwen Ives - mentioned
    • Hank Rearden
    • Lillian Rearden
    • Mrs. Beacham - first and only mention
    • Passenger Number 3 - first and only appearance
    • Passenger Number 4 - first and only appearance
    • Paul Larkin
    • Philip Rearden
    • Rearden's Mother
    • Worker Number 1 - first and only appearance
  • Quotations:
    • What did they seek from him? - thought Rearden - what were they after? He had never asked anything of them; it was they who wished to hold him, they who pressed a claim on him - and the claim seemed to have the form of affection, but it was a form which he found harder to endure than any sort of hatred. He despised causeless affection, just as he despised unearned wealth. (42)
    • He [Rearden] could not condemn them without understanding; and he could not understand. (43)


CHAPTER THREE: THE TOP AND THE BOTTOMEdit

Section 131: Part 1, Chapter 3, Section 1Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • On top of a skyscraper barroom designed to look like a lowly cellar, James Taggart, Orren Boyle, Paul Larkin, and Wesley Mouch meet to work out a deal by which they can stop Hank Rearden and the success of Rearden Metal. Boyle wants Taggart to get his friends in Washington to regulate the distribution of iron ore, depriving Rearden of the raw materials needed to market Rearden Metal. In exchange, Boyle agrees to get the National Alliance of Railroads to drive the Phoenix-Durango railroad out of Colorado. None of this is said openly or directly, of course. Taggart also learns from Boyle that Taggart Transcontinental's San Sebastian Line has been denuded of all but the barest equipment.
  • The following terms first appears in this section:
    • motive power - first mentioned by James Taggart
  • The following Places in Atlas Shrugged are used as settings in this section:
    • The most expensive barroom in New York, on the 60th floor of a skyscraper, designed to look like a cellar.
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Bartender - first and only appearance
    • James Taggart
    • Orren Boyle
    • Paul Larkin
    • Waiter - first and only appearance
    • Wesley Mouch
  • Quotations:
    • "When everybody agrees, when people are unanimous, how does one man dare to dissent?" (49) - James Taggart
  • Pregnant Passages:
    • "It all depends," James Taggart answered slowly, "on the people who make it possible...That's what has to be known - who makes it possible."

Section 132: Part 1, Chapter 3, Section 2Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • Recounts Dagny Taggart's childhood decision to run Taggart Transcontinental and her rise in the company. Recounts the history of the San Sebastian Line: Millionaire playboy Francisco d'Anconia invested money in developing the San Sebastian Mines, and James Taggart and the Board of Directors assumed they could trust d'Anconia to deliver a winner. Dagny opposed this project and almost quit when it was approved. James Taggart confronts Dagny and demands to know what she has done to the San Sebastian Line. She explains that she has moved anything of value out of Mexico so the "looters" would not get it when they nationalize the line. James is scandalized by this but cannot immediately muster the courage to countermand her actions; instead, he threatens her with his impending report to the Board.
    • After leaving the office, Dagny has a conversation with the owner of a newsstand about his cigarette collection. He says there are no new brands anymore, and only a few brands still being made. He talks of the cigarette as a symbol of man controlling nature, holding fire in his hands.
  • The following Places in Atlas Shrugged are used as settings in this section:
    • The offices of Taggart Transcontinental
    • The Taggart Terminal.
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Board of Directors
    • Dagny's Father
    • Dagny Taggart
    • Eddie Willers
    • Ellis Wyatt - mentioned
    • Francisco d'Anconia - mentioned
    • Hank Rearden
    • James Taggart
    • Mrs. Nathaniel Taggart - mentioned
    • Nathaniel Taggart - mentioned
    • Newsstand Owner
    • Orren Boyle - mentioned
  • Symbolism:
    • The newsstand owner explicitly explains the symbolism of cigarettes: "I like to think of fire held in man's hand. Fire, a dangerous force, tamed at his fingertips. I often wonder about the hours when a man sits alone, watching the smoke of a cigarette, thinking. I wonder what great things have come from such hours. When a man thinks, there is a spot of fire alive in his mind - and it is proper that he should have the burning point of a cigarette as his one expression." This is a character explaining what cigarettes symbolize to him - it is not a use of literary symbolism.
    • The literary symbolism of this passage is established when the newsstand owner likens the fire of a cigarette to the fire of the mind. In Greek mythology, it was this gift of fire that raised men up. In Atlas Shrugged, it is the achievements of the mind that raise men up. So the disappearance of most of the old brands of cigarettes, which the newsstand owner bemoans, is symbolic of the disappearance of the men of the mind. Note that it was Prometheus who gave fire to man for which he would be forever tormented by an eagle tearing at his immortal flesh. Thus, the bringer of gifts receives punishment rather than praise.

Section 133: Part 1, Chapter 3, Section 3Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • Eddie Willers ends a long day at work by having dinner in the employees' cafeteria of the Taggart Terminal. There he meets the Mystery Worker. They sit together and he tells them about the problems of the day and what Dagny Taggart is going to do to fix things. He mentions that Dick McNamara is the contractor who will lay the new rails for the Rio Norte Line. Eddie also reveals that Dagny does not go out, that she sits alone in her apartment listening to the music of Richard Halley. (Eddie will have many similar chats with this Mystery Worker throughout the book.)
    • The cafeteria is described as follows: "The cafeteria lay underground. It was a large room with walls of white tile that glittered in the reflections of electric lights and looked like silver brocade. It had a high ceiling, sparkling counters of glass and chromium, a sense of space and light." This description is in sharp contrast to the most expensive barroom in New York, from section 131, that is atop a skyscraper but made to look like a cellar. The contrast gives the chapter title - The Top and the Bottom - its irony.
  • The following Places in Atlas Shrugged are used as settings in this section:
    • The employees' cafeteria of the Taggart Terminal. (It is set in the basement, but unlike the bar-room that begins the chapter, the cafeteria is described as spacious, as if open to the sky.)
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Eddie Willers
    • Mystery Worker
    • Dagny Taggart - mentioned
    • Dick McNamara - mentioned
    • Richard Halley - mentioned


CHAPTER FOUR: THE IMMOVABLE MOVERSEdit

Section 141: Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 1Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • Dagny attempts to pinpoint the need of the world--motive power to keep it standing, movement to keep it immovable; the Taggart Transcontinental skyscraper rests not on its granite foundations, but in its engines--that's what keeps it going. With depressed thoughts, Dagny Taggart reminisces a visit to United Locomotive Works to determine why they consistently fail to deliver the Diesel engines she ordered. The President of ULW talks for hours without answering directly or saying anything of substance. After returning to the office, Eddie Willers informs Dagny that Dick McNamara - the best contractor that can be found anywhere - has quit without explanation. As Dagny walks home that night, she sees the depravity that passes for popular culture: books and movies that trivialize what is glorious, demonize what is moral, and exalt what is base; people who act as if pleasure were a sin that one gets away with. Depressed, she returns home and listens to the soul tonic of Richard Halley. While she listens, she recalls Halley's struggles as a young composer, his sudden success, and his mysterious disappearance. She sees in the newspaper that Francisco d'Anconia has returned to New York amidst a scandal in which a married woman tries to kill her husband so she could be with Francisco, whom she identifies as her lover. Francisco says he came to New York to witness the farce - but it is not the same farce people are led to believe in that he wants to witness.
  • The following Places in Atlas Shrugged are used as settings in this section:
    • The offices of Taggart Transcontinental
    • Offices and shops of United Locomotive Works
    • New York City in the evening
    • Dagny's apartment
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Chief Engineer
    • Dagny Taggart
    • Eddie Willers
    • Gilbert Vail
    • Dick McNamara - mentioned
    • Mrs. Gilbert Vail
    • President of ULW
    • Richard Halley - mentioned
  • Mysteries:
    • What happened to Halley and McNamara?
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Dagny sees a precision machine tool abandoned and decaying in the United Locomotive Works factory; abandoned not because it was valueless, but because the owners could not extract value from it. This foreshadows another discovery in an even less competent factory - a motor that is priceless, but which is left abandoned by people who could not see its value.

Section 142: Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 2Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • James Taggart awakes at noon, hungover, in his apartment with Betty Pope, with whom he is having a romanceless sexual affair. He brags about how he is going to bring down Dagny Taggart for what she did to the San Sebastian Line. But before he has a chance to do this, he receives a call from his man in Mexico telling him the line and the San Sebastian Mines have been nationalized, just as Dagny predicted.
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Betty Pope
    • Board of Directors
    • Dagny Taggart - mentioned
    • James Taggart
    • Jock Benson
    • Jules Mott
    • Liz Blane

Section 143: Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 3Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • James Taggart addresses the Board of Directors after the San Sebastian Line is nationalized. He takes credit for removing everything of value from Mexico, and assures everyone that with his Washington connections he can get the government to demand just compensation from Mexico. He places the blame for his disaster on two men who played only a minor role in the fiasco. Moreover, the board he speaks to is given the comfort of knowing what excuse to give to those they represent.


  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Board of Directors
    • Clarence Eddington - Mentioned (Only Appearance)
    • James Taggart
    • Jules Mott - Mentioned

Section 144: Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 4Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • Orren Boyle meets with James Taggart about the Mexican disaster. They can't believe Francisco d'Anconia was swindled out of fifteen million dollars, and they assume he must know something they don't know. Taggart tries to make an appointment with Francisco but he refuses to see him, because Francisco finds him "boring".


  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Francisco d'Anconia - mentioned
    • James Taggart
    • Orren Boyle
    • James Taggart's Secretary

Section 145: Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 5Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • The National Alliance of Railroads passes the Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule which gives them the power to dictate which railroads can operate in which regions of the country; specifically, the railroad with seniority gets precedence in a competitive area to eliminate dog-eat-dog competition. The rule is crafted by Orren Boyle with the purpose of driving the Phoenix-Durango out of Colorado, so Taggart Transcontinental would not have to compete with them any longer. (It is part of a "friendship" made earlier with Taggart - I do your dirty work; you do mine.) After the vote, James Taggart storms into Dagny Taggart's office and gloats about how he has ruined their competitor, Dan Conway, which in his mind is a victory over Dagny. She calls him a rotten bastard and rushes out.


  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Board of Directors
    • Dagny Taggart
    • Dan Conway
    • James Taggart
    • Orren Boyle
    • Mike Jones

Section 146: Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 6Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • Dagny Taggart visits Dan Conway in order to try to persuade him to fight the Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule, and to discuss morality. Conway admits the ruling is not fair, but he doesn't feel he has any right to fight the will of the majority. He meekly resigns himself to running his railroads in Arizona, or perhaps, pursuing reclusive pastimes such as fishing. Conway states, "I suppose somebody's got to be sacrificed. If it turned out to be me, I have no right to complain." This is an important passage because it is the first explicit statement of the concept of the Sanction of the Victim. Moreover, the term "looters" referring to the villain is first introduced in the context of the excuse of "public welfare."
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Dagny Taggart
    • Dan Conway
    • Ellis Wyatt - mentioned.
    • James Taggart - mentioned.

Section 147: Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 7Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • Ellis Wyatt appears suddenly and unexpectedly in Dagny Taggart's office. He issues an ultimatum, saying if Taggart Transcontinental fails to run trains the way his business requires, his business will fail - and he will drag them down with him. Wyatt had expected a spiel of excuses, as any well-educated looter would have given. However, Dagny surprises him by quietly assuring him, without excuses or explanations, that he will get the service he requires. Dagny knows full well Wyatt's basis from which to question Taggart Transcontinental's ability to service him. Wyatt states, "You expect to feed off me while you can and to find another carcass to pick dry after you have finished mine." He understands that the parasites are dependent upon him, and when he issues his ultimatum, he is refusing to grant the Sanction of the Victim. Thus Ellis Wyatt is a sharp contrast to Dan Conway in the previous section. The responses of these two men to the Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule represent opposite sides of the book's central conflict - one accedes to being a victim, one refuses.



Section 148: Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 8Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • Dagny Taggart meets with Hank Rearden at his steel mill to tell him that, because of the Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule she will need her rails in nine months instead of twelve. She asks Rearden if he can deliver the order in time, and he tells her he will. Dagny acknowledges that Rearden now holds Taggart Transcontinental in his power - if he fails to deliver, the railroad might collapse. But, Rearden needs this project to succeed as well because it will prove the value of Rearden Metal, creating new markets for him. They stand together in silence, watching as the first load of Rearden Metal is loaded onto the trains, both knowing what this new invention represents. The two talk about business as if one business' success creates opportunities for another, which is in sharp contrast to the talk about "destructive competition" that was used to justify the Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule earlier in this chapter.
    • The first traces of Dagny and Rearden's relationship becomes apparent, as Dagny has an epiphany. "If joy is the aim and the core of existence, and if that which has the power to give one joy is always guarded as one's deepest secret, then they had seen each other naked in that moment." Rearden, however, is extremely stoic, and although this realization of joy is mutual, Rearden replies with, "We're a couple of blackguards, aren't we?" This disturbs Dagny and foreshadows the guilt that will plague Rearden, make him believe that his pleasure is depraved, and eventually undermine Rearden's ownership of Rearden Metal.
    • There is an apparent plot hole as to why Dagny did not buy the rail from Conway and skip the trouble of meeting a near impossible schedule. This hole is filled in later in the novel. Dagny has an argument with James Taggart, her brother, when he mentions he tries to purchase the rail from Dan Conway, who states in anger that not one foot of his rail will ever be sold to Taggart Transcontinental. He later sells the dismembered pieces of his railroad at a huge discount to anyone - except Taggart Transcontinental.
    • The chapter ends with the extension of the metaphor that the chapter opens with: Rearden states that "we are the movers," thereby transferring the strength and burden of the skyscraper of Taggart Transcontinental to earthly flesh. Though machines rust when neglected, the movers - people like Rearden and Dagny - can adapt and are a self-sufficient source of fuel. They do not give up when disasters happen - they are the immovable movers.


  • The following Places in Atlas Shrugged are used as settings in this section:
    • Hank Rearden's office at Rearden Steel.
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Dagny Taggart
    • Dan Conway
    • Ellis Wyatt
    • Hank Rearden
    • James Taggart
    • Looters - mentioned
    • Moochers - mentioned (term first introduced to describe those who would expect others to be in business purely for their convenience)


CHAPTER FIVE: THE CLIMAX OF THE D'ANCONIASEdit

Section 151: Part 1, Chapter 5, Section 1Edit

  • Plot summary:
    • After the government of Mexico suddenly nationalizes the San Sebastian Mines thinking they would be a great new source of revenue for the state, they discover that the mines are completely worthless--there was never any chance of mining copper there, so Francisco d'Anconia must have known all along the project was doomed to failure. Eddie Willers shows the news report to Dagny Taggart, who tries to figure out how this could be, and finally tells Eddie to get her an appointment with "the bastard." Eddie warns about meeting him in a way that indicates the emotional significance seeing Francisco will hold for Dagny.

Section 152: Part 1, Chapter 5, Section 2Edit

  • Plot summary:

In this long section, Dagny walks to the Wayne-Falkland Hotel to confront Francisco d'Anconia. While walking, she reminisces her childhood with Francisco and we learn why this man is so significant to her.

    • Francisco had been a childhood friend of Dagny and Eddie Willers. He spent his childhood all over the world, because his father wanted him to know the world as his domain. But for one month every summer he visited the Taggart estate, and his visit was the highlight of Dagny and Eddie's year. Francisco had an unlimited capacity for joy, and he loved tackling new challenges - and he performed each superlatively, as to him, a job done, is a job done well. Following the tradition of each d'Anconia heir in increasing the family fortune, Francisco's great goal for his life was to run d'Anconia Copper so well it would double in size. He talked to Dagny about their great futures running their respective family businesses - this was the vision of the future Dagny came to expect. Yet, throughout this idyllic recollection, mention is made of James Taggart, who represents the evil in the world. Though Francisco disregards him as an irrelevant object, rather than a person, the evil which Taggart represents will be an obstacle.
    • When Dagny was sixteen she began working as a night-operator at the Rockdale Station of Taggart Transcontinental, much to her mother's chagrin. Her mother was worried that Dagny showed no interest in boys, or in feminine things in general. She decided to throw Dagny a coming out party at the Wayne-Falkland Hotel. Dagny loved the idea, and stepped into the ball with the eager expectation of finding people who were as filled with joy as Francisco, but instead she found they were lifeless fools who believed that it was the lighting that made things brilliant, the decorations that made things happy. In later years Dagny would discover her vision of the future was mistaken in the same way, and she would often think back to this party and wonder why people seemed incapable of living life in joy, why they lived instead with a constant undertone of fear and unhappiness. Where were the men of joy? Where were the men who were appropriate for life on earth?
    • That summer, when Francisco returned, he and Dagny discovered they were in love, and spent the summer going off together and making love in the cellar of an abandoned log cabin, where no one could discover them. They kept it secret not out of guilt - they knew not that such joy could be sin - but because they felt it was too personal and too special to share with anyone else.
    • The romance continued for eight years, as Francisco rose to become head of d'Anconia Copper and Dagny finished college and began her rise at Taggart Transcontinental. Then, when she was 24, Francisco unexpectedly invited her to his suite at the Wayne-Falkland Hotel. She was shocked to see, for the first time, pain in his face, and that he was torn by the obvious struggle within him that he could not explain to her. They made love for what will be the last time, and Francisco was stricken with a burden unbecoming of him, a grief and bitterness at odds with his usual happiness. He begged Dagny to help him fight him (Galt's opus) even though he's right. He regained his composture and warned her not to be shocked or hurt by the things he will do, and told her not to wait for him.
    • After that night, she did not hear anything about Francisco for a year, and then she began to hear the stories of a new Francisco, a worthless, irresponsible playboy, with no apparent interest in his work. At first she could not believe these things, but as the years passed and the stories piled up, she had no choice. Time deadened her pain, but she never found another man to love -- another man for whom life was joy.
    • When she arrives at the Wayne-Falkland and confronts Francisco, she accuses him of deliberately plotting the swindle of the San Sebastian Mines. She tries to determine his motives, and he leads her on, eventually telling her that he is deliberately trying to destroy the producers, that his goal in the San Sebastian Mines was to waste millions of dollars, and that Ellis Wyatt will be next one to be destroyed and Taggart Transcontinental will collapse as well; he tells her that she is the one he must fight. She could never believe he had become so corrupt, but since she does not see the full truth of his motive, she has no choice but to believe it now.
  • The following Places in Atlas Shrugged are used as settings in this section:
    • Downtown New York
    • On and around the Taggart Estate in Dagny's childhood
    • Oakdale Station
    • Abandoned log cabin
    • The Wayne-Falkland Hotel.
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Dagny's Father
    • Dagny's Mother
    • Dagny Taggart
    • Eddie Willers
    • A Math Professor (who comments that Francisco has too much capacity for joy, that it would be a tragedy when he finds that the world hasn't many occasion for such.)
    • A Literature Professor (who chastises Francisco that a man of his stature should not waste his time in the junkyards, but should read and become familiar with the culture of the world.)
    • Ellis Wyatt - mentioned
    • Francisco d'Anconia
    • Francisco's Father
    • Francisco's statement that he has made only 2 friends in college
    • James Taggart
    • Mrs. Gilbert Vail - mentioned
    • Nathaniel Taggart - mentioned
    • Orren Boyle - mentioned
    • Richard Halley - mentioned
    • Sebastian d'Anconia
  • Quotations:
    • "When I die, I hope to go to heaven - whatever the hell that is - and I want to be able to afford the price of admission" "Virtue is the price of admission." "That's what I mean, James. So I want to be prepared to claim the greatest virtue of them all - that I was a man who made money." (94) - Francisco and James Taggart
    • "It is not advisable, James, to venture unsolicitated opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener." (97) - Francisco d'Anconia
    • "Francisco, what's the most depraved type of human being?" "The man without a purpose." (98) - Dagny and Francisco
    • "Well, I've always been unpopular in school and it didn't bother me, but now I've discovered the reason. It's an impossible kind of reason. They dislike me, not because I do things badly, but because I do them well. They dislike me because I've always had the best grades in class. I don't even have to study. I always get A's. Do you suppose I should try to get D's for a change and become the most popular girl in school?" Francisco stopped, looked at her [Dagny] and slapped her face. (98)

See Also: Structure, Part 1: Chapters 1-5, Part 1: Chapters 6-10, Part 2: Chapters 1-5, Part 2: Chapters 6-10, Part 3: Chapters 1-5, Part 3: Chapters 6-10

Last modified on 25 February 2013, at 21:21