TUESDAY, February 2, 2010 7:00 PM

Explore Atlas Shrugged  Session 2
Podcasts and  discussion questions on Ayn Rand’s epic novel Atlas Shrugged
We will discuss the questions.

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Chapters 4-5
Part 1: Chapter 4: The Immovable Movers
Part 1: Chapter 5: The Climax of the d’Anconias
Pages 64-126 in the larger Hardcover or Softcover
Pages 67-124 in the smaller Mass Market Paperback

These discussion questions and podcast were prepared by Diana Hsieh for
ExploreAtlasShrugged.com for people interested in creating their own Atlas
Shrugged Reading Groups, as well as for anyone wishing to study the novel in
more depth. They may be freely used for the study and discussion of Atlas
Shrugged, provided that this paragraph remains intact in any reproduction.

The listed page numbers are for the larger edition, softcover or hardback.

Part 1, Chapter 4: Immovable Movers
Section 1 (64-69)
– Why does Dagny seek to be a passive spectator of greatness? Why is that so
important to her? (65-6)

Section 2 (70-72)
– What is the nature of Jim’s relationship with Betty Pope? What does that
reveal about his capacity to feel emotions and his concern for spiritual
values? (70-2)

Section 3 (72)
– How does Jim spin the San Sebastián nationalization to the Board? What does
that reveal about his character? (72)

Section 4 (73)
– What do Jim Taggart and Orren Boyle think of Francisco D’Anconia? What does
that reveal about them? (73)

Section 5 (73-77)
– What is the Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule? Why do the railroad executives vote for
it, even though they do not support it? (73-5)
– Why does Dagny not speak to Jim about the San Sebastián nationalization? Was
that a mistake? Has he accepted that he was wrong? (75-6)

Section 6 (77-80)
– Why does Dagny Taggart want Dan Conway to fight the Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule?
Should he abide by it? Why is he willing to accept it? What has defeated him?
– What is Dagny Taggart’s view of the morality of sacrifice? What is Dan
Conway’s view? Who is right? (78)

Section 7 (81-82)
– Why does Wyatt speak as he does to Dagny? Why does she accept his beating?

Section 8 (82-88)
– How do Hank and Dagny transact business? How are they both allies and
antagonists? How is their approach different from that seen in the earlier
meeting between the looters in the bar? (83-5)
– How does Dagny’s response to the loading of the Rearden Metal differ from
that his family? Has she given Hank something he needed? What is that? (86)
– Why does Hank say that he and Dagny are blackguards without spiritual
values? Does Hank have spiritual values? Why does Hank’s claim worry Dagny,
yet only in part? (87-8)

Whole Chapter
– What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

Chapter 5: The Climax of the D’Anconias
Section 1 (89-90)
– How does Eddie Willers respond to the discovery that the San Sebastián Mines
are worthless? Why? (89-90)

Section 2 (90-126)
– How was Jim Taggart corrupt in his childhood? Could he have been a better
person? If so, why does he choose as he does? (93, 94, 95-6) What effect does
college have on Jim? (99)
– Why does Francisco say that a person’s work is “the only measure of human
value”? Does he mean that nothing else in life matters? What is he warning
Dagny against? (100)
– What is Francisco and Dagny’s first sexual encounter like? Why? How were
they innocent of any burden of sin — and why? (107-9)
– When they meet that last night in the Wayne-Faulkland Hotel, what is
Francisco’s state of mind? Why doesn’t he tell Dagny everything? (111-5)
– How did Francisco swindle Jim and his friends with the San Sebastián Mines?
How does he explain his actions to Dagny? What is her response? How was the
swindle “tearing the lid off hell and letting men see it”? (118-121, 122-6)

Whole Chapter
– What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

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