TUESDAY, May 4, 2010 7:00 PM

Explore Atlas Shrugged  Session 5
Podcasts and ┬ádiscussion questions on Ayn Rand’s epic novel Atlas Shrugged
We will discuss the questions.

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Chapters 9 – 10 (Part A)
Part 1: Chapter 9: The Sacred and the Profane
Part 1: Chapter 10: Wyatt’s Torch (Sections 1-4)
Pages 253-309 in the larger Hardcover or Softcover
Pages 241-294 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 9: The Sacred and the Profane
Section 1: 253-56
– Why does Hank say what he says to Dagny the morning after their first night
together? Why does Dagny’s reaction change as she listens to him? Why does
she says what she says in response? (254-6)

Section 2: 256-67
– What kind of person is Cherryl Brooks? How and why does Cherryl
misunderstand Jim Taggart’s character? What does she think of what he says?
Why doesn’t she see the truth about him? (257-67)

Section 3: 267-9
– Why is Hank Rearden so tortured by the fact of Dagny’s past lover? What does
that tell her (and us) about him? Why won’t she tell Rearden the identity of
her prior lover? (268-9)

Section 4: 269-73
– What does Mr. Mowen reveal about his character in conversation with the
worker (Owen Kellogg)? Are Mr. Mowen’s views coherent or contradictory? How
so? (270-3)

Section 5: 273-9
– Why does Hank presume that his invitation to speak at the National Council
of Metal Industries is a peace offering? (275) How is he wrong? Why does
Dagny think him (too) generous? (274-6)
– How and why is Hank optimistic about the future? Why does he think the
Equalization of Opportunity Bill will not exist in three years? Is he right
(at that time) to be so optimistic? (277)
– Why does Hank want Dagny to go on a vacation with him? Why does he want her
to wear the bracelet of Rearden Metal? How has his attitude changed since
their first night together? Why would anyone guessing their affair be worse
for him than for her? (278-9)

Section 6: 279-91
– How is Starnesville in worse shape than other towns Hank and Dagny have
seen? Why is it so alarming? (281, 283-6)
– Why is Dagny so excited to discover the motor? What disturbs Hank about the
discovery? What is the importance of the creation of the motor and the
significance of it being abandoned? (287-90)

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

Part 1: Chapter 10: Wyatt’s Torch
Section 1: 292-4
– How and why did the 20th Century Motors die such an ignoble death? (292-3)

Section 2: 294-8
– How and why does Dagny respond as she does to the claim by Mayor Bascom that
she is not Hank’s wife? How and why does Hank respond as he does? What is it
about Mayor Bascom’s explanation that resembles Hank’s own views? (296-7)

Section 3: 298-301
– How has Dagny protected Jim from the consequences of his Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog
Rule? Did she see that so clearly at the time? Why does she feel a chill on
thinking that self-interest is not Jim’s motive? What is the alternative?

Section 4: 301-9
– What kinds of shady actions must Rearden take to save his mills? Are those
actions moral, even though illegal? How and why do government controls make
criminals of honest men? (302)
– What does Lillian reveal about herself and her values in her conversation
with Rearden? How does Rearden give Lillian more credit than she deserves?
What does she deserve? What are her motives? (304-9)
– Why does Lillian think that Rearden has an obligation to make her happy? Is
that a reasonable expectation? Is it a common expectation? Should Hank oblige
her? (307)

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