TUESDAY, October 5, 2010 7:00 to 7:30 PM Arrival Time

Explore Atlas Shrugged Session 9
Podcasts and  discussion questions on Ayn Rand’s epic novel Atlas Shrugged
We will discuss the questions.

Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Chapters 5-6
Part 2: Chapter 5: Account Overdrawn
Part 2: Chapter 6: Miracle Metal
Pages 496-566 in the larger Hardcover or Softcover
Pages 466-531 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 2: Chapter 5: Account Overdrawn
Section 1 (496-517)
– What is the state of the world by February 15th?  What are the causes of the
ever-faster decline?  How and why are people at the mercy of nature?  How and
why do the leaders in industry and politics respond as they do?  (496-501)
– Who is Mr. Weatherby?  What is his purpose at the Taggart Transcontinental
board meeting?  How and why do the board members treat him as they do?
– Why does Dagny refuse to express any opinions about what Taggart
Transcontinental should do?  Why does the board want her to kill the John
Galt Line?  Why are they unwilling to do it themselves?  (506-11)
– What lesson does Francisco want Dagny to draw from the story of Nat
Taggart’s battle to build the railroad?  Does she draw that lesson?  What
does he learn about her state of mind?  (513-5)

Section 2 (517-521)
– Why do Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden want to be present at the last run of
the John Galt Line?  What does the closed Marsh factory mean to Dagny?

Section 3 (521-525)
– How do James Taggart and Lillian Rearden interact in this lunch meeting?
What does the meeting accomplish for them? (521-4)
– What is Lillian’s plan for Hank Rearden?  How does she intend to trap him
with her gift of flowers?  What was her expected versus unexpected
opportunity?  (524-5)

Section 4 (525-531)
– Why is Lillian so shocked and dismayed to discover that Dagny Taggart is
Hank Rearden’s mistress?  What does she grasp about its significance?  Why
does she insist that he give her up?  Why does he refuse?  (526-9)
– What does Hank realize about his own prior views on hearing Lillian’s
comments about Dagny?  Why is that significant? (530)

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

Part 2: Chapter 6: Miracle Metal
Section 1 (532-549)
– What is the purpose of the meeting between these men — Mouch, Lawson,
Taggart, Thompson, Boyle, Ferris, and Kinnon? What do they reveal about
themselves?  How are they similar to and different from one another? (532-49)
– What is the content of Directive 10-289?  What is the purpose and likely
effects of each point?  Why is it so evil? (538-9)
– Why are the looters concerned about what Rearden might do?  What could he do
to them and by what means? (547-8)

Section 2 (549-554)
– Why does Dagny resign immediately in response to Directive 10-289? Why can’t
Eddie Willers follow, even thought he wants to do so? (552-3)

Section 3 (554-566)
– What is the response to Directive 10-289 at Rearden’s mills?  In particular,
why does Tom Colby quit?  Why does the Wet Nurse want to help Rearden to
break the law?  (554-6)
– What does Rearden learn about himself and the looters in his conversation
with Dr. Ferris about the Gift Certificate?  (559-66)
– Why does Rearden choose to sign the Gift Certificate?  Is he right to do so?
Why or why not?  (565-6)

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

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