TUE Dec 3 – TVOAR Chapter 4 The Concept of God

WHEN:
TUESDAY, December 3, 2013 6:30 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
The Vision of Ayn Rand
The Basic Principles of Objectivism NBI Lecture Series
by Nathaniel Branden

DISCUSSION LEADER:
Jackie Hazelton
READINGS:
Chapter 4, The Concept of God
Pages 93-119

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
Will be sent in the reminder email.

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-516-3281

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

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BRING:
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SAT Nov 16 – Stossel on Atlas Shrugged and the Struggle for Liberty

WHEN:

SATURDAY, November 16, 2013 7:00 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:

John Stossel and Guests: Atlas Shrugged and the Struggle for Liberty

Video of interview (77 minutes)

LEADER:

Jackie Hazelton

DESCRIPTION:

At the 2012 Atlas Summit, an annual event produced by The Atlas Society, broadcast journalist and author John Stossel, host of the weekly FoxBusiness show Stossel, interviewed three leaders in the liberty movement and asked them how Atlas Shrugged had inspired their own struggle for liberty.

Grover Norquist, indefatigable head of Americans for Tax Reform and Reason founder Robert Poole, Jr. were interviewed by Stossel, along with Alexander McCobin, head of Students for Liberty.

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-516-3281

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

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TUE Nov 5 – TVOAR Chapter 3 Logic and Mysticism

When reading, if you think of a discussion question, please email it.  I will include all the discussion questions in the reminder email on 10/29/13.  Thanks, Jackie
WHEN:

TUESDAY, November 5, 2013 6:30 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
The Vision of Ayn Rand

The Basic Principles of Objectivism NBI Lecture Series
by Nathaniel Branden
DISCUSSION LEADER:
Jackie Hazelton

READINGS:
Chapter 3, Logic and Mysticism
Pages 63-91

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Will be sent in the reminder email.
WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home

480-516-3281
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

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SAT Oct 19 – David Mayer on Restoring the Constitutional Presidency Part 2

WHEN:

SATURDAY, October 19, 2013 7:00 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:

Restoring the Constitutional Presidency Part 2

Video of talk by David Mayer (61 minutes)

LEADER:

Jackie Hazelton

DESCRIPTION:

Has the U.S. Presidency effectively become an “absolute monarch” in the modern era as the Presidential powers have expanded far beyond the scope envisioned by the Constitution’s framers? In this two-part talk law professor and author David N. Mayer shows how far we have departed from the Founders’ vision of a constitutionally-limited presidency, perhaps realizing during the 20th century Thomas Jefferson’s fear that the Chief Executive would become essentially an “elective monarch,” with unbounded powers.

In this video, Part 2, Mayer communicates that what the modern record of Presidents, both Democratic and Republican, shows over the past 100 years or so, is that the office has in many respects been transformed into what Thomas Jefferson most feared, a tyrannical executive, in effect, an elective monarch–someone who acts as if he is not bound by the “chains of the Constitution.”

Mayer discusses several types of abuse of power enacted by modern Presidents from both parties. He also discusses the Supreme Court decision on “Obamacare.” (The Court’s decision was delivered the day before Part 1 of Mayer’s presentation.)

BIO:

David N. Mayer is a professor of law and history at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where he teaches courses in constitutional history.  Mayer has a PhD in History from the University of Virginia.  He returned to academic life after a law practice in Washington, DC.  He has written books The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson (Constitutionalism and Democracy), published in 1995 and Liberty of Contract: Rediscovering a Lost Constitutional Right in 2011.  See http://law.capital.edu/FacultyBio.aspx?ID=22633

WHERE:

Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home

480-516-3281

Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:

Jackie Hazelton

(c) 480-516-3281

(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

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TUE Oct 1 – TVOAR Chapter 2 What Is Reason?

WHEN:

TUESDAY, October 1, 2013 6:30 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:

The Vision of Ayn Rand

The Basic Principles of Objectivism NBI Lecture Series

by Nathaniel Branden

DISCUSSION LEADER:

Jackie Hazelton

READINGS:

Chapter 2, What Is Reason?

Pages 37-62

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: by Jackie Hazelton

1. Do you have any follow up thoughts on the previous chapter?

2. Did the chapter contain anything surprising or that you didn’t know?

3. Was there anything you didn’t understand or had a question about?

4. Was there anything you thought was incorrect?

5. p. 40 Rand defines, “A concept is an integration of ow or more concretes which are isolated according to a specific characteristic and united by a specific definition.”  Rand uses the word “concretes” rather than “objects” and does not define concretes.  What are concretes?

6. p. 43 Brandon states “Concepts and language primarily are tools of cognition, not of communication, as many people assume.”  Do you agree?

7. p. 44 top Does a definition provide objectivity?

8. p. 44 bottom “Concepts or abstractions as such do not exist.  They are, as Miss Rand makes clear in her monograph, man’s method of classifying that which exists, and everything that exists is a concrete.”  What do you make of this statement?

9. P. 45 bottom Concerning the “principle” that knowledge is hierarchical, do you agree that men fail to grasp this, with disastrous consequences?

10.  p. 46 middle Do you understand “The Fallacy of the Stolen Concept”?  Can you give a different example?

11. p. 50 middle Is man born “tabula rasa”?  If not, how does that affect Brandon’s argument?

12. In this chapter there are some crucial words used that are NOT defined such as  thought, think, and thinking  beginning on p. 42, cognition beginning on p. 43, the mind’s purpose beginning on p. 51, logic beginning on p. 52 and value(s) beginning on p 54 mentioned with cognition.   What does Rand mean by these words?

13. Both Rand and Branden use the word “see” and “look”  in examples p. 42 “When you see a woman…” and p. 57 “three men look at the same woman.”  In both examples it appears that you can see qualities of character.  Do you think Rand and Branden meant seeing in terms of vision alone or in the sense of knowing?

14.  p. 59 middle Do you agree with Objectivism’s idea that, “a man’s emotions are the automatic summation of the thinking he has done or has failed to do in the past”?

15.  p. 59 Are values “objective”?  Can values be true or false?

16. Did Brandon provide you with adequate evidence (for your senses) to cause you to agree with his explanation on how knowledge is acquired?  Were all types of knowledge touched on?

17. Did Branden answer the question in the chapter title, “What is reason?”

WHERE:

Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home

480-516-3281

Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:

Jackie Hazelton

(c) 480-516-3281

(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:

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Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-516-3281

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SAT Sept 21 – David Mayer on Restoring the Constitutional Presidency Part 1

WHEN:

SATURDAY, September 21, 2013 7:00 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:

Restoring the Constitutional Presidency Part 1

Video of talk by David Mayer (59 minutes)

LEADER:

Jackie Hazelton

DESCRIPTION:

Has the U.S. Presidency effectively become an “absolute monarch” in the modern era as the Presidential powers have expanded far beyond the scope envisioned by the Constitution’s framers? In this two-part talk law professor and author David N. Mayer shows how far we have departed from the Founders’ vision of a constitutionally-limited presidency, perhaps realizing during the 20th century Thomas Jefferson’s fear that the Chief Executive would become essentially an “elective monarch,” with unbounded powers.

In Part 1, David surveys the early history of the Presidency and what the framers of the Constitution designed the office to be. He also looks at how the early presidents (through most of the 19th century) actually excercised their power. Using Thomas Jefferson’s presidency as a model, Part one also discusses the key limits the Constitution places on presidential powers – or, as Jefferson understood it, how the president is “bound by the chains of the Constitution.”

BIO:

David N. Mayer is a professor of law and history at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where he teaches courses in constitutional history.  Mayer has a PhD in History from the University of Virginia.  He returned to academic life after a law practice in Washington, DC.  He has written books The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson (Constitutionalism and Democracy), published in 1995 and Liberty of Contract: Rediscovering a Lost Constitutional Right in 2011.  See http://law.capital.edu/FacultyBio.aspx?ID=22633

WHERE:

Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home

480-516-3281

Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:

Jackie Hazelton

(c) 480-516-3281

(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:

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Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-516-3281

BRING:

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TUE Sept 3 – TVOAR Chapter 1 The Role of Philosophy

WHEN:

TUESDAY, September 3, 2013 6:30 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:

The Vision of Ayn Rand

The Basic Principles of Objectivism NBI Lecture Series

by Nathaniel Branden

DISCUSSION LEADER:

Jackie Hazelton

READINGS:

Chapter 1, The Role of Philosophy

Pages 1-35

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: by Jackie Hazelton

1. Did the chapter contain anything surprising or that you didn’t know?

2. Was there anything you didn’t understand or had a question about?

3. Was there anything you thought was incorrect?

4. What did you think of Branden’s summary of the essentials of the Objectivist philosophy in (a) through (g).  Is there anything you would add?  Leave out?  Say differently? (pages 1-2)

5. Do you agree that reason/rationality is the key element of Objectivism?  Is it the key element for you?  If not, what is? (page 2)

6. Does it seem odd that Esthetics is included as one of the 5 basic branches of philosophy and Science is not?  Do we reason about Esthetics? (pages 3-4)

7. About those 5 basic branches of philosophy handed down from the Greeks, do you think we should continue to organize philosophy this way? Does the knowledge gained in the last 2,000 years all fit into this framework? (pages 3-5)

8. What is your impression of the story of the couple who broke up after an argument?  Is it realistic?  (pages 7-9)

9. Why was so much historical background included? Was it useful? (pages 10-25)

10. Branden says that the slogan of the Renaissance was “The right to see.”  If Objectivism had a slogan, what would it be? (page 18)

11. If reason and freedom is so obviously better, as Objectivism says, why does, “The Platonist and irrationalist trend always keep growing…”  Is there something that Objectivism is not accounting for? (page 20)

12. Branden states, “This culture is bankrupt.”  That was 55 years ago.  What is the state today?  Better or worse? (page 25)

13. Rand often defines words differently from the norm.  Is there anything unusual about Rand’s use of “objective” and “subjective”.  (page 31)

14. Do you agree that people hold a subjectivist view subconsciously, “by implication, be default, by lack of knowledge and, quite frequently, by evading the issue”? Can you think of other reasons?  (page 32)

15. What are your thoughts on the subjectivist quotations.  Do you agree that they all mean and imply that there is no firm, absolute reality?  (page 32)

“This may be true for you, but it is not true for me.”

“Everything is a matter of opinion, and one man’s opinion is as good as another.”

“You may be right, but I don’t feel it.”

“Wishing will make it so.”

“All our differences are a matter of semantics.”

“It will work, if people only want it to work.”

16. Are we to understand that Rand thinks everything can be objective and nothing is, or should be, subjective or that the subjective is not important or valid?

17. How does truth interact with consciousness and with time?  (page 33)

18. Do you agree with Branden’s statement that, “It is logical that subjectivism does and has to lead, on a social level, to dictatorship”? Is it un-objective to want and exert power over other men?  (page 34)

19. On page 3, Branden states that the purpose of this course is to “…organize our knowledge of the subject into an integrated structure, so that we can see how the various concepts interrelate, what conclusions proceed from what premises, and what constitutes the proof of our various principles.”  How was this accomplished in this chapter?

WHERE:

Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home

480-516-3281

Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:

Jackie Hazelton

(c) 480-516-3281

(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

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SAT AUG 17 – Movie If You Could Only Cook

If you plan to attend next Saturday but have not yet RSVPed, please do so by replying to this email.  Thanks, Jackie

WHEN:
SATURDAY, August 17, 2013 7:00 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
Movie “If You Could Only Cook”

LEADER:
Jim Kirk

DESCRIPTION:
Jim writes, for our meeting on August 17th we will be trying something new. Earlier this year I saw the 1935 film, “If You Could Only Cook.” The movie is a light-hearted romantic comedy, the sort sometimes called a screwball comedy. The leading actors are Herbert Marshall as the president of an automobile corporation, Jean Arthur as an unemployed young woman, and, as a charming gangster, the young handsome Leo Carillo (those of us who are older remember Carillo from 1950’s television as the older portly Pancho in ‘The Cisco Kid’).

What I found interesting about the movie is that as I watched it, some of the characters and situations began to remind me of characters and situations from Ayn Rand’s fiction. However, in my IMDb research I have found no connection whatever between Rand and anyone involved with this movie.

We will watch the movie and then we can discuss what each of us sees there, if anything. I won’t give any examples so everyone can watch without any bias coming from me.

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-516-3281
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:
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Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-516-3281

BRING:
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TUE AUG 6 – The Fountainhead Session 18

WHEN:
TUESDAY, August 6, 2013 6:30 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
The Fountainhead Session 18
LAST SESSION.

DISCUSSION LEADER:
Jackie Hazelton

READINGS:
The Fountainhead, Part 4, Chapters 17, 18, 19, & 20
Pages 695-727 in the Centennial Edition
Pages 721-754 in the Bobbs-Merrill hardback
Pages 657-687 in the Signet paperback

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: by John Kannarr
The Fountainhead

Part IV – Howard Roark

Chapter XVII [pp. 721-731 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 657-667 Signet paperback]

1. What is Ellsworth Toohey counting on? Has he won? [721;657]

2. What is Roark counting on when he writes his letter to Wynand? If he is not forgiving toward Wynand, how would you describe his feelings and action? [722;657-658]

3. Why does Wynand still think that he and Dominique can continue? What is he counting on? [722-723;658]

4. Why does Dominique seem at peace in her woodland retreat? What is she counting on? What is the significance of the earth as background to her now? [723;659]

5. Why would Roark make an exception for Wynand? Is it credible? Does Dominique, for once, make more sense than Roark? What does that portend? [724-725;660-661]

6. Why does Dominique think that “to confess happiness is to stand naked, delivered to the witness”? Do her actions the next morning deliver her naked to the world? [725-726;661-662]

7. Why would Alvah Scarret now feel that he loved Wynand so much? Why does he think Dominique’s very public infidelity serves Wynand right? [728;663-664]

8. Is Dominique’s cry to Gail that he had no right to become what he had become a tacit admission that Roark was right about him? What does it say about her own history? [729;664-665]

9. What does Wynand’s passivity with respect to the Banner’s campaign against Dominique tell us about his state? [730-731;666-667]

Chapter XVIII [pp. 732-744 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 667-679 Signet paperback]

10. What is the reason for the description of the people who came to witness the trial, those who “had come to witness a sensational case …”? What does it contrast to? What is it telling us about most people, and about readers of The Fountainhead? [732-733;667-668]

11. What does the description of the men of the jury selected by Roark tell us? What is Roark counting on? Does the prosecutor sincerely believe in his case? Does he seem capable of recognizing any alternative? [733-734;668-669]

12. When Peter Keating answers the prosecutor that he was afraid of Howard Roark, is he being honest? What could he or should he have answered? [734-735;669-670]

13. What is the meaning of the feelings and thoughts described as occurring in the court audience when Roark takes the witness stand? Does it seem possible that those feelings and thoughts also belong to the Toohey crowd? [735-736;670-671]

14. Very often the authors of novels choose as a title a particular phrase that occurs in the text. Is that the case here? [736-743;671-678]

15. What do Roark [and Rand] say is the unique characteristic of man and his survival? Is that theme constant throughout Rand’s works of fiction? [736-743;671-678]

16. What other important ideas that are described here are developed further by Rand in Atlas Shrugged? Which are most important to you, or were most important in your personal development? [736-743;671-678]

17. Notice the implied comparison of Keating and Roark, respectively, at the end of each man’s testimony, in their images in the other people’s minds. How well does it fit the theme of the novel? [735,743-744;670,678]

18. Why does Wynand stand when the jury’s decision is being presented? Why does Roark turn to look at Wynand after it has been read? Why does Wynand then immediately leave? [744;679]

Chapter XIX [pp. 745-751 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 679-685 Signet paperback]

19. Why is Toohey so uncomfortable as he sits at his desk after returning to work at the Banner? What was he expecting? What is it that he expects Wynand to say or do? [745-748;679-682]

20. Does the incident of the presses stopping remind you of anything in Atlas Shrugged? How is it similar, and how is it different? [747-748;681-682]

21. How can Wynand be so decisive now, yet not so earlier when it would have saved him? [711-714,747-748;648-651,681-682]

22. What does Roark feel when he gets the call from Wynand’s secretary asking him for an appointment? How long does that feeling last? Why does Roark sign the contract so readily, without even reading it? [748-749;682-684]

23. We have already had one indication of Wynand’s future with the description of his divorce from Dominique. Now we have another one, less concrete perhaps, with respect to his empire. Is the image here better or worse than the one we were left with in the movie version? [745,749-751;679-680,683-685]

Chapter XX [pp. 752-754 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 685-687 Signet paperback]

24. Many of Rand’s most stirring descriptive passages are of buildings and city skylines. Is it any wonder that she chose to live so many years, until the end of her life in New York City? What other stirring images in her fiction have you found important to you? [752-754;685-687]

25. Which image of Roark do you find more compelling, the one at the beginning of the novel or the one at the very end? [9,754;7,687]

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-516-3281
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:
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Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-516-3281

BRING:
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TUE Jul 2 – The Fountainhead Session 17

WHEN:
TUESDAY, July 2, 2013 6:30 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
The Fountainhead Session 17
Second to last session.

DISCUSSION LEADER:
Jackie Hazelton

READINGS:
The Fountainhead, Part 4, Chapters 14, 15, & 16
Pages 660-694 in the Centennial Edition
Pages 685-720 in the Bobbs-Merrill hardback
Pages 623-656 in the Signet paperback

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: by John Kannarr
The Fountainhead

Part IV – Howard Roark

Chapter XIV [pp. 685-695 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 623-633 Signet paperback]

1. Toohey answers Mrs. Keating, “Yes, I’m sure.” Which of her statements is he replying to? Is Toohey there to help Keating? Rand uses an interesting metaphor to describe Toohey’s appearance to Keating. How apt is it? [685-686;623-624]

2. When Toohey tells Keating his goal of sending Roark to prison, why doesn’t Keating ask him to leave right then? Toohey says that he knows Roark’s motive. Why does Toohey think that bringing it out in court will achieve his goal? Is Toohey right that Keating has hated Toohey all his life, even as he followed him? [686-687;624-625]

3. Could Toohey possibly be telling the truth when he says that at times he wants to turn away from his success? Have we ever seen any indication of that? Why is he so certain that the contract between Keating and Toohey is damning to Roark? [Aside to our lawyer, did Rand not understand rules of court procedure, or is disclosure to defendants of “evidence” a more recent development?] [688-689;624-625]

4. Even as Toohey claims that he sees his success within his grasp, he claims that he doesn’t really like it. Does that make any sense at all? What does he expect to get out of it, and what possible meaning is there to finding such satisfaction as his capacity permits? [689-690;628]

5. Toohey’s prescriptions include killing man’s aspirations and integrity, enshrining mediocrity and destroying reverence, preaching altruism and denigrating happiness, and making him feel guilty. Do you think any of these are really intentional objectives of anyone? What do you think of Toohey’s [Rand’s] statement, “there’s always a purpose in nonsense”? [690-691;628-629]

6. How would you compare Toohey’s revelations to Keating to, say, Galt’s speech? [An interesting precursor to Atlas – “A world with its motor cut off.”] Any thoughts on how well Toohey’s “world of the future” compares to the world of Anthem? [690-694;628-632]

7. Is Toohey crazy? [694-695;632-633]

Chapter XV [pp. 696-710 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 633-648 Signet paperback]

8. Scarrett must have known what Wynand’s reaction to Toohey’s column was likely to be. What action has he taken in response? What was he hoping for? [696-697;633-635]

9. What is Rand telling us through Toohey’s gloating parting speech to Wynand? [699-700;636-637]

10. Why had Wynand never taken any special notice of the “small, indispensable spark plugs” of the Banner, the ones who belonged to the Union? Does that seem uncharacteristic of Wynand? [700;637]

11. Does Harding’s article in the New Frontiers demonstrate a lack of integrity? How so? [700-701;638]

12. Why has Alvah Scarrett so misunderstood Toohey? How does his error compare to Wynand’s? [702-704;640-641]

13. Why does Wynand lie to Dominique about the situation at the Banner? [705;642]

14. Why does Dominique whisper to Gail that “It will be all right”? What could she be thinking that would make it so? [709;646]

15. Does Wynand appear to understand the importance of not giving in, as Roark expresses it, and sticking to the end, no matter what it takes? Why does Roark say Wynand won’t need Roark any longer if he does? [709-710;646-647]

Chapter XVI [pp. 711-720 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 648-656 Signet paperback]

16. Why are members of the board annoyed by Wynand’s monogram-inlaid boardroom table? Why does Wynand even have a board of directors? So, is it Wynand’s personal money that he is losing, or a corporation’s? The board member says it’s Wynand’s money. Later, someone else talks about losing our shirts. Confusing? [711-712;648]

17. What does Wynand mean, when he is thinking that the board member has run the paper from the beginning, and that there’s nothing to save now? [712;648]

18. What is the view of business held by the man who asks why they are losing their shirts? Does his view reflect the history of Wynand himself? [712;649]

19. “He made a step back. It was not a wall behind him. It was only the side of his chair.” What a dramatic reference to previous events in Wynand’s life! What does this refer to? [714;651]

20. When Wynand thinks, “I had no right to hope for escape. I had no right to kneel and seek redemption,” does this refer to his whole life or to recent events in his life? [714;651]

21. What is going on in Wynand’s mind after he leaves the boardroom? How effective are the many metaphors Wynand, and Rand, use to describe his life and what he has become? What are some of them? Do they also illustrate the overall theme of the novel? [714-720;651-656]

22. Wynand obviously regrets what he has allowed to be done, in his own name, to Roark, but nothing occurs to him about the others he has ruined in the past. Why? [717-720;654-656]

23. Are there previews here in this passage of what Rand will base Atlas Shrugged upon? [719-720;655-656]

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-516-3281
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:
Reply to this message to AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net or
Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-516-3281

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