by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Volume.Chapter.Section.Page). We used the 50th Anniversary Edition published by Signet Books in 2007.
Sitting as a helpless spectator, a minority member, at one of the Board meetings, she felt a strange evasiveness in the air of the room, in every speech, in every argument, as if the real reason of their decision were never stated, but clear to everyone except herself. (188.8.131.52)
Dagny experiences helplessness here in something like a foreign environment where she doesn't speak the language. It's like walking in on a conversation and suspecting that they were all just talking about you behind your back.
"Dagny, they didn't say it!...They haven't really said it, yet it's there – and it – isn't. That's what's so monstrous about it." (184.108.40.206)
We get a lot of contrasts between blunt, plainspoken people and manipulative, evasive people in this book. Eddie suggests that it's somehow dishonorable to not come right out and say what you mean.
"Men are not open to truth or reason. They cannot be reached by a rational argument. The mind is powerless against them. Yet we have to deal with them. If we want to accomplish anything, we have to deceive them into letting us accomplish it." (220.127.116.11)
Stadler's contempt for humanity impacts how he communicates with others; he advocates dumbing things down and "tricking" people into doing things. But Stadler creates a self-fulfilling prophecy here; he won't deal with people in terms of reason and he ultimately finds himself surrounded by people who refuse to accept reason.