by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged Love 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.
Dagny, he thought, you would not let me do it if you knew, you will hate me for it if you learn – but I cannot let you pay my debts. . . .
I love you, he said to the girl on the flatcar, feeling as if the light of that summer's sun were touching his forehead, as if he, too, were standing under an open sky over an unobstructed earth, with nothing left to him but himself. (126.96.36.199-8)
It's significant that Hank says "I love you" to his memory of Dagny. In a way he rewrites history, if only in his own mind, saying what he felt that day when he first saw her. Later, it's notable that Hank tells Dagny he loves her in person in order to "redeem" their past relationship. Love has the power to fix the past and to wipe out past pain here, which is an idea we also see in Dagny's relationships with Francisco and John.
He made a step toward Francisco; he asked, pointing to Dagny, his voice low and strangely unlike his own voice, as if it neither came from him nor were addressed to a living person, "Is this the woman you love?"
Francisco closed his eyes.
"Don't ask him that!" The cry was Dagny's.
"Is this the woman you love?"
Francisco answered, looking at her. "Yes."
Rearden's hand rose, swept down and slapped Francisco's face. (188.8.131.52-9)
This is one of the only scenes of jealousy we get in the whole book, which is both notable and surprising. Hank is jealous of Francisco because of his value issues. He later realizes that his love for Dagny is a reflection of his own values, so there's no need to feel jealousy over others Dagny might love as a reflection of her own values.
"But I know that they're doomed, both of them, and so am I , and so is everybody, and she was all I had left....It was so great, to be alive, it was such a wonderful chance, I didn't know that I loved it and that that was our love, hers and mine and yours – but the world is perishing and we cannot stop it. Why are we destroying ourselves?...Why should I care that she's sleeping with Hank Rearden?...Oh God! – what's the matter with you?" (184.108.40.206)
It's interesting that Eddie puts his love for Dagny in terms of their shared values and love for life. It's more than just him being attracted to her or admiring her.