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.
"The only man I ever loved." It came from Ken Danagger, who had never expressed anything more personal than, "Look here, Rearden." He thought: Why had we let it go? Why had we both been condemned...to an exile among dreary strangers who made us give up all desire for rest, for friendship, for the sound of human voices? Could I now reclaim a single hour spent listening to my brother Philip and give it to Ken Danagger? (18.104.22.168)
Ken and Hank give us a great example of a different kind of love here: one of friendship and brotherhood. Their relationship is significant in a book that largely focuses on romantic relationships. Friendship is an important part of the strike, even though it receives somewhat less attention.
She noticed that Dr. Akston's eyes kept coming back to her, as if with the quiet pride of displaying his students to an appreciative observer. His conversation kept returning to a single theme, in the manner of a father who has found a listener interested in his most cherished subject. (22.214.171.124)
Dr. Akston is notable for being practically the only positive parent-figure we get in the whole novel. His love for his three "sons" demonstrates the theme of choosing your own family.
"What you meant to me can never be changed. But the man I met – he is the love I wanted to reach long before I knew that he existed, and I think he will remain beyond my reach, but that I love him will be enough to keep me living."
He took her hand and pressed it to his lips. "Then you know what I feel," he said, "and why I am still happy." (126.96.36.199-83)
For Dagny, the fact that she feels the love she does for John is a positive thing, since it reflects her values. In a way, unrequited love isn't an issue here, because her love is about herself and her values, not about wanting a reciprocal sentiment from John. It's also important to note that Dagny wasn't looking for her dream guy her whole life; she was looking for a way to embody and express her values and her joy for living. Within Galt's value system, all emotions come back to the individual.