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Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged


by Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged Memory and the Past 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.

Quote #4

"Francisco...if he could live through that night what right have I to complain? What does it matter, how I feel just now? He built that bridge. I have to hold it for him. I can't let it go.... I feel almost as if he'd know it, if I let that happen, he'd know it that night when he was alone over the river. (

Dagny draws on the memory of her heroic ancestor, Nat Taggart, to psych herself up for a fight. She feels like her failure would somehow reach back in time and impact Nat, as if the present could alter the past.

Quote #5

Now, looking from the memory of the girl on the flatcar to the Gift Certificate lying on his desk, he felt as if the two met in a single shock, fusing all the days and doubts he had lived between them, and by the glare of that explosion, in a moment's vision of a final sum, he saw the answer to all his questions. (

After his epiphany, Hank's past and present fuse together. He suddenly understands his past and everything that has led him to this moment, when he gains a fuller understanding of himself.

Quote #6

When she opened her eyes, she saw sunlight, green leaves and a man's face. She thought: I know what this is. This was the world as she had expected to see it at sixteen – and now she had reached it – and it seemed so simple, so unastonishing, that the thing she felt was like a blessing pronounced upon the universe by means of three words: But of course. (

Atlantis is all about recapturing the joy of childhood, so it's fitting that it matches the vision of the world Dagny had as a teenager. It's interesting that she says "but of course" here, implying that the visions of her sixteen-year-old self were destined to be true.

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