by Ayn Rand
Quentin is sort of like the kid brother of the strike. He's like Robin to the strike's League of Super Friends. And if Eddie Willers had been a super genius, he might have been this kid.
Quentin is directly linked to Dagny's quest to find the motor. If we take the motor as a metaphor for Galt's value system, then Quentin is essentially educating himself. So it's fitting that he figures nearly everything out on his own and barely needs Galt's guidance:
"I do not wish to work in a world that regards me as a slave any longer. I do not wish to be of any value to people.... I would not take it upon my conscience that anything produced by my mind should be used to bring them comfort." (188.8.131.52)
Galt even notes later that Quentin barely needed any help at all – he intuitively understood Galt's value system. Galt's philosophy of life is tied to childhood; it seeks to recapture and to express the optimistic and joyful view of the world that people hold as children. When Quentin arrives in Atlantis he seems filled with childlike glee:
The driver leaped out, raced up the path and rushed into the room, not pausing to ring or knock. It took her a moment to realize that the eager, breathless, disheveled young man was Quentin Daniels.
. . ."Isn't he great – Midas Mulligan? That's what I want to be when I reach his age. I want to make money. I want to make millions. I want to make as much as he did!" (184.108.40.206-59)
Young in age and spirit, Quentin Daniels is able to grasp Galt's value system almost instinctively.