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Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged


by Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. How does this book define morality? According to the book's standards, which characters are the most "moral," and why?
  2. Do you agree or disagree with the book's definition of morality? Can you identify any problems or logical flaws in Galt's ideas?
  3. How does the text treat Dagny's long refusal to join the strike? Is this depicted as a moral and heroic act or as a character flaw? Is it a combination of the two?
  4. How is Dagny's long-standing refusal to join Galt's strike significant to the narrative?
  5. Are there any notable differences of opinion among Galt's strikers? If so, what are they? If there aren't many differences of opinion, why is that important?
  6. Would you argue that there are more round, or fully developed, characters in this book, or more flat, or two-dimensional, unchanging, characters? What's the significance of which type of characters dominate the text?
  7. Why is Eddie Willers not invited to come to Galt's Colorado hideaway, Atlantis?
  8. Dagny and James are family, yet they are polar opposites. How is this significant in the text? What does this say about how families and family connections are treated here?
  9. Hank and Dagny are practically the only characters shown to have a family. Why is this?
  10. John Galt doesn't actually arrive in the narrative until Volume Three. What is the effect of this delay on the narrative? How does Galt impact the narrative in the first two volumes?
  11. Do people's jobs and professions reflect who they are as characters here? How do people's jobs help to characterize them?
  12. What is the significance of Dagny running a railroad? Does it have any symbolic meaning? How does Dagny's profession impact the plot?
  13. The tone of the book is often highly mysterious and ominous, filled with dread. What's the effect of this tone on the book as a whole?
  14. There is a significant lack of women in this novel. Why is this an important detail and what's the effect of the lack of women on the narrative?
  15. How is the way in which Dr. Stadler died significant? Does his death connect to any of the book's themes?
  16. Is there evidence that Galt and his strikers might be fighting a losing battle? Are their goals and methods ultimately futile, or is there evidence that they will succeed in the future?
  17. Characters frequently go off on philosophical rants in this book. How do these philosophical digressions help, or limit, how we understand the characters in this book?

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