by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged Visions of America 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 sky had deepened to the greenish-blue of the rails, when they saw smokestacks in a distant valley. It was one of Colorado's new towns, the towns that had grown like a radiation from the Wyatt oil fields. She saw the angular lines of modern houses, flat roofs, great sheets of windows. ...a rocket shot out form among the buildings, rose high above the town and broke as a fountain of gold stars against the darkening sky. Men whom she could not see, were seeing the streak of the train on the side of a mountain and were sending a salute, a lonely plume of fire in the dusk, the symbol of celebration or of a call for help. (18.104.22.168)
The rocket acts as an important symbol here for Colorado's precarious position. Like the rocket, Colorado seems like a huge success, but it's on the verge of destruction.
"Why didn't you move?"
Dagny was staring at the two buckets; they were square tins with rope handles; they had been oil cans. (22.214.171.124-79)
The residents of Starnesville are apathetic and defeated. Like the oil cans – stripped of their true purpose– they seem to have gone backwards in time.
"To the glory of mankind, there was, for the first and only time in history, a country of money – and I have no higher, more reverent tribute to pay to America, for this means: a country of reason, justice, freedom, production, achievement....[T]here appeared the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being – the self-made man – the American industrialist." (126.96.36.199)
Francisco links up themes of money and America here in his "money speech." Money represents hard work and values to the Objectivists, so it's fitting for money to define America.