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Quotes

Quote #1

It began with a few lights. As a train of the Taggart line rolled toward Philadelphia, a few brilliant, scattered lights appeared in the darkness; they seemed purposeless in the empty plain, but too powerful to have no purpose. The passengers watched them idly without interest. [...] An office building appeared, close to the tracks. The big neon sign on its roof lighted the interiors of the coaches as they went by. It said: Rearden Steel. (1.2.1.1-7)

The light motif emerges again here in connection with Rearden Steel and industry in general. This passage also sets up a recurring theme: that of an oblivious society that doesn't appreciate what it has.

Quote #2

She walked on. She stopped at the window of a bookstore. The window displayed a pyramid of slabs in brownish-purple jackets, inscribed: The Vulture if Molting. "The novel of our century," said a placard. "The penetrating study of a businessman's greed. A fearless revelation of man's depravity." (1.4.1.30)

In this sequence Dagny encounters an entire series of signs of cultural decline. It's no mistake that in a looter-dominated culture, the bestselling book involves "vultures."

Quote #3

The car jerked forward. It moved slowly through a gap in a plank barrier, past the hole of a broken water main. She saw the new pipe stacked by the excavation; the pipe bore a trademark: Stockton Foundry, Colorado. She looked away; she wished she were not reminded of Colorado. (1.7.2.16)

The importance of Colorado is demonstrated through a series of images where Dagny sees how Colorado's industries are basically supporting New York. Scenes of urban decay are contrasted to shiny new equipment from Colorado.

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