Study Guide

Chick Morrison in Atlas Shrugged

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Chick Morrison

Chick Morrison arrives on the scene with a couple other minor looters who bear mentioning – Tinky Holloway, Buzzy Watts, and Bud Hazleton. The era of the lame nicknames had begun, and this really gives us some insight into the type of people who were gaining positions of power. As with 1930s gangsters, the ridiculous, "friendly"-sounding nicknames contrast to the people they're attached to. They are here to play hardball and they all promptly get involved in factions, in-fighting, and cutthroat politics.

It makes sense that Cuffy Meigs arrives in the next "wave" of looters, too. As the government drifted closer to using outright force and violence, the people running it grew more like criminals and thugs, culminating in militia-man Cuffy Meigs. Chick Morrison also fits in rather well with Cuffy's style of doing things – he resorts to using guns instead of just words. Morrison shows that he paid attention at gangster school in the scene with Galt, where he has one of his goons hold Galt at gunpoint and force him to attend a staged television banquet with them.

Aside from being potentially violent and dangerous, Chick Morrison's name is practically synonymous with corruption in the book. He has a train known as the "Chick Morrison Special" from which he is getting kick-backs by hauling supplies to "friends." It's all about trading favors here. This is a man who has power and isn't afraid to use and abuse it. And when he doesn't get his way, he resorts to threats and violence.

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