Study Guide

Atlas Shrugged Volume 2, Chapter 9

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Volume 2, Chapter 9

The Face Without Pain or Fear or Guilt

  • Eddie gets a turn in the chapter-title-line game here – this title references an upcoming line of his.
  • Dagny is at her apartment. She feels numb and composed and silently tells the man she's been looking for but hasn't found – the embodiment of her values – that she'll keep working in his honor even though she knows she'll never meet him now.
  • Francisco comes in to see her.
  • He is sad and resigned.
  • Dagny explains that she can't quit and has to keep fighting – that it's wrong to give in and give up.
  • Francisco counter-argues that it's wrong to work for the looters in any way.
  • They are at an impasse, but Francisco agrees that it's Dagny's decision to make, even though he disagrees with it.
  • Dagny tells Francisco that she doesn't hate him, and Francisco confesses in a roundabout way that he's doing what he's doing because of his love for Dagny.
  • She asks if he's the destroyer she's been hunting for, and he says not exactly.
  • He tells Dagny he'll wait for her.
  • Then Hank walks in. Love triangle drama!
  • Hank immediately goes all alpha male, going off on Francisco and telling him to stay away from Dagny.
  • Francisco is hurt and tries to leave quickly but Hank isn't through.
  • Hank rants at him a bit and says his word is worthless and then recalls the wording Francisco used to talk about his past love. He quietly asks if Francisco is in love with Dagny, and Francisco says yes.
  • Hank punches Francisco in the face, knocking him down.
  • Dagny screams at them to stop.
  • Francisco gets up, bows to them, and quietly leaves.
  • Dagny and Hank then start fighting, and she confesses that she used to be Francisco's lover.
  • The tension goes up a notch, and then Hank and Dagny have angry sex.
  • They are much calmer afterwards and seem to have reached a deeper understanding.
  • Then someone arrives with a telegram for Dagny.
  • It's from Quentin Daniels. He is quitting and refuses to work on the motor anymore because he doesn't want any of his discoveries to ever be used by the looters.
  • Dagny is very upset and shows Hank the telegram.
  • She calls Quentin and begs him to not go anywhere, that she's coming out to Utah to speak to him.
  • Hank is reluctant to let her go, since he still wants to talk to her and tell her he loves her.
  • But Dagny has to leave and she tells Hank to fly out to meet her in Colorado in a week. He says all right.
  • Scene cut. Eddie comes over after Hank leaves to get instructions from Dagny while she's packing.
  • We learn that Eddie called Dan Conway for help a while back but Dan refused to help him out. He's living on a ranch in Arizona and sounded defeated and broken.
  • They are talking in Dagny's bedroom while she packs and she opens the closet.
  • Eddie spies a bathrobe with the monogram HR.
  • He suddenly realizes that she is having an affair with Hank and is really upset because he realizes he's jealous.
  • Eddie realizes that he's been in love with Dagny for years and didn't know it. He's upset and embarrassed.
  • He sees Dagny off, then heads to the Taggart Cafeteria.
  • Mystery Worker friend is there and Eddie talks to him.
  • Eddie is noticeably upset but brushes it off and fills the Mystery Worker in on Quentin Daniels. Finally he confesses why he's upset and reveals that Hank and Dagny are sleeping together. He's sad that they are both doomed. Mystery Worker seems to freak out about this, which really confuses Eddie. Seems Mystery Worker might have a crush, too!

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