Study Guide

Atlas Shrugged Volume 3, Chapter 7

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Volume 3, Chapter 7

"This is John Galt Speaking"

  • James bursts into Dagny's apartment to tell her that Hank has disappeared.
  • Dagny starts laughing in triumph. She's happy for him.
  • Then Dagny throws an increasingly grumpy James out.
  • She wonders why she's so glad Hank got away and feels that he's right. She thinks winning is still a long shot, but she wants to be the only victim if things go wrong.
  • Dagny thinks a lot about Hank and Atlantis.
  • She gets a quick note from Hank telling her he's fine and that he's met Galt and understands why she's in love with him.
  • Violence is getting worse across the country. Gangs are attacking government buildings and officials, and a civil war has broken out in California.
  • President Thompson is going to make a radio address to the nation on November 22, and Dagny is invited. She agrees to go reluctantly.
  • It's a Who's Who of the looters crowd at the broadcast studio.
  • Eddie comes with her, which is good, cause she needs a wingman.
  • When they get there some dudes try to shanghai Dagny into posing for some shots with President Thompson and Dr. Stadler, but she refuses.
  • Everyone is pitching a fit about her refusal when a lackey walks up and says there's something wrong with the radio and they might need to delay the broadcast.
  • Everyone freaks some more.
  • Every radio station in the country went off the air at the same time.
  • Super weird.
  • Suddenly a voice comes on the air. It's John Galt!
  • He tells everyone to settle in cause he's going to speechify like he's never speechified before.
  • So Galt proceeds to give a Grand Statement of his Personal Philosophy.
  • OK, we won't be covering the speech in depth here, because we examine it more thoroughly elsewhere. Check out our Themes section for a discussion on Objectivism, John Galt's "Character Analysis," Francisco d'Anconia's "Character Analysis," Dagny Taggart's "Character Analysis," and the "Symbols, Allegory, Imagery" section. You can probably see why we're not summarizing this here. OK, back to the chapter.
  • Galt talks for three hours. In a nutshell, his philosophy states that people are gifted with reason and the ability to use it; that people should live for themselves alone, and their own happiness; that everyone has free will and is responsible for him or herself alone; that a person's work and life choices reflect his or her values; and that the three most important values in life are reason, purpose, and self-esteem. Looters are all about need, sacrifice, pain as morality, and death. They don't live their lives, and they prey on other people like parasites.
  • Galt pleads with people to wise up and accept his philosophy. He tells people to go on strikes of their own and not give the looters their minds. He tells the looters to watch out, because their days are numbered.
  • At the end of his marathon address, Galt starts acting like he's giving an Oscar acceptance speech and starts thanking all the people who've helped him make it big.
  • He gives a big shout-out to his best friends Ragnar and Francisco.
  • Hank and Hugh Akston also get shout-outs.
  • Robert Stadler gets a personal threat issued.
  • And finally Galt tells the others out there who are still fighting the good fight that they've been awesome, but that now it's time to let go before they burn themselves out in the struggle. He then asks if his "love" heard that part. Dagny shout-out!

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