Study Guide

Ted Nielsen in Atlas Shrugged

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Ted Nielsen

Another member of the Colorado crowd, Ted Nielsen is distinctive for being the last holdout to join the strike. It isn't clear whether this had to do with Nielsen himself or with Galt's recruitment schedule (he tended to target more essential industries, and Nielsen's motors may not have come up first). He does have a very important conversation with Dagny, though, where the idea of the destroyer is introduced for the first time:

"Dagny, I've always thought that I'd rather die than stop working. But so did the men who're gone.... Those men were my friends....They would not have gone like that, without a word, leaving to us the added terror of the inexplicable – unless they had some reason of supreme importance..... Dagny, I can't tell what I'll do when I see it – whatever it was that they saw when they went."

It seemed to her that some destroyer was moving soundlessly through the country and the lights were dying at his touch
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Nielsen also highlights an important fact here: the industrialists are all not just business partners, but also friends, so the strike is in many ways breaking apart and reforming a family.

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