Analysis of Atlas Shrugged

Topics: Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, John Galt Pages: 5 (1987 words) Published: April 26, 2013
Ayn Rand was hailed as a visionary, inspite of the largely negative reviews it received immediately after the release of the ‘Atlas Shrugged’. The subsequent years saw the book achieving enduring popularity. The theme of the book is based on objectivism, which isvharacterised as a philosophy for living on earth, which has its roots in reality and it aims to define the human nature and the nature of the world in which we live in. Ayn Rand states that the sense of perception is the direct link between the reality and the human consciousness, and that an objective knowledge is gained through the process of concept formation and inductive logic. She claims that the puruit of ones own happiness is a proper moral purpose of ones life and that the social system should respect ones individual rights. Ayn Rand tries to potray how America would be in the reality which favours extreme communism over capitalism.Through excellent character sketches, as well as suggestive names (Orren Boyle, sounds like a bad skin condition, Wesly Mouch, one of the main ‘looters’ or ‘mooches’, Larkin, known to lurk around avoiding his responssibilities) Ayn Rand has made her views public against holding public welfare as an ultimate goal. Atlas Shrugged takes readers into the United States as depicted as if belonging to near future. The world has spiraled into an economic depression as the citizens have a growing sense of despair and doom. The book which is divided into three parts ,the first of which is Non Contradiction, in which the reader is exposed to a variety of seemingly contradictory arguments and paradoxical character sketches.The book starts with an intelligent, and a sort of insensitive Eddie planning to meet James, the president of railway lines to sort out the obstacles delaying the construction of the strategically important Transcontinental Rio Norte Line, a new line in the western United States. The president is potrayed to be a reluctant participant in forcing the completion and doing what is necessary. The social relations stand superior to James as compared to getting the work done. Ayn Rand beautifully potrays the two paradoxical character sketches in the above incident. A seemingly insensitive selfish and intelligent Eddie draws less sympathy as compared to a seemingly caring James who values social relationships. The author, between the lines, emphasizes the need to achieve one’s own happiness as a moral responsibility whereas claiming that those with splout platitudes do more harm than good. Ayn Rand has also through repeated references tried to convey a notion than the successful movers of the world are often mistreated or misrepresented by the non movers, that their intentions are enviously potrayed to be selfish, whereas in actuality the world would be a complete disaster in their absence. The way in which Hank is treated by his family is in sync with the above notion. Hank Reardon, an extremely driven inventor of a steel company, on shaping his years of hard work to take the form of a bracelet for his wife is ridiculed by her. Ayn Rand comes from a nation wherein the property rights have been overthrown by the communist revolution and her strong criticism of the same is evident throughout the book.Through statements such as “ The only justification of private property is public welfare” , “After all, private property is a trusteeship that is held for the benefit of the society as a whole” Ayn Rand potrays the society as ‘looters’. The effect being several leaders among the movers(business and industry owners) keep on disappearing, wavering from their so-called ‘selfish acts’ as a protest against the government using public welfare as a tool to rob successful industrialists.The motive behind redistribution of wealth, though noble, is really dangerous when done to the extreme claims Ayn Rand. The imaginary Patrick Henry University, situated not on the Ivy-League East Coast of the United States, but rather in the Middle West...
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