Friday, September 11, 2009

Next Meeting: September 15th from 6:00pm - 7:30

This will be the first Atlas Shrugged Reading Group discussion. We will discuss the first three chapters: Session 1: September 15th 2009: pages 1-63*Part 1: Chapter 1: The Theme*Part 1: Chapter 2: The Chain*Part 1: Chapter 3: The Top and the Bottom

Don't forget to look at the new directions, we are now in the Arts Building room AR298
here is a link to the page with directions:

Here are some of the questions we will be going over in our discussion group:

Chapter 1: The Theme

* What is the state of the world in the opening scenes of Atlas? How does AR convey that? How is the world of Atlas similar to and different from the world of today?

* What does Jim Taggart reveal about his character in his conversation with Dagny about ordering rail from Hank Rearden? Why does he dislike Rearden so much? What are his worries about Rearden Metal? Are those right?

* What is Dagny's attitude toward's Jim's hatred of Rearden? What does that indicate about her character?

* What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

Chapter 2: The Chain

* Why does Rearden reject the idea of anyone else giving him the spark necessary to continue his work? How does that contrast with Eddie Willers?

* When Hank returns home after pouring his first heat of Rearden Metal, what does he want from his family? What does he get instead? Why? What is his response?

* Does Hank have an obligation to support his family? Does he owe them any affection or attention? Why or why not?

* What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

Chapter 3: The Top and the Bottom

* Orren Boyle claims to be a defender free markets (45)? Is that right? Is the only justification for private property the public interest, as he claims? How is he like some businessmen today?

* What do Jim and others gain by claiming the mantle of public good? Is it just material wealth — or something more? Why do they proclaim the necessity of sacrifice of some people to others (47-48)?

* What is Dagny's experience in her rise to her present position? What were the obstacles in her path? Why was she so frustrated by the experience? What does she want from her fellow men? Why?

* What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

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