Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Next Meeting: Tuesday November 17th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

This is going to be our last meeting until February 2nd.

Session 10: November 17, 2009: Pages 567 - 632
*Part 2: Chapter 7: The Moratorium on Brains
*Part 2: Chapter 8: By Our Love

*** Chapter 7: The Moratorium on Brains ***

* Who is Clifton Locey? What kind of person is he? (568-9)

* What is Eddie Willers' state of mind while Dagny is at the cabin?

* Section 2: 571

* What is Rearden's view of Ragnar? Why does he feel conflicted about
him? How does he express that in action? (573-84)

* By what principles does Ragnar operate as a pirate? What is his
purpose? Is he just? Is he foolish? What will be the ultimate
effects of his piracy? (575-81)

* What are the causes of the tunnel disaster? How does it depend on
people's choices, including their thinking? (584-607)

* What responsibility to the train passengers bear for the tunnel
disaster? How do their ideas lead to the crash? Do they deserve to
die? (605-7)

*** Chapter 8: By Our Love ***

* What is Dagny's state of mind at the cabin? What dominates her
thoughts? What does she struggle with—and why? (608-12)

* In her conversation with Francisco, what does Dagny think her basic
alternatives? What has she yet to learn? What are the basic points
that Francisco attempts to explain to Dagny? (618-20)

* How does Dagny react to the news of the tunnel disaster? Why does
that drive her to return to the world? (620-2)

* What is Jim Taggart's response to the tunnel disaster? What does
that say about his character and state of mind? (622-7)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Next Meeting: Tuesday November 10th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Session 9: November 10, 2009: Pages 496 - 566
*Part 2: Chapter 5: Account Overdrawn
*Part 2: Chapter 6: Miracle Metal

Chapter 5: Account Overdrawn

* What is the state of the world by February 15th? What are the
causes of the ever-faster decline? How and why are people at the
mercy of nature? How and why do the leaders respond as they do?

* Who is Mr. Weatherby? What is his purpose at the board meeting?
How do the board members treat him? (502-11)

* Why does Dagny refuse to express any opinions about what Taggart
Transcontinental should do? Why does the board want her to kill the
John Galt Line? Why are they unwilling to do it themselves? (506-11)

* Why does Dagny laugh in response to Mr. Weatherby's threat about the
railroad bonds? (510)

* What lesson does Francisco want Dagny to draw from the story of Nat
Taggart's battle to build the railroad? Does she draw that lesson?
What does he learn about her state of mind? (513-5)

* Why do Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden want to be present at the last
run of the John Galt Line? Are their concerns merely material—or also
somehow spiritual? What does the decaying Marsh factory mean to
Dagny? (518-9)

* Why and how does Jim Taggart recognize that Lillian Rearden is the
more dependent and contemptible of the two of them? Is he right? (524)

* Why is Lillian so shocked and dismayed to discover that Dagny
Taggart is Hank Rearden's mistress? What does she grasp about its
significance? Why does she insist that he give her up? Why does he
refuse? (526-9)

Chapter 6: Miracle Metal

* What does this meeting between Mouch, Lawson, Taggart, Thompson,
Boyle, and Ferris reveal about these men? How are they different from
one another? How are they the same? (532-49)

* What is the content of Directive 10-289? What is the purpose and
likely effects of each point? Why is it so evil? (538-9)

* Why does Dagny resign immediately in response to Directive 10-289?
Why can't Eddie Willers follow, even thought he wants to do so? (552-3)

* Why does Tom Colby refuse to work under Directive 10-289? Why does
the Wet Nurse want to help Rearden to break the law? What has the Wet
Nurse learned since he began working for Rearden? More generally,
what is the response to the Directive at Rearden's mills? What is its
significance? (554-6)

* What does Rearden learn about himself and the looters in his
conversation with Dr. Ferris about the Gift Certificate? (559-66)

* Why does Rearden choose to sign the Gift Certificate? Is he right
to do so? Why or why not? (565-6)