Synopsis of Atlas Shrugged, Section2

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Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Chapters 1-5

(View complete Structure_of_Atlas_Shrugged, or for previous chapters, see Synopsis of Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Chapters 6-10, for next chapters, see Synopsis of Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Chapters 6-10


CHAPTER ONE: The Man Who Belonged on Earth

Section 211: Part 2, Chapter 1, Section 1

  • Plot summary:
    • Dr. Stadler paces in his office and thinks about the outrageous weather and the book Dr. Ferris wrote as he waits for him. Stadler is worried about how the book will be received. Although it was not written by him it was published by the State Science Institute. He is worried about the philosophy in the book which begins "Thought is a primitive suspicion. Reason is an irrational idea." After some time Dr. Stadler screams to himself "I had nothing to do with it!"
    • Dr. Ferris arrives one hour late because his car broke down and he "had a hell of a time trying to find someone to fix it." They briefly talk of the trouble with reclaiming the Wyatt oil fields - the scientists cannot discover the special method Wyatt used. Dr. Ferris had yet to reclaim one drop but has recieved many large grants from the government. Dr. Stadler then complains of the lack of heating due to the oil shortage. Then Dr. Stadler then asks about Project Xylophone or Project X. Ferris informs him that it is a top secret project that has to do with sound. Stadler then presses Ferris on the book. Ferris is flustered and asks "did you find the text confusing?" Stadler warns of the dangerous message of the book and Ferris shrugs it off. Ferris claims the audience is one that does not want to think and thus will not be troubled by the content. He believes the audience will embrace the books for giving them justification for not thinking.
    • Dr. Stadler lets Ferris leave without saying he will denouce the book in public. He fears this threat would not phase Ferris. He begins to feel that his word no longer had any power.
    • His secretary informs him that Dagny is on the line. He answered eagerly and she asked him to meet with her in New York. He leaves as soon as he can.
  • The following Places in Atlas Shrugged are used as settings in this section:
    • Dr. Stadler's office
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Dr. Robert Stadler
    • Dr. Ferris
    • Ellis Wyatt (mentioned)
    • Dagny
  • The following quotations appear in this section:
    • Excerpts from Why Do You Think You Think by Dr. Floyd Ferris
      • "Thought is a primitive suspicion. Reason is an irrational idea." (316)
      • "The more we know, the more we learn that we know nothing" (316)
      • "Do not expect consistancy. Everything is a contradiction of everything else. Nothing exists but contradictions." (317)
      • "You cannot be sure of anything" (317)
    • "You see, Dr. Stadler, people don't want to think. And the deeper they get into trouble, the less they want to think. But by some sort of instinct, they feel that they ought to and it makes them feel guilty. So they'll bless and follow anyone who gives them justification for not thinking. Anyone who makes a virtue - out of what they know to be sin, their weakness and their guilt." - Dr. Ferris to Dr. Stadler (322)
  • The following pieces of Literature in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Why Do You Think You Think by Dr. Floyd Ferris

Section 212: Part 2, Chapter 1, Section 2


Section 213: Part 2, Chapter 1, Section 3


Section 214: Part 2, Chapter 1, Section 4



CHAPTER TWO: The Aristocracy of Pull

Section 221: Part 2, Chapter 2, Section 1



CHAPTER THREE: White Blackmail

Section 231: Part 2, Chapter 3, Section 1



CHAPTER FOUR: The Sanction of the Victim

Section 241: Part 2, Chapter 4, Section 1



CHAPTER FIVE: Account Overdrawn

Section 251: Part 2, Chapter 5, Section 1


Back to Synopsis of Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Chapters 6-10, forward to Synopsis of Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Chapters 6-10
See Also: Structure_of_Atlas_Shrugged, Synopsis of Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Chapters 1-5, Synopsis of Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Chapters 6-10, Synopsis of Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Chapters 1-5, Synopsis of Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Chapters 6-10, Synopsis of Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Chapters 1-5, Synopsis of Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Chapters 6-10