Atlas Shrugged chapter one

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Section 111: Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 1

  • Plot summary:
    • Eddie Willers, walking through downtown Manhattan, wonders why the world seems to be slowly falling apart. He returns to the Taggart Transcontinental Building in order to tell James Taggart the bad news about an unfulfilled steel order and another train wreck, and to make Taggart see the seriousness of the situation the business is in because it can't get steel to replace its aging railroad tracks.
  • The following Places in Atlas Shrugged are used as settings in this section:
    • Downtown New York
    • The Taggart Transcontinental Building
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Bum Number 1 - first and only appearance
    • Eddie Willers
    • Ellis Wyatt - mentioned
    • James Taggart
    • Orren Boyle - mentioned
    • Pop Harper - first and only appearance
  • Mysteries:
    • The question "Who is John Galt?" opens the book and is repeated over and over. Who is John Galt? Where did the phrase come from? What does it mean? Where did this question orginate from?

Section 112: Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 2

  • Plot summary:
    • Dagny Taggart is riding the Taggart Comet back to New York after inspecting the Rio Norte Line. She hears a Brakeman whistling an unpublished piece from her favorite composer, Richard Halley, but the brakeman refuses to acknowledge this or say where he heard it. After falling asleep and waking up, Dagny discovers the train has come to a stop at a siding. She finds the train crew passively awaiting instructions, and gives them orders on how to proceed. Faced with this incompetence, she decides to promote Owen Kellogg to superintendent of the Ohio Division.
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Young Brakeman
    • Conductor - first and only appearance
    • Engineer - first and only appearance
    • Dagny Taggart
    • Owen Kellogg - mentioned
    • Passenger Number 1 - first and only appearance
    • Passenger Number 2 - first and only appearance
    • Richard Halley - mentioned
  • Mysteries:
    • What was the Brakeman whistling?
    • Did Halley write a Fifth Concerto?

Section 113: Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 3

  • Plot summary:
    • Dagny Taggart and the Comet arrive at the Taggart Terminal. She gets off the train inadvertently whistling the theme from Halley's Fifth Concerto. The Brakeman watches her tensely.

Section 114: Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 4

  • Plot summary:
    • Dagny Taggart meets with James Taggart and Eddie Willers. She informs them that she has ordered steel rail from Rearden Steel to be used to replace the tracks of the Rio Norte Line. Later she calls Mr. Ayers to determine if Richard Halley ever published a Fifth Concerto. Mr. Ayers says he has not. Dagny meets with Owen Kellogg who tells her he is quitting for personal reasons, nothing can make him stay - not even the promotion Dagny had decided to give him.
  • The following Characters in Atlas Shrugged appear in this section:
    • Board of Directors - mentioned
    • Dagny Taggart
    • Eddie Willers
    • Ellis Wyatt - mentioned
    • Hank Rearden - mentioned
    • James Taggart
    • Mr. Ayers - first and only appearance
    • Orren Boyle - mentioned
    • Owen Kellogg
  • Quotations:
    • "I'm not interested in helping anybody. I want to make money." (29) - Dagny Taggart
  • Mysteries:
    • What is it that makes Owen Kellogg quit a job he admits he loves?