Difference between revisions of "Atlas Shrugged chapter two"

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This is a plot summary from the second chapter of [[Atlas Shrugged]], [[Atlas Shrugged part one|part one]].
===Section 121: Part 1, Chapter 2, Section 1===
===Section 121: Part 1, Chapter 2, Section 1===

Revision as of 18:57, 16 May 2006

This is a plot summary from the second chapter of Atlas Shrugged, part one.

Section 121: Part 1, Chapter 2, Section 1

  • Plot summary:
    • Hank Rearden watches triumphantly as the first order of Rearden Metal is poured. He reflects on the ten years of struggle to produce Rearden Metal, and as he walks home he reviews his life. To celebrate his triumph, Rearden makes a Bracelet out of the first Rearden Metal that is poured and gives it to his wife, Lillian. Lillian cannot appreciate the triumph this gift symbolizes and uses the occasion to ridicule her husband's sentimentalism. She makes a big deal about Rearden attending a party she is throwing in three months time. Also at the Rearden home are his brother Philip Rearden, his mother, and a friend, Paul Larkin, who has come to warn Rearden of possible trouble in Washington. His family insults and criticizes Rearden for the crime of being able to support them. He tries to understand their behavior but cannot come to acknowledge the depths of their depravity. He believes they are expressing the same concerns that he feels, but only in a different way, and that he is morally required to tolerate them because they are weaker than he is. This is the first glimpse of the Sanction of the Victim, in Atlas Shrugged. The abuse Rearden receives from his family in the second part of this scene creates a stark contrast to the triumphant achievement at the mill in the first part of the scene.
  • Quotations:
    • What did they seek from him? - thought Rearden - what were they after? He had never asked anything of them; it was they who wished to hold him, they who pressed a claim on him - and the claim seemed to have the form of affection, but it was a form which he found harder to endure than any sort of hatred. He despised causeless affection, just as he despised unearned wealth. (42)
    • He [Rearden] could not condemn them without understanding; and he could not understand. (43)