I just finished Atlas Shrugged a couple of days ago and my head is still spinning. And I have to say, don’t listen to the critics. It is a great read. I am not going to give an in depth analysis of the book or it’s plot, but I do have a few things to say about it:
Once around the age of 20, I picked up this book and was bored though the first chapter and stopped. I pick it up now and I couldn’t put it down. Now I can hear nothing but the antagonists from some politicians and it scares me that we are too late.
Someone said to me the other day: “I think part of the attraction is that it’s basically one train wreck after another, metaphorically and literally.”
Maybe, but I also think I had to grow into the book. Atlas Shrugged is not for intellectual lightweights or immature people. I’m not trying to be insulting, because I had to grow ten years before I could fully appreciate this book myself.
I most connect with the characters of Eddie Willers and Jeff Allen. I would assume most people do, since both were written as the “everyday man” for the book. I’m not an inventor like John Galt nor will I ever reach the level of success of Hank Rearden, but I do think that I can make something of myself one day. However I do break with Eddie Willers in not joining the men in wagons in the desert at the end of the book. You have to know your limits and when to walk away.
There is hardly much I disagree with the book’s philosophy, except on the idea of giving and Ayn Rand’s ideas on religion (which goes hand in hand). I think that if you are giving of yourself freely for some cause you believe in with the understanding that you can stop giving to said cause and to believe in something greater than yourself (without devaluing yourself), that is free will. If a government forces you to do something beyond your moral code, then that is slavery. Having your money (a representation of your value and work) taken forcibly through taxes to give to another (wealth redistribution), is also slavery.
Again, I think it was a satisfying read. I think everyone should try to read it at least once. They should find a enjoyable read.
Well, see ya’ later!