Atlas Shrugged Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Discuss the significance of the names Rand gives to the businesses in ATLAS SHRUGGED.

The good businesses, run by inventive and creative people, all have their personal names on them such as Rearden Metal, Hammond Motors, and Wyatt Oil. The socialized businesses have group names like Twentieth Century Motors and Allied Steel. Where there are forward thinking individuals, the companies are thriving. In the socialized companies, the businesses are failing for lack of vision and leadership.

2. Explain the significance of the mysterious Halley's Fifth Concerto in developing the novel.

A concerto is a composition in three movements that get progressively faster. Like a concerto, ATLAS SHRUGGED begins slowly but promises to step up the pace as it goes along. Dagny is drawn to the melody of Halley's Fifty Concerto though she does not really know where it came from. As far as she knows, Halley only wrote four concertos before disappearing. The repeated recurrence of the Fifth Concerto throughout the novel suggests an unexpected outcome in the story.

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