Atlas Shrugged Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is Owen Kellogg's reply to Dagny when she asks him why he is resigning from Taggert Railway?

2. Who offers to help Dagny solve the problem of the rotting wooden bridge on her Colorado line?

3. When a reporter asks Dagny, "Who is John Galt?" what is her answer?

4. A theme that runs throughout ATLAS SHRUGGED is one which shows strength and character outside but emptiness and moral corruption inside. What metaphor does Ayn Rand use to illustrate this idea?

5. What is the symbolism of Francisco lying on the floor with his arms spread out to his sides?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Cherryl confronts Dagny and says that she is now Mrs. Taggart, the woman of the family, Dagny replies, "That's quite all right. I'm the man." Explain what she means by that comment.

2. The "Immovable Movers" in Rand's novel are the industrialists like Dagny and Rearden who produce because it is in their blood to do so. They produce for the joy of accomplishment and thus provide for the society as a whole. Rand compares them to the mythical Greek god Atlas who purportedly holds up the world on his shoulders. Explain her conclusions.

3. Write a few paragraphs on why Hank Rearden does not mind supporting his idle family but refuses to give Phillip a job he is not qualified to handle.

4. Briefly explain Dr. Stadler's surprise that the motor Dagny found was being developed in a remote automobile factory.

5. Explain the symbolism of the Twentieth Century Motor Company as Dagny and Hank find it.

6. What is the significance of "the best hamburger" Dagny has ever tasted when she goes to the diner in Wyoming?

7. Dagny sees Hank Rearden as a "man who belongs on earth." Explain why.

8. How does the scene of the broken furnace give Hank insight into Francisco's real character?

9. At his trial, Hank Rearden refuses to give the government the "sanction of the victim." Explain what he means.

10. Why is the idea of "motive" so important in the novel? Explain in detail.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about influence peddling. Refer to Cuffy Meigs sending train cars to Louisiana to pick up worthless soy beans while the grain crops in Minesota rot for lack of trasportation.

Do you think we see some influence peddling in our government today?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay on the character of Phillip Rearden. How is he unlike his brother Hank?

Essay Topic 3

The novel opens with New York's buildings being dingy and gray; toward the middle, even the elevators cannot go past the 25th floor; in the end, New York simply disappears. Write an essay explaining the symbolism of New York in the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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