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. 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?

2. What game does Francisco play with the Mexican government and the American stockholders in the San Sebastian Mines?

3. Why is James Taggart marrying Cherryl Brooks, the dime store clerk?

4. Who is almost single handedly responsible for opening up trade in Colorado?

5. What does Phillip want to leave Henry's house?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. The title of the chapter, "The Exploiters and the Exploited" might suggest that the industrialists like Hank Rearden exploit the public by creating products for their own personal gratification. Rand, however, turns that around to suggest that the socialist government are exploiting the industrialists. Support that idea.

6. Explain the symbolism of Lillian's taking Dagny's diamond bracelet in exchange for the Rearden Metal chain.

7. Discuss the different views from "the top" and "the bottom."

8. Lillian demands the Rearden Metal bracelet back and threatens to tell everyone that Dagny is sleeping with her husband. What is the irony of that situation?

9. Describe how the chain is viewed by Henry Rearden, Lillian Rearden, and Dagny Taggart. Explain its significance to the story.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write a paper about John Galt's relationship to the other characters.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Pretend you are a book reviewer for your local paper. Write a short review of ATLAS SHRUGGED saying why you would or would not recommend it.

(see the answer keys)

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