fiction

Atlas Shrugged- Ayn Rand

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My book review sounds more like a memoir. Whose opinion is that? No one’s other than mine. Every time I log into my blogs, I check the views page. Always it stands at zero. Which means no one has read it. Okay, I understood one thing, I have zero publicity factor again. How do I promote publicity, be it those blogs or work at the office? I remember similar stuff happening to me when my team or I tried something new and I was a total failure in getting things publicized.That’s my weakness. How is that the world is going to know what I have been making or what I’m capable of. Does the world really require to know? Or should I do it for my happiness only and not targeting any audience in specific.As far as my hobbies are concerned, be it blog-writing or drawing, it is fine that the world does not know me. But, work perspective, this is very important. People who do dumbest of the things under the sun do get recognized but not me. Why? This would be my area of improvement and my new year resolution for the year 2016 would be that I need to learn how to impress the world and get the publicity of my work. This is necessary as I will start getting back to my professional work this year. Let me quote one example. I received a friend request on facebook from an unknown person who is apparently a common friend of mine on facebook. Out of curiosity as to find who it is, I happened to go through that person’s profile. Predominantly, I understood that, this guy is not married, he is older to me, he is a chartered accountant based out of Mumbai , India, He worked for ICICI bank in Mumbai for three years and quit his job. Currently, he is into counseling, peace-making and other stuff that makes us mentally believe that there are better things in life other than earning money for our own good and shopping. This guy gets some sponsored funds from the Western countries who happen to be a scapegoat of cheaters like him, not knowing that, this guy is lazy to work but gets funds for free and pretends to spend it for orphaned children and development of his neighborhood. Someone like, Shahrukh Khan’s character as Mohan in Swadesh movie. This is what I understood from his profile and went ahead and accepted the friends request. Because, I saw close to 4500 people on his facebook.He keeps sharing ideas and posts that are certainly second-hand from other great people who have already spoken about personality development. He messaged me asking me to read his stuff and I understood his intention. So went ahead and unfriended him. Why did I go ahead and add him at the first place when I hardly know him? My intention was to just understand his intention, what he is looking for and later got scared of  him stalking and misusing my personal info.

Atlas Shrugged is one such novel in which Ayn Rand, talks about how second- handed people who are lazy and try to copy others will never succeed and what exactly happens to them.I did not know how Atlas Shrugged would be or what it is all about when I started reading the book.After reading this book, I got a deep understanding about what is red-tapism, bureaucracy and what happens to people when they are not given the freedom of invention and creativity.I really thanked God for giving me so much of patience and endurance to read one of the heaviest fictional reads in the universe.Apart from finishing the novel, I had improved the reading pace. This makes me confident that, I can double-up my reading challenge in 2016.

This book was published in the year 1957 and I bought the 50th-anniversary edition along with the Fountain Head.Even though this work of hers was written close to six decades ago, this concept is still relevant and prevails in every walk of life. I can say that Ayn Rand is definitely an iron lady from whom many authors and the script writers of the movies had borrowed ideas from. For instance, in one scenario- Hank Rearden, gets an expensive ruby necklace for Dagny Taggart. He wants her to wear the necklace only for him and he would paint the picture of hers. Doesn’t this sound somewhat like the movie Titanic where Jack paints Rose with the emerald-diamond necklace.Another instance is with Chetan Bhagat who writes simple Indian novels. In his book, five-point someone also a movie made- Three Idiots, the lead character of this story absconds to a place somewhere in Ladakh. It is astonishing to find this guy working on new type of energy as a power generator and invents very many things that are essential at a low cost/unit.This idea of Chetan Bhagat is borrowed from Atlas Shrugged. The other instance, which am not pretty sure, but I felt that like in the movie Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts acting as a prostitute gets married to a business tycoon- Richard Gere is similar to Cheryl Brooks getting married to Jim Taggart though Cheryl Brooks is not a prostitute but for the sake of difference in the wealth of both.

In this novel, the author talks about how people are afraid of the inventors and the inventions. The people with the lethargic attitude, who are not willing to produce anything but only consume and portray red-tapism because they are afraid whether inventions would overtake the power.The industrial revolution followed by the expansion of railway industry by the private entrepreneurs and they monopolizing the railway industry, government losing its power and grip on this industry which in turn depends on alloys like copper and steel, the invention of Rearden Steel which is powerful than the normal steel. All of these events have triggered the looters or the second handers  or the politicians who cannot produce or invent but rather interested only in reaping profits and enjoying the benefits of others brings in a directive that is against the private owners.That is the central theme of this novel.

The novel is being categorized into three parts- Non- Contradiction, Either-or and A is A.

The first part provides an introduction about the central characters of the story- The Taggarts, The Reardens, The D’Anconias, Eddie Willers and the other government officials and the industrialists.
This part talks about how the industrialists keep disappearing one after the other without any reason.This part vaguely introduces the reader to a phrase called “Who is John Galt?”. That someone who has threatened the industrial revolution of the United States , someone whose existence is unknown and that someone whose name could be heard everywhere. Dagny Taggart opens her own railway in the name of John Galt as a mockery towards the phrase.She becomes the first woman to lead the railways and becomes successful after using the Rearden Steel’s which has been invented against the government norms. Dagny falls in love with Hank Rearden who had been already married to Lillian and does not actively run a family life with her. Rearden is portrayed as a hero of the first part of the story where he, after ten solid years of coming up with different mathematical formula, invents Steel which is stronger than the steel that is already available in the market.After having tested this steel of his, the government officials denies the rigidity of the metal as against the normal steel and bans it forever. So, Hank Rearden challenges this act and gets orders from Dagny Taggart to build the John Galt Line.Hence, both of them start the partnership.Ellis Wyatt an industrialist gets a deal with Dagny Taggart that, once the railway line is conducted he would use the line to ship his goods to his consumers across the country.This part also talks about the childhood of Dagny, Eddie Willers and Franciso D’Anconia and how she falls in love with Fransico.

The second part of the story – Either or A talks about the bureaucracy of the government. In this part, all the private enterprises are forced to have a coalition with the others and share the profits with everyone in the terms of humanity. This part explains clearly as to how the economy is unable to cope with the increased industrialization.The best folks abandon their business and the best engineers freeze the trains along with the passengers and goods.Thus the riots, economic depression, closure of the plants, unemployment, decreased the standard of living and hunger. Dagny Taggart discovers a motor in a closed plant that is capable of generating  more power at a cheaper per unit cost but fails to find the maker of the motor.Because of the directives issued by the government, Taggart Transcontinental
suffers losses and the company is forced to raise the wages and reduce the fair.She quits the railways and lives in exile and she returns as a Vice President after knowing the fact that Taggart terminal got blown up and a major rail accident .She starts managing the operations in person and later discovers that she has gotten stuck in the frozen train with the engineer-in-charge abandoning the train. She was on her way to meet the person whom she had given assigned to fix the motor that was abandoned. She finds out that the pattern of industrialists absconding and tries to trace the enemy who is behind all the mess and thus getting her plane crashed on one of the mountains in Colorado.

The third part of the story- A is A talks about how Dagny lands in Atlantis and later wakes up in the arms of John Galt whom she had been yearning to meet since ages and understands that this was the person whom she tended to fall in love and why he had teamed up all the great business tycoons across the country towards him. She also discovers that John Galt had been working in her railways as an operator for twelve years and she had failed to notice that.Apparently he had also fallen in love with her but promises to accept her unless she joins him in the Atlantis after giving up her railways.She moves back to the real world and tries her best to change the intentions of the government but fails the attempt when she realizes that Hank Rearden also has joined John Galt. The government finds about John Galt through the radio broadcast given by him and uses Dagny to catch him. The officials force John Galt and ask him to surrender and run the administrative operations of the United States with the directive given by the officials. John escapes from the prison with the help of his mates- Hank Rearden, Dagny Taggart, Ellis Wyatt, Fransico D’Anconia. Hank, divorces his wife because she, along with James Taggart played a game and made Hank Rearden to surrender his wealth to the government as a gift.The end of the story narrates how John Galt and his ideas come back to the United States and how the nation flourishes after putting down these government officials.

This story emphasizes the fact that apart from the author embracing Objectivism, she had proved that giving freedom to one’s thought process and good inventions are necessary for the economy as a whole that drives as a booster, bumps up the stocks which are good towards the overall prosperity of the nation.

To conclude, Atlas Shrugged is a good read for people who are interested to understand what are the reasons for the economic wellness of a country, how one’s novel ideas get stolen by the others who are mediocre but backed up by power, politics and the objectivism. This is not recommended for people who are not interested in the genre which is a combination of drama and documentary and the one who are interested only in short reads and knowing this stuff from the newspapers.I also observed that Ayn Rand keeps using these two words very often – ‘naked’ and ‘preposterous’ throughout the novel.

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