Atlas Shrugged Analysis

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Who is John Galt. „Who is John Galt?“ (1) – these four words form a phrase repeated numerously throughout Atlas Shrugged. However, it seems – despite ending with a question mark – only in few in-stances they truly constitute a question as the purpose of a question is to elicit an answer. Be-cause virtually no-one in “Atlas Shrugged” uses them in an attempt to obtain such an answer. A few characters despise the use of this phrase if not meant as a question, among those cer-tainly is Dagny Taggart calling it “gutter language” (125), as its use in that way serves no pur-pose. The characters offended by it differ from others insofar as they actually long for an an-swer, they aspire knowledge, whereas the rest indifferently refuse to attempt to…show more content…
But those of you who have known a single moment of love for existence and of pride being its worthy lover […] have known the state of being a man […] and I – I am only the man who knew that that state is not to be betrayed” (1058). This under-lines firstly the manifestation of John Galt per se as a man, which he mentions towards the end and secondly subsumes the “state of being a man” – the ideal, which, according to him, can only be achieved by following the proposed morality, under John Galt per se. In other cases John Galt is referred to as a “symbol” (1094) underlining the complexity of his exist-ence. That is also why those who do not mean “Who is John Galt” as a question cannot follow the ideal. Then a question without the need for an answer has cannot be a question and there-fore is a negation of itself thus crossing the border between the two “fundamental alterna-tive[s] in the universe: existence or non-existence” (1012). Furthermore, as mentioned before the utterance of such a phrase implicitly contains the statement “Who am I to know?” (1012), is a suspension of “your judgement

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