Atlas Shrugged Chapter 20: The Sign of the Dollar

Ayn Rand couldn’t stand me, so she banned me. — Kid Rock

Chapter summary: Dagny rides the Comet on her way to Utah. She has a long conversation with a stowaway on the train who used to work for Twentieth Century Motors, relating a story about a young engineer named John Galt who walked out after the company was socialized. She wakes up in the middle of the night because the train has stopped; the crew has abandoned it in the middle of nowhere. She happens upon Owen Kellogg, who had quit much earlier in the book. There’s a brief scene where the hoi polloi are, once again, depicted as whining spoiled children. As Dagny and Owen go off in search of a phone, he tells her about what he’s been doing in the meantime. She finds an airfield and takes a plane to Utah, arriving just after Quentin has left on another plane with, apparently, the destroyer. She chases the plane into the mountains; the chapter (and section) ends with her plane apparently crashing.

Philosophically, nothing new here.  On the other hand, I think the chapter stands as one of the best written summaries in the book of Rand’s position about wasting creative effort on the ungrateful masses. Also, from a narrative standpoint, I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Thankfully, it appears that Dagny is finally going to meet John Galt, so the seemingly endless attempts to convince her to disappear are hopefully at an end.

Two parts down, one to go!

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