The Atlas Project / LESSON 6
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Part I, Chapter 6: The Non-Commercial

Greg Salmieri and Ben Bayer discuss the following questions for Part I, Chapter 6, of Atlas Shrugged: “The Non-Commercial”

  • Question 1: How does Rearden try to make sense of his paralysis about going to his anniversary party, and his dilemma about his family obligations in general?
  • Question 2: What are some common themes in the remarks of the intellectual and cultural leaders at the party?
  • Question 3: Does Rearden have a positive emotional response to anything at the party? Of the others at the party, whose responses are like Rearden’s, and whose are unlike Rearden’s?
  • Question 4: Why is Rearden’s encounter with Francisco so meaningful to Rearden? How is this meaning incongruous with Rearden’s view of Francisco’s character?
  • Question 5: Why did Rearden marry Lillian? What drives him to enter her bedroom on the night of the party, and then to leave without touching her?
  • Question 6: What other questions and observations do you have about Part I, Chapter 6?

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Lesson Outline

Lead Instructor

Gregory Salmieri
Gregory Salmieri

Gregory Salmieri is an Anthem Foundation Fellow in philosophy. He teaches philosophy at Rutgers University, and has previously held teaching and research positions at Boston University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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