The Atlas Project / LESSON 8
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Part I, Chapter 8: The John Galt Line

Greg Salmieri and Ben Bayer discuss the following questions for Part I, Chapter 8, of Atlas Shrugged: “The John Galt Line.” 

  • Question 1: What do we learn from the scene in Dagny’s office about what she wants out of life, and whether she thinks she can attain it?
  • Question 2: How do the minor and anonymous characters react to the construction and first run of the John Galt Line? What is the significance of this? How does Dagny interpret it?
  • Question 3: What philosophical ideas does Dagny grasp or reflect on during the first run of the John Galt Line? How do they relate to questions that have been raised earlier in the book?
  • Question 4: Wyatt raises a toast to “the world as it seems to be right now.” How does it seem to be at that moment to him, Rearden, and Dagny, and what signs are there that it is not really as it seems?
  • Question 5: What do the events of the final scene of the chapter mean to Dagny? What can we tell about what they mean to Rearden?
  • Question 6: What other questions and observations do you have about Part I, Chapter 8?

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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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