The Atlas Project / LESSON 15
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Part II, Chapter 5: Account Overdrawn

Greg Salmieri and Ben Bayer discuss the following questions for Part II, Chapter 5, of Atlas Shrugged: “Account Overdrawn.” 

  • Question 1: How do the causal sequences narrated at the beginning of the chapter illustrate the idea of an "account" that's overdrawn? In this chapter, what other "accounts" do we see that are overdrawn?
  • Question 2: What does Francisco say or imply about Dagny's building of the John Galt Line? Why does she disagree?
  • Question 3: What does Lillian learn about Rearden's affair in this chapter? What impact does it have on her, and what conclusions does she draw about it?
  • Question 4: In his encounter with Dagny in this chapter, what things does Francisco laugh at or mock? What things does he refrain from mocking, even though she expects him to mock them? Does this continue a pattern from their earlier encounters?
  • Question 5: What is still holding Rearden to his family? What's holding Rearden and Dagny to their jobs? How are these motives alike and how different?
  • Question 6: What other questions or observations do you have about Part II, Chapter 5?

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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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Additional Instructors