Atlas Shrugged chapter one

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This is a plot summary from the first chapter of Atlas Shrugged, part one.

Section 111: Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 1

  • Plot summary:
    • Eddie Willers, walking through downtown Manhattan, wonders why the world seems to be slowly falling apart. He returns to the Taggart Transcontinental Building in order to tell James Taggart the bad news about an unfulfilled steel order and another train wreck, and to make Taggart see the seriousness of the situation the business is in because it can't get steel to replace its aging railroad tracks.
  • The following Places in Atlas Shrugged are used as settings in this section:
    • Downtown New York
    • The Taggart Transcontinental Building
  • Mysteries:
    • The question "Who is John Galt?" opens the book and is repeated over and over. Who is John Galt? Where did the phrase come from? What does it mean? Where did this question orginate from?

Section 112: Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 2

  • Plot summary:
    • Dagny Taggart is riding the Taggart Comet back to New York after inspecting the Rio Norte Line. She hears a Brakeman whistling an unpublished piece from her favorite composer, Richard Halley, but the brakeman refuses to acknowledge this or say where he heard it. After falling asleep and waking up, Dagny discovers the train has come to a stop at a siding. She finds the train crew passively awaiting instructions, and gives them orders on how to proceed. Faced with this incompetence, she decides to promote Owen Kellogg to superintendent of the Ohio Division.
  • Mysteries:
    • What was the Brakeman whistling?
    • Did Halley write a Fifth Concerto?

Section 113: Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 3


Section 114: Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 4

  • Quotations:
    • "I'm not interested in helping anybody. I want to make money." (29) - Dagny Taggart
  • Mysteries:
    • What is it that makes Owen Kellogg quit a job he admits he loves?