Day 09 – Best scene ever

I realize that I just ranted about Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged in Day 07 of this meme. But now I’m going to turn around and praise it, specifically Chapter 8 of Part 1.

I don’t really see myself as a secular humanist or an objectivist or whatever the hell it is that Ayn Rand is selling. But I do have quite the literary crush on Hank Rearden. Sure, John Galt gets all the adulation and the girl (Dagny Taggart), but Hank is where it’s at, as far as I’m concerned.

I’m sure Freud would have a field day with my love for a married, deeply troubled, hugely flawed man. Did I mention he’s married?

[Sidebar: Grant Bowler plays Rearden in the movie. *swoon*]

If you haven’t read the book (and really, I’m not sure I can honestly recommend that you do read it), the first part is largely concerned with Dagny’s struggle to build the John Galt Line. Production (and society) is grinding to a halt and getting the rail line built is a constant battle to find raw materials and the production facilities to turn them into finished goods. Early on Dagny teams up with Hank, an innovative industrialist who has invented a metal superior in quality to steel. Dagny goes so far as to resign from her family’s company in order to get the line built. Hank continues to supply her with rail, even when she is no longer able to pay.

In Chapter 8 all of Taggart and Rearden’s hard work comes to fruition with the first running of an engine on the John Galt Line. Despite union protest, many engineers volunteer for the maiden voyage on the new line and a lottery has to be held to select the engineer. Dagny and Hank ride together in the locomotive. The ride is exciting and both the line and Rearden Metal is proven a huge success. Later the thrill and sense of accomplishment of the day transfers over into the bedroom as the couple finally consummates their relationship. And it is hot!

“It was the greatest sensation of existence: not to trust, but to know.”