Monday, May 14, 2007

Atlas Shrugged

I finally finished the book. It defiantly took longer than what I'm used to. I had trouble reading the story. Not because it was a hard read or the concepts or plot was difficult to follow, but because 95% of the characters in the book are whiney, self-stroking, incompetent p%(#*s who need to be b$(%*-slapped. (Yes, I am censoring myself.) I know of people like this in real life, and I refuse to be around them.
All of Ms. Rand’s books are written based on her personal philosophy of life; so all address the same issues.
As I mentioned before, I read “The Fountainhead” in high school and when I started “Atlas”, I thought I might re-read afterwards to refresh my memory. However, I have decided against it. Mainly, because I am very familiar with Ms. Rand philosophies and long ago studied them (although not though her works) and incorporated what I agreed with into my day to day life, and discarded the parts that went completely against what I believe.

Had I actually picked up this to read in Jr. High or High school the story and concepts would have been mind boggling and eye opening, pointing me on the path I’m already on, a couple years earlier then when I did start. Today, I’m long past the teen-aged angst years of trying to figure out who I am and why I should even be here, and have long figured that out (For the most part. Now I’m working on what I want to do when I grow up.), so I didn’t get as much out the book. I have added it to a list of books I think my daughter needs to read before she graduates High school, but I won’t force her.

There is one quote in the book that did cut to the heart of me, as it put in writing something I spent years struggling to realize on my own. Something I have to actively remind myself every time I feel I’m slipping into depression...

“To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason – Purpose – Self-esteem.” Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged”

If you are an adult and have never read any Ayn Rand books, do so. I suggest starting with “The Fountainhead”, and if you like it, then read “Atlas Shrugged”. If you don’t like “The Fountainhead”, go ahead and skip “Atlas”; you’ve probably gotten everything you can out of it already. If you’re a teen, read it before you’re forced to read “Fountainhead” in school. You may not like it, but it will give you something to think about.

As to the list of books for my daughter I mentioned above. My husband and I keep a list of books for our children that we would like them to read. We leave the decision on whether or not they get read to the children. However, every summer, we do pick out one book which they are required to read that summer.
And currently, “they” just refers to the 13 year old. We’re teaching the 4 year old to read.


Marina said...

I'd actually suggest the opposite; "Atlas Shrugged" is by far the better novel over "The Fountainhead," and expresses her ideas and philosophies MUCH more clearly and effectively. I read Atlas before Fountainhead and, after enjoying Atlas so deeply, was rather disappointed by Fountainhead.

Atlas is certainly long, but I couldn't put it down over the course of a few days until I finished!

Meari said...

It's great that you encourage your children to read, and even pick out books.

You've been tagged!