Tags

, , ,

To wrap up the scene: Dagny Taggart, back in her apartment, reads in the newspaper that Francisco d’Anconia is in town (New York). The news obviously bothers her tremendously, especially while listening to her favorite music; yet she continues to read the article in spite of her internal voice telling her not to. It’s clear from the article that d’Anconia is leading the life of an irresponsible, morally bankrupt playboy, and we leave with a picture of Dagny silently crying to herself.

I should note in passing that d’Anconia has come into town because he “wanted to witness the farce.” This is to appearances a reference to a local millionaire’s wife who has dumped him and declared her love for d’Anconia; he claims to never deny anything.

We then move to the next day, where James Taggart is in his apartment, with a woman named Betty Pope. I don’t remember her being important, so I won’t make a tag for her, but she is clearly one of the idle, incompetent rich, born to her money and with nothing in the way of merit. It is the day after a night spent together, and it’s an ugly scene as they bicker at one another and snipe at others, albeit half-heartedly.

“The nature of their relationship had … no passion in it, no desire, no actual pleasure, not even a sense of shame. To them, the act of sex was neither joy nor sin. It meant nothing. They had heard that men and women were supposed to sleep together, so they did.”

I believe I’ll tag that with “Joy of Rand”, really because of illustrating its opposite. The villains often accuse the heroes of faults that they themselves, in fact, are afflicted with. Earlier, James said that Dagny felt no emotions, felt nothing at all, yet he in fact is the one who is without real passion or feeling.

We learn that there is a board meeting scheduled for later that day. James confides to Betty that he is going to rally the board to slap Dagny down for putting a minimum of service on the San Sebastian Line, when it’s so important to the company. However, he receives a phone call with news that is certain to be devastating to Taggart Transcontinental: the People’s State of Mexico (don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but every country outside of the U.S. is apparently a “People’s State”) has nationalized both the San Sebastian Mines and the San Sebastian Railroad.

Minor spoiler:

*

*

*

*

*

I expect that d’Anconia is really in town to witness the fallout from this “farce”, rather than anything to do with the married woman.

Advertisements