My favorite scene from the captivating Ayn Rand novel, “Atlas Shrugged”, would have to be when Mr. Hank Rearden, at his trial, declared “The public good be damned, I will have no part of it! ” Mr. Rearden’s initial indictment is selling four thousand tons of his metal to Ken Dannager in defiance of the government’s new laws, but it is not this sale that gets him in deep trouble with the courts. It is not Hank Rearden’s motive of strictly profit upon which the people seek to be “the self-evident brand of ultimate evil”.
Conversely, Mr. Rearden is faulted by his own moral hinkings. When he states, “The public good be damned, I will have no part of it! ” his announcement is his first true plea off innocence and his first effort to step away from the guilt that he has acknowledged for such a long period of time. This scene would be the most meaningful to me because I am sometimes a person who feels very guilty about I did, but I do not acknowledge it until later on in the day or even week because I try to move on from it.
I can sympathize with Mr. Hank Rearden also, because he is in a sticky situation with being charged with defying the ew laws of government set recently. But what gets Hank Rearden in trouble for, and I too sometimes as well, is that he tries to play off his innocence to many situations and doubts his conscience constantly. This is evident in the case where Hank is having a relationship with Dagny and openly professes that he doesn’t love her after their first night together at Ellis Wyatt’s house. Mr.
Rearden also states that their “relationship” is something that he has “given in to a desire which I despise”. I also chose this scene as my favorite in Atlas Shrugged, because it shows that Hank Rearden has a great deal of frustration with the American government and they way they are treating the citizens. He elects to stand up for himself and in doing so, condescends the people present in the courtroom, as well as the citizens that have ever made him feel guilty about anything, or Just simply follow along with the newly established laws and show no backbone.
He is essentially tired of being pushed around and constantly feeling guilt for everything good in his life that he has experienced. Hank Rearden believes that the United States will not thrive under this hese newly reformed laws and new style of government and therefore damns everyone who goes along with it. Mr. Hank Rearden recognizes his actions as morally wrong and also knows that he cannot give them up because he takes upon too much Joy in them.
He realizes that he is striving for something of great value to him personally, but still he loathes himself for being too weak to resist the temptations of the “ugly weakness of man’s lower nature”. Hank Rearden is now always feeling sorrow and guilt for things that lease him, because they most likely are immoral and will cause other people around him to get hurt. The scene that I choose, where Mr. Hank Rearden is in court and states that “The public good be damned, I will have no part of it! can easily relate back to the more central theme of governmental take over. This theme, in a sense, is more vital to the novel than any other themes that I came across. The reason being, government has almost everything to do with the way this current dogmatic United States is operating. This new society is torcing the most productive citizens to be shamelessly axed on the goods that they provide and also their wages that they honestly earned. This scene can also be incorporated with the theme of one integrating their mind and body as one whole being.
Hank Rearden is aware that his spell with Dagny is not one that he should be having, although she is a beautiful woman who flaunts her sexuality, but insists on letting his mind take over and his body to take a place in the “backseat”, so to say. Rearden’s conscious is aware that he should not be with Dagny, yet his feelings for her take over and he is barraged with sexual thoughts that lead im to pursue her and eventually use his body to weaken his morals.
This weakening of morals leads to Hank Rearden constantly feeling guilty for every pleasure he will feel for the rest of his life, tying into the scene where he shouts in the courtroom. His outburst in the courtroom signifies that he will not be taken advantage of for a petty crime that he did not commit. He does realize although, that committing many other pasts “crimes” have built up into a big ball of guilt and led him into the position where he is now.