Greg Salmieri and Ben Bayer discuss the following questions for Part II, Chapter 4, of Atlas Shrugged: “The Sanction of the Victim.”

  • Question 1: What ideas does Rearden put to the test in conversation with his family at Thanksgiving and at his trial? Where and when did he learn these ideas, and what new ideas or questions does he reach as a result of the tests?
  • Question 2: A “dim sense of contrast” leads Rearden from thinking about his Thanksgiving dinner to thinking about the Wet Nurse earlier that day. What contrast might he have in mind?
  • Question 3: What are real-life examples of people taking the sort of stand that Rearden does at his trial? What were the results?
  • Question 4: What is Francisco’s view of sex? How does it relate to the events of the novel, and to our own experience of sexual attraction?
  • Question 5: What notable reactions do different characters have to the outcome of Rearden’s trial?
  • Question 6: What other questions or observations do you have about Part II, Chapter 4?


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