As told in AtlasShrugged
, Atlas carried the world on his shoulders. But in the GreekMyths?
stands on the earth and holds up the sky. In the statues that represent Atlas, the big round thing on his back represents the heavens, which, because of the apparent circular motion of the planets around the earth, were conceived of as being round. Some tellings of the Atlas myth have him carrying both the earth and the heavens on his back, but this appears to be a modern retelling; further research might confirm this.
Common street crime is conspicuously absent in AtlasShrugged. Characters walk the streets with no thought of being mugged or attacked.
- Historical figures and events
AtlasShrugged takes place in a world with a different history from our own, but there are some historical figures that are mentioned.
- Aristotle (/SectioN152): /FranciscoDAnconia wrote a thesis on the influence of Aristotle's theory of the Immovable Mover.
- Inquisition (/SectioN152): /SebastianDAnconia flees Spain to escape persecution under the Inquisition.
- Nero (/SectioN152): /FranciscoDAnconia compares himself to the Emperor Nero.
- Patrick Henry (/SectioN152): The eponym of /PatrickHenryUniversity.
- In /SectioN152, Francisco cracks that the Mexican government was promising a roast of pork every Sunday for every man, woman, child and abortion.
- In /SectioN152, Francisco lists the various buildings constructed for the workers of the San Sebastian Mines, and notes how they are all poorly built and can be expected to collapse, except for the church. "The church, I think, will stand. They'll need it," he quips. Since the other things are things of value - houses, roads, etc. - it is ironic that only the church was built to last; to Rand and her heroes, a church is of no real value.
The sympathetic characters of AtlasShrugged
do not tell lies. Even when they are clearly trying to conceal something, they do not rely on overt falsehood, even when it is obvious that they could do so without being found out. There are a few exceptions.
- In /SectioN112 /BrakemaN tells /DagnyTaggart he does not recall the name of the song he was whistling or where he heard it.
- In /SectioN141 /FranciscoDAnconia tells the press he came to /NewYork because of a hat check girl and the liverwurst at Moe's Delicatessan.
- In /SectioN151 we learn /DagnyTaggart once lied to her mother about a cut to her lip that /FranciscoDAnconia had given her. This was the only lie she ever told.
In /SectioN152 Francisco tells Dagny he named the /SanSebastianMines after his ancestor /SebastianDAnconia, a man they both honor deeply. This, to Dagny, is blasphemy - the only kind of blasphemy she understands.
Rand is sometimes called an elitist. This claim is probably accurate if we allow for the fact that Rand had her own standard of eliteness. She did not favor the rich over the poor, or the high-born over the low-born. She favored the men of virtue over those who lacked virtue. Throughout AtlasShrugged, virtue is equated with creative ability.
Different social classes are represented among both the heroes and the villains of AtlasShrugged. Among the heroes, /JohnGalt and /HankRearden are from working class backgrounds, while /DagnyTaggart and /FranciscoDAnconia are from wealthy families. Among the villains, /FredKinnan? is from a working class background, while /JamesTaggart and /BettyPope are from wealthy families.