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Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Chapter 4, section 1:     Previous Next

Dagny Taggart visits United Locomotive Works to determine why they consistently fail to deliver the Diesel engines she ordered. The President of ULW talks for hours without answering directly or saying anything of substance. After returning to the office, Eddie Willers informs Dagny that McNamara has quit without explanation. As Dagny walks home that night she sees the depravity that passes for popular culture: books and movies that trivialize what is glorious, demonize what is moral, and exalt what is base; people who act as if pleasure were a sin that one gets away with. Depressed, she returns home and listens to the soul tonic of Richard Halley. While she listens, she recalls Halley's struggles as a young composer, his sudden success, and his mysterious disappearance. She sees in the newspaper that Francisco d'Anconia has returned to New York amidst a scandal in which a married woman tried to kill her husband so she could be with Francisco, whom she identifies as her lover. Francisco says he came to New York to witness the farce - but it is not the farce people are led to believe that he wants to witness.

The offices of Taggart Transcontinental, New York City in the evening, Dagny's apartment.

Dagny sees a precision machine tool anandoned and decaying in the United Locomotive Works factory; abandoned not because it was valueless, but because the owners could not extract value from it. This foreshadows another discovery in an even less competent factory - a motor that is priceless, but which is left abandoned by people who could not see its value.

The folowing characters appear in Section141:

 Chief Engineer
 Dagny Taggart
 Eddie Willers
 Francisco d'Anconia
 Gilbert Vail
 McNamara - Mentioned.
 Mrs. Gilbert Vail
 President of ULW
 Richard Halley

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