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Atlas Shrugged Characters and Analysis

Dagny Taggart

As vice president of operations for Taggart Transcontinental, Dagny is the central character. She is a brilliant manager and she is committed to saving the railroad against the “looters” who would seize property from capitalists. Amid the growing chaos in the nation, Dagny mainstains the system which allows the looters to disrupt the system.

She makes the mistake of assuming the lotters will listen to reason and correct their mistakes before it is too late. When she finally realizes that there is no stopping the coming collapse, she joins the strike to fight against the looters.

Hank Rearden

The greatest industrialist, Rearden is the head of a steel company and Dagny’s lover. Rearden inadvertently helps the looters and appears to be opposed to the strikers. His fatal flaw is that he seems to accept the idea that he has a duty to serve others. When he finally wakes up and sees that this way of thinking is wrong, he abandons the looters and begins to help the strikers.

John Galt

He is actually the person on whom the action centers. He leads the strikers in their strike of the mind. He is the destroyer and the revolutionary inventor. He is also Dagny’s greatest love. His invention is at the center of the action in the novel. He is the embodiment of the highest ideals of humanity.

Francisco d’Anconia

A wealthy and powerful business man, Francisco joins Galt’s strike. In doing this, he loses Dagny who he loves. His main role is the main recruiter for the strike and focuses his attention on recruiting Rearden. HE hides his real efforts by posing as a useless playboy. He even destroys d’Anconia Copper to keep it out of the hands of the looters.

James (Jim) Taggart

The president of Taggart Transcontinental. He is Dagny’s brother. Jim is not a shrewd business man but he does well at influencing people. Jim claims to be motivated by wealth and public service, but he is mainly driven to destroy the productive features of society. He hides his true motivations well until he meets John Galt who exposes him easily.

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