Sunday, October 17, 2021

A Study of Human Nature: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand




Marisa Cleveland
“The date I had in mind was December tenth, but would you prefer the ninth or the eleventh?”
Hello and happy February! I’m super excited to be here, because even though I rarely make resolutions, this new year I’d already vowed to read one published book a week when this opportunity to share my book remarks with you appeared. It’s like a book club where I get to choose the books, and I hope we find some great new authors and some fabulous reads in a wide range of genres along the way.

First up is the book that helped define me. I’ve reread this book many times over the years, and it’s such a study in human nature and the many facets of what makes people motivated to believe they are living the life they are meant to live. It’s a little political, a bit stereotypical, and absolutely indulgent in the way an author has the liberty to mold characters’ actions and reactions, but that is precisely why this book earns five stars on my radar.

Not to sound cliché, but this book is a page-turner for anyone interested in society’s elite, politics, or reading about hard-working, true-to-nature individuals. Even if you don’t agree with Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, the author makes the reader – me – think about issues that I might not have taken the time to ponder had she not crafted the underlying message in such characters as Dagny and Hank.

The relationships formed throughout the book gave me a clearer perspective for why people might have the ideals that they have, and though I hated the Dagny-Hank interaction, it made me realize that people of logical intelligence would be drawn to and appreciate in others those same traits. All the characters stayed true to their personas, and I loved and hated them for being who they were. My favorite character is Francisco d’Anconia for his stubborn resolution to follow through on his values, even if it meant destroying everything he’d created. I wish Cherryl Brooks had a bit more uniqueness to her character, but unfortunately I think her character is a bit too common in today’s society – the one who seeks to find a role model but doesn’t quite know how to recognize the sheep from the wolves. Still, though these two characters, Francisco and Cherryl, might not take center stage, they are perfect examples of how Ayn Rand used strong personality



traits to define her cast.

While it’s a heavy read in regards to understanding John Galt, I think his approach to the value of his mind is what made me appreciate this book the most. It’s not just about them versus him, it’s about the value of a human mind. The first time I read this book was the first time I remember understanding the difference between being told to do something and doing it versus being told to do something and questioning not why but whether or not I found value in doing it.

The fact that this book made me think is why it’s beyond five stars in my opinion. Sometimes I read for enjoyment, sometimes I read to escape a tough day, and sometimes I read in order to gain a greater perspective of the world. This book hit all three of my targets, and I laughed, scoffed, and cried my way through the thick brick of a book.

I’d love to hear your opinion! Did you read and love this book? What’s a book you’ve reread over the years? When choosing a book, how important is the cover and back cover copy to you?

Want to read my next book with me? Since it’s February, and I love Valentine’s Day, I’ve just downloaded Lauren Layne’s “Someone Like You.” I’m a sucker for romance and happily ever after, but even though I already know the couple has to work through their issues to end up together in the end, it’s the journey that I can’t wait to read.

As always, thanks for your time!

Coastal Breeze News is pleased to announce Marisa Cleveland is our newest Book Remarks columnist. Marisa, an avid reader, enjoys reading a variety of genres, from all different eras. Read along with her and join in the discussion via our website or Facebook.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marisa Cleveland loves to laugh, hates to cry, and does both often. She has a master’s degree from George Mason University and joined The Seymour Agency after she ended an eight-year career teaching students language arts, grades 6-12. Previous to teaching, she worked as an assistant director for a graduate school in Washington, D.C., before settling in Southwest Florida over a decade ago. As a former gymnast, cheerleader and dancer, she understands the importance of balance, and she encourages everyone to stay flexible. Though she’s a painfully private introvert, she can be reached through her website: or follow her journey on Twitter: @marisacleveland.

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