Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

What are the physical and other characteristics, such as names and professions, of Ayn Rand’s sympathetic and unsympathetic characters? What purpose does she have in giving them these particular features?

How does Rand’s admiration for human beings as builders and creators show up in her fiction?

Rand’s novels often have long speeches by the characters justifying their actions. What purpose is served by these speeches?

Rand said that her purpose in fiction is to set forth a moral ideal. How do her heroes and their actions reflect a moral ideal?

How does Rand use her novels to contrast the values of individualism and collectivism?

How does Rand criticize prevalent social trends?