Literature Classics

Who is John Galt?

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2011-09-07 11:52:14
2011-09-07 11:52:14

This is the opening line from Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged, and it is repeated throughout the work. John Galt is the mysterious male hero of the book, an engineer who leads a group of intellectuals to an eventual decline that symbolizes the impending collapse of civilization. The identity of John Galt is unknown through a large portion of the book, and as many try to solve the enigma, "Who is John Galt?" becomes almost a catchphrase for despair.

John Galt is the central character in Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged". He is a fully embodied 10th level master in Objectivism, and takes 150 pages to explain in a speech exactly what that implies. The phrase, "Who is John Galt?" is used as an expression of generalized hopelessness in the novel. Not to be confused with "What is john guilt?" a phrase used by Robert Anton Wilson in his scathing parody, "Telemachus Sneezed."
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