Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Strange Religionless America of Atlas Shrugged

I am reading Atlas Shrugged for the first time. I will say more about it later this week. This Sunday I just want to note that this huge novel that is set in the United States has almost no religion in it. There are a few mentions of fiery preachers, who are treated as symptoms of irrationality. One rich, old woman mentions her church group. That is it.

Ayn Rand was an anti-religious rationalist, so it makes sense that her heroes denounce "mysticism" and promote reason as if they were alternatives.

What is surprising, though, is how little her America resembles the real America. Nowhere is this clearer than in her utter neglect of religion - even to attempt to have her characters refute it.


randy said...

how can you get through that awful randian prose? her style is just SO BAD. of course, english was not her native tongue, so maybe i should cut her some slack...

you know ol' A.R. would not have approved of free health care for all.

hope and chains said...

I think Ayn was making a political point about how government can kill incentive to sacrifice, create and to work hard. It was not so much about religion in America.