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Dagny is remarkable in every way: beautiful, talented,
determined, and highly intelligent. Her independent spirit leads
her to trust her own judgment over public opinion. Though calmly
rational, she is also tremendously passionate about her work and
love. She is enormously successful as a woman in a man’s world.
Rand presents her this way to demonstrate that rationality and great
accomplishments are not gender-specific. Dagny’s defining characteristic
is a supreme self-confidence. She is keenly aware of her own abilities
and always knows the right thing to do. But her confidence is also
her flaw. She leaves the strikers and rejoins the real world because
she feels she can single-handedly save her railroad and by extension
her world. No one person can do this, and her realization comes
nearly too late, as she is the last to join the strike. She is also
flawed in her optimism about people. Until the end, when she learns
the looters will torture Galt to make him help them, she continues
to believe they can be made to understand their errors.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Atlas Shrugged!