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They aren't mentioned, except in passing, in Atlas Shrugged.

asked Sep 11 '10 at 01:57

seehafer's gravatar image

seehafer ♦

edited Sep 22 '10 at 11:58

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

No, she didn't. She didn't have anything against motorcycles, either. She just wasn't particularly interested in them.

(Sep 17 '10 at 17:10) Robert Nasir ♦ Robert%20Nasir's gravatar image

I wouldn't find that a convincing answer. Motorcycles are an ancillary value by anyone's standards. Family, by contrast, is an important part of human social interaction. (Regardless of whether or not you start a family of your own, you are born into one.)

(Sep 21 '10 at 14:30) seehafer ♦ seehafer's gravatar image


Though children did not figure prominently in any of her novels, that does not imply that Ayn Rand was hostile toward children or family.

Consider this passage from Atlas Shrugged, referring to two children being raised in the Gulch, by a woman who has chosen to move her family to a place so that she can raise her children as she wants to:

The recaptured sense of her [Dagny's] own childhood kept coming back to her whenever she met the two sons of the young woman who owned the bakery shop. . . . They did not have the look she had seen in the children of the outer world--a look of fear, half- secretive, half-sneering, the look of a child's defense against an adult, the look of a being in the process of discovering that he is hearing lies and of learning to feel hatred. The two boys had the open, joyous, friendly confidence of kittens who do not expect to get hurt, they had an innocently natural, non-boastful sense of their own value and as innocent a trust in any stranger's ability to recognize it, they had the eager curiosity that would venture anywhere with the certainty that life held nothing unworthy of or closed to discovery, and they looked as if, should they encounter malevolence, they would reject it contemptuously, not as dangerous, but as stupid, they would not accept it in bruised resignation as the law of existence.

When I think of how I want to raise my own children, I always think of creating an environment and parenting them in a way so that they can recognize their own value, and have the "open, joyous and friendly confidence of kittens" that these two fictional children described above possess. I think this passage shows Ayn Rand's benevolence toward children and family. Though she did not choose to have children of her own (lots of people don't!) and didn't choose to write books about or for children (lots of authors don't!), I have never viewed her as hostile to children and family.

For more on this subject, see my posts Mythbusting: Ayn Rand, Mommies and Children and More from Ayn Rand about Childhood.

answered Sep 12 '10 at 12:23

rationaljenn's gravatar image

rationaljenn ♦

edited Sep 12 '10 at 19:18

I think AR's essay on education "The Comprachicos" really captures a passionate interest in education which shows a fundamental benevolent attitude towards children. It should be required reading for all parents, especially those considering preschool. I do think there is some truth to the fact that AR perhaps wasn't all that interested in kids in terms of writing much about them. In a collection of reminiscences ("100 Voices", however, several kids speak to her kindness and respectful attitude toward them personally.

(Jul 30 '11 at 23:31) Danneskjold_repo Danneskjold_repo's gravatar image

Although there may not be many instances of children in Atlas Shrugged, there are many examples that demonstrate how much Ayn Rand valued the role of a parent or mentor. The relationship between Dr. Akston and his three students, Francisco D'Anconia, John Galt and Ragnar Danneskjold borders one of a father and his sons. Anyone who disapproved of the love of a parent for an offspring would never write the following:

"Tell me, are you proud of the way these three turned out?" He looked off, into the distance, at the dying fire of the sunset on the farthest rocks, his face had the look of a father who watches his sons bleeding on a battlefield. He answered: "More proud than I'd ever hoped to be."
There are many more instances of both wonderful and terrible familial relationships in the novel, which just illustrate why she considered parenting to be a non-trivial activity, one that should be taken seriously and isn't meant for everyone.

answered Jan 26 '11 at 16:54

mnarayan's gravatar image

mnarayan ♦

edited Jan 26 '11 at 16:56

There are many referances to children. . .Rand puts alot of detail into creating characters. . .including descriptions of most of the main characters as children. It just happens that non of the main characters have children of their own. She tries to describe how rational children grow up to be rational adults.

(Jul 30 '11 at 19:20) the unstep mom the%20unstep%20mom's gravatar image

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Asked: Sep 11 '10 at 01:57

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Last updated: Jul 30 '11 at 23:31