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Hank Rearden and Neon Genesis

September 12, 2009

I’ve wanted to read Atlas Shrugged for a long time. I really don’t even remember the first reason why. I can say one reason is because I enjoyed Ayn Rand’s Anthem. Anyhow, over the months of this summer, I kept trying to get into the book but I managed to get distracted by other things and would forget my progress in the book.

I finally managed to get into the book a little today. The first that came to mind from reading the thoughts of Hank Rearden is that he reminds me of Shinji Ikari. He is struggling with understanding the Hank Rearden’s from the minds of others. Rearden himself acknowledges this about himself, and his thought flow often includes him thinking about what the people around him want from him.  He believes that he has no tie to be with these people around him except that they want to be by him. He shares with them what he finds to be the most “amazing,” or more closely to as Rand put it, the thinks for which he believes he should be loved, and they return their own concerns for him.  Concerns which he finds misplaced.

He ponders what it is they like about him, only understanding relationships in terms of business.  In terms of business, the very things which he holds important about himself are more likely to be the things which the third party finds to be a valuable quality. But the close interpersonal relationships (be they one or not, in the case of Rearden) of the people around is harder to understand.  Understanding these relations would require him to acknowledge that his view of himself is not the only one. And that others may take value in qualities of him that he himself does not value,  or even recognize.  Neon Genesis leads us to believe that Shinji learns to conciliate the images he has of himself and the images other have of him. Now I suppose only continuing the book will tell me if Hank Rearden will do the same.

Placing value in what others think of you. Sounds like an egotist right? But wouldn’t the realization that the image others hold of one’s self is as important in the world perspective as one’s own self-image, if not more so, be the downfall of an egotist?

So lets entertain the thought that Rearden’s denial of those around isn’t egotism as Rearden’s mother tries to play it, but a case of hedgehog’s dilemma, as it is in the case of Shinji Ikari.

Or would it be better to compare Rearden to Asuka Langley Soryu, who is constantly seeking others to admire her accomplishments?

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 21, 2010 11:14 pm

    What do Hank Rearden and the international Jewish community have in common?…

    Who suffers from continued Palestinian terrorism? Israelis. Americans. Jews. Who allows it to happen? Israelis. Americans. Jews. Who, often FUNDS and ENCOURAGES their own suffering? Israelis. Americans. Jews.

    Hank and the Jews…sanction of the victim and the guiltiest man in the room…

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