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Ayn Rand's Plays

Shoshana Milgram

Presented at: SRB 2002 Vienna

Date: Jun 29, 2002

In Atlantis, Dagny Taggart is exhilarated by the experience of encountering "a play that told a story she had not seen before, in lines she had not heard, uttering a theme that had not been picked from the hand-me-downs of the centuries." As readers of Ayn Rand's plays, we too can have that experience. This course will analyze and relish—in The Night of January 16th, Ideal, and Think Twice—the elements that thrilled Dagny: brilliant plot structure, eloquent dialogue, and significant themes. These plays, written in the 1930s, introduce specific situations and ideas that Ayn Rand later developed more fully; our course will therefore examine the plays not only as drama, but as a three-part overture to the literary achievement of The Fountainhead. Students are encouraged to read, in advance, Ideal and Think Twice (published in The Early Ayn Rand) and The Night of January 16th.



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