Hank Rearden’s Office

From Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, p. 85:

The office suited him; it contained nothing but the few pieces of furniture he needed, all of them harshly simplified down to their essential purpose, all of them exorbitantly expensive in the quality of materials and the skill of design. The room looked like a motor—a motor held within the glass case of the broad windows. But she noticed one astonishing detail: a vase of jade that stood on top of a filing cabinet. The texture of its smooth curves provoked an irresistible desire to touch it. It seemed startling in that office, incongruous with the sternness of the rest: it was a touch of sensuality.

Is this how you envision your ideal home and workspaces? If so, have you reached your ideal?

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5 thoughts on “Hank Rearden’s Office

  1. I never fully understood what the vase of jade was in reference to. Was that to indicate that in his otherwise rock solid character, there was a spot of weakness?

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  2. I agree that it would show a strength–an appreciation for the sensual and the aesthetic. The reason one might misunderstand Rand on this point here is because Dagny is “astonished” to notice this one aesthetic touch in Rearden’s otherwise “motor”-like office. It didn’t seem consistent with what she knew explicitly about Rearden up until that point.

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  3. If his life is run like a motor, much like his office looks like a motor, the jade vase might represent his heart – the love of the art inside the science; the spark passion and sensuality that drives him to do what he loves.

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