"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out." - William Tecumseh Sherman

Name: The General
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Wednesday, February 23, 2005
  A Personal Confession...
for fans of Atlas Shrugged. Warning - spoilers ahead!

One of the most poignant sections of the book for me, personally, is when Rearden comes upon the broken body of the Wet Nurse. I break down into tears every time I read through that section of the book. Here's the part that really gets me:
   The boy's head dropped on Rearden's shoulder, hesitantly, almost as if this were a presumption. Rearden bent down and pressed his lips to the dust-streaked forehead.
   The boy jerked back, raising his head with a shock of incredulous, indignant astonishment. "Do you know what you did?" he whispered, as if unable to believe that it was meant for him.
   "Put your head down," said Rearden, "and I'll do it again."
   The boy's head dropped and Rearden kissed his forehead; it was like a father's recognition granted to a son's battle.
   The boy lay still, his face hidden, his hands clutching Rearden's shoulders. Then, with no hint of sound, with only the sudden beat of faint, spaced, rhythmic shudders to show it, Rearden knew that the boy was crying - crying in surrender, in admission of all the things which he could not put into the words he had never found.
Of course, to get the full effect, you really need to read the preceding pages. In my hardcover edition, that starts on page 989 (Part III, Ch VI, The Concerto of Deliverance). Grab some tissues and dig in.
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 3:17 AM


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