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Atlas Shrugged
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Used In
Atlas Shrugged
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  • It’s I who’ve broken my word, so I will atone for it to the extent I can.
  • Yet I do, and I have no solution, no atonement to offer.
  • But we-we, who must atone for the guilt of ability-we will work to support him as he orders, with his pleasure as our only reward.
  • If it’s any kind of atonement, which it isn’t . whatever I made you suffer, that’s how I paid for it . by knowing what I was doing to you and having to do it . and waiting, waiting to . But it’s over.
  • He was looking at her, as if he were seeing her body as she stood before him, even though his eyes were directed at her face, and his glance told her what form of atonement and surrender he was seeing in the future.
  • We wish we could atone for it.
  • I can’t ask you to forgive me, we’re far beyond such terms-and the only atonement I can offer you is the fact that I am happy.
  • Don’t speak of atonement, you have not hurt me, your mistakes came from your magnificent integrity under the torture of an impossible code-and your fight against it did not bring me suffering, it brought me the feeling I’ve found too seldom: admiration.
  • "If you still want me to explain it, Mother," he said very quietly, "if you’re still hoping that I won’t be cruel enough to name what you’re pretending not to know, then here’s what’s wrong with your idea of forgiveness: You regret that you’ve hurt me and, as your atonement for it, you ask that I offer myself to total immolation."
  • It does not matter who then becomes the profiteer on his renounced glory and tormented soul, a mystic God with some incomprehensible design or any passer-by whose rotting sores are held as some inexplicable claim upon him-it does not matter, the good is not for him to understand, his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts, his only concept of a value is a zero: the good is that which is non-man.
  • But by the time he raised his head-and before he saw the look of admiration in her eyes, the open look he had begged for, the look of forgiveness-he destroyed his single moment’s atonement by adding in a voice of drawing-room sarcasm, "Apparently, the young man had no desire to work for the good of society or the welfare of science.

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  • To atone for sins is a common religious theme.
  • Approved forms of faith, practice, and conduct were laid down as consistent with orthodoxy, and deviation from these standards had to be confessed and atoned for by a prescribed form of penance.
    Dictionary of the History of Ideas  -- 05/20/06)

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