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despair
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Atlas Shrugged
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despair
Used In
Atlas Shrugged
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  • It was a cry of despair.
  • Pleas for dimes were so frequent in the streets these days that it was not necessary to listen to explanations, and he had no desire to hear the details of this bum’s particular despair.
  • In payment for every effort, for every sleepless night, for every silent thrust against despair, this moment was all she wanted.
  • The way he pressed his mouth to it was tenderness, but the way his fingers held it was despair.
  • The man who made the motor-she thought suddenly, the thought coming like a cry of despair.
  • The cry was involuntary; it held amusement, despair, indignation and pity.
  • "If everybody could pull for a common purpose, then nobody would have to be hurt!" he cried suddenly, in a tone of incongruous despair; he saw Taggart watching him and added, pleading, "I wish we didn’t have to hurt anybody."
  • But there were times, like tonight, when she felt that sudden, peculiar emptiness, which was not emptiness, but silence, not despair, but immobility, as if nothing within her were destroyed, but everything stood still.
  • Despair?
  • She pressed the back of her hand to her eyes, trying to dam the outbreak of a despair she had not permitted herself to acknowledge; she had not known the extent of it, nor how little of her endurance the quest had left her.
  • He held her body as if the violence and the despair of the way he took her could wipe his unknown rival out of existence, out of her past, and more: as if it could transform any part of her, even the rival, into an instrument of his pleasure.
  • A man has to come to a certain mental stage-not anger or despair, but something much, much more than both-before he can be cut down.
  • What made them believe that this earth was a realm of evil where despair was their natural fate?
  • But what a man does out of despair, is not necessarily a key to his character.
  • It was the half-moaning, half-furious cry of despair.
  • Why had he cared about her hour of despair-after the years of agony he had given her?
  • All had a look of despair, except the face of Eddie Willers.
  • It was a cry of astonishment and despair.
  • When she hastened across to the next car, she felt no fear, no uncertainty, no despair, nothing but the urgency of action.
  • The despair of a helpless victim left her, she was not a victim any longer, she was one of the contestants, willing to bear the responsibility of action.
  • He should not have told her about Dan Conway, he thought; he should not have said anything to remind them both of the despair they would feel, if they felt.
  • He raised his head, smiling, he looked down at her and she saw a look of protective tenderness come into his face, which told her of the despair he saw in hers.
  • There were reports from the general managers of the four Regions of the Taggart system, their pages a typewritten cry of despair over the breakdowns of equipment.
  • Eddie Willers asked the worker in the underground cafeteria, and added, with a smile that was an appeal, an apology and a confession of despair, "Oh, I know it’s I who’ve stayed away from here for weeks."
  • Suddenly, he knew that this was the goal of his restless hours, this was the pleasure he had despaired of finding, this was the celebration he had wanted.
  • It was whispered that the chief engineer of the Atlantic Southern, in despair over the company’s failure to obtain the steel he needed to reinforce the bridge, had resigned six months ago, telling the company that the bridge was unsafe.
  • He could not get rid of the impression, which he had kept receiving and rejecting for three months, that her vengeance was not a form of despair, as he had supposed-the impression, which he regarded as inconceivable, that she was enjoying it.
  • Sincerely yours, Quentin Daniels When he looked up from the letter, he heard her saying, as he had heard her through the words of the typewritten lines, her voice rising closer to despair each time: "Keep ringing, Operator! …. Please keep ringing!"
  • "Oh, what for?" she cried, the despair breaking out for the first time.
  • Nebraska, in Oregon, in Texas, in Montana-the futile, doomed outbreaks, prompted by nothing but despair, ending in nothing but destruction.
  • Mr. Thompson will put an end to those sinister forces whose purpose is to keep us in terror and despair.
  • There have always been men of intelligence who went on strike, in protest and despair, but they did not know the meaning of their action.
  • When the workers of a factory beat up their foreman and wrecked the machinery in a fit of despair— no action could be taken against them.
  • "I can’t …." she whispered, "not yet …." She raised her eyes, knowing that they knew the nature of her despair and that it was useless to hide her struggle.
  • He would not give up the search for her plane, when all others had long since despaired, as he would not give up his mills, as he would not give up any goal he had chosen if a single chance was left.
  • She wondered what had been his purpose tonight-and noticed that he had, perhaps, accomplished it: he had carried her over the worst moment, he had given her an invaluable defense against despair-the knowledge that a living intelligence had heard her and understood.
  • When you cried in despair for the unattainable spirit which you felt had deserted your world, you gave it my name, but what you were calling was your own betrayed self-esteem.
  • The camera, like an eye at a police line-up, moved from face to scarred face-scarred by the ravages of fear, of evasion, of despair, of uncertainty, of self-loathing, of guilt.
  • "Mr. Rearden," he said, in a voice that had the strength, the despair and the peculiar dignity of a plea he knew to be hopeless, "for the time when you’re going to damn me, when you’re going to doubt every word I said …. I swear to you-by the woman I love-that I am your friend."
  • She raised her head, shaking it with a bitter smile-there was a desperate violence in her movement, but the smile was a sign of recovery: of the determination to face the despair.
  • Don’t despair!
  • Don’t despair!
  • Don’t despair!
  • Don’t despair!
  • She did not answer at once; when she did, the sound of despair was present in her voice only in the form of too tight a monotone: "Eddie, if I quit, what would happen to the Taggart trains?"
  • She had lost the habit of observing despair as the normal and dominant aspect of human existence, so normal as to become unnoticed-and the sight of it struck her in all of its senseless futility.
  • He saw faces that laughed in violent excitement, and faces that pleaded for help; he saw their silent despair breaking out into the open; he saw the same anger and indignation as his own, finding release in the wild defiance of their cheering; he saw the looks of admiration and the looks of hope.
  • He started to go, but stopped, turned to her and asked, his voice low, but steady, neither as plea nor as despair, but as a last gesture of conscientious clarity to close a long ledger, "Dagny …. did you know …. how I felt about you?"
  • She had stopped for blank moments in the middle of her office, paralyzed by despair at the rigidity of time which she could not stretch any further-on a day when urgent appointments had succeeded one another, when she had discussed worn Diesels, rotting freight cars, failing signal systems, falling revenues, while thinking of the latest emergency on the Rio Norte construction; when she had talked, with the vision of two streaks of green-blue metal cutting across her mind; when she had…
  • …wondered, for the first time, whether her spite, her sarcasm, the cowardly manner of delivering insults under the protection of a smile, were not the opposite of what he had always taken them to be-not a method of torture, but a twisted form of despair, not a desire to make him suffer, but a confession of her own pain, a defense for the pride of an unloved wife, a secret plea-so that the subtle, the hinted, the evasive in her manner, the thing begging to be understood, was not the open…
  • …half-crutch, his perceptiveness becoming his danger and only his surrender to lethargic stupidity protecting the shoddy structure of his joy, struggling and giving up and settling into the dreary routine of the conviction that fulfillment is impossible to man-the three of them, who had had all the gifts of existence spread out before them, ending up as embittered hulks, who cry in despair that life is frustration-the frustration of not being able to make unreality real.
  • She felt nothing, she thought, then noticed that her shoulders were trembling in a faint, continuous shudder, then grasped that the tearing violence within her was made of an exultant tribute, of gratitude and of despair-her tribute to the victory that the meeting of these two men implied, the final victory of both-her gratitude that those in Atlantis still regarded her as one of them and had granted her the exception of receiving a message-the despair of the knowledge that her…
  • …trembling in a faint, continuous shudder, then grasped that the tearing violence within her was made of an exultant tribute, of gratitude and of despair-her tribute to the victory that the meeting of these two men implied, the final victory of both-her gratitude that those in Atlantis still regarded her as one of them and had granted her the exception of receiving a message-the despair of the knowledge that her blankness was a struggle not to hear the questions she was now hearing.
  • Your destroyers hold you by means of your endurance, your generosity, your innocence, your love-the endurance that carries their burdens-the generosity that responds to their cries of despair-the innocence that is unable to conceive of their evil and gives them the benefit of every doubt, refusing to condemn them without understanding and incapable of understanding such motives as theirs-the love, your love of life, which makes you believe that they are men and that they love it, too.
  • Rearden’s anger was involuntary, the cry, not of reproach, but of despair: "How can you waste yourself that way?
  • Attempts had been made to erase it, but the inscription remained, as the graven voice of some unknown drunk’s despair: "Who is John Galt?
  • It was like a spurt of blood from a sudden crack in a wound that had almost closed: Stadler’s face was open, open in pain, in horror, in sincerity, as if, for that moment, both he and Ferris were human beings, while he moaned with incredulous despair: "In a civilized century, Ferris, in a civilized century!
  • And he cries with despair, because he can feel nothing for the women he respects, but finds himself in bondage to an irresistible passion for a slut from the gutter.
  • And in answer to the earth that flew to meet her, she heard in her mind, as her mockery at fate, as her cry of defiance, the words of the sentence she hated-the words of defeat, of despair and of a plea for help: "Oh hell!

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    Show samples from other sources
  • Don’t despair—help is on the way!
  • Don’t give in to despair.

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Show Multiple Meanings (Less common than this sense)
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