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whim
used in Atlas Shrugged

32 uses
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Definition
a sudden desire that arises without any logical explanation
  • The trunk was only an empty shell; its heart had rotted away long ago; there was nothing inside-just a thin gray dust that was being dispersed by the whim of the faintest wind.
    1.1 Part 1 Chapter 1 — The Theme (11% in)
  • When I think of the kind of bloated money-bags I saw today-why, they spend more than that on any whim, but I couldn't squeeze just a hundred bucks a piece out of them, which was all I asked.
    1.2 Part 1 Chapter 2 — The Chain (90% in)
  • To watch you as you are, as you face the world with your clean, proud strength-then to see you, in my bed, submitting to any infamous whim I may devise, to any act which I'll perform for the sole purpose of watching your dishonor and to which you'll submit for the sake of an unspeakable sensation ....
    1.7 Part 1 Chapter 7 — The Exploiters and the Exploited (78% in)
  • Destroyed at the whim of some men who sat and voted ....
    1.7 Part 1 Chapter 7 — The Exploiters and the Exploited (97% in)
  • Destroyed at the whim of men whom he had never seen and who had never seen those tiers of metal ....
    1.7 Part 1 Chapter 7 — The Exploiters and the Exploited (97% in)
  • It's I who will depend on any whim of yours.
    1.9 Part 1 Chapter 9 — The Sacred and the Profane (8% in)
  • Lillian had departed on a vacation trip to Florida, in mid-April; it had astonished him, as an inexplicable whim; it was the first trip she had taken alone since their marriage.
    2.6 Part 2 Chapter 6 — Miracle Metal (71% in)
  • And for the sake of that prospect, we have to accept the position of criminals, you and I, and live under the threat of being arrested at any moment at their whim.
    2.9 Part 2 Chapter 9 — The Face Without Pain or Fear or Guilt (59% in)
  • He had thrown dollars about by the hundredsat that party he had given today-for unfinished drinks, for uneaten delicacies, for unprovoked tips and unexpected whims, for a long distance phone call to Argentina because one of the guests had wanted to check the exact version of a smutty story he had started telling, for the spur of any moment, for the clammy stupor of knowing that it was easier to pay than to think.
    3.4 Part 3 Chapter 4 — Anti-Life (7% in)
  • She knew that the old industries-the giants who had built their power by a purposeful course projected over a span of time-were left to exist at the whim of the moment, a moment they could not foresee or control.
    3.5 Part 3 Chapter 5 — Their Brothers' Keepers (7% in)
  • ...as knowledge, the goal of all the savages of the non-objective, the non-absolute, the relative, the tentative, the probable-the savages who, seeing a farmer gather a harvest, can consider it only as a mystic phenomenon unbound by the law of causality and created by the farmer's omnipotent whim, who then proceed to seize the farmer, to chain him, to deprive him of tools, of seeds, of water, of soil, to push him out on a barren rock and to command: "Now grow a harvest and feed us!"
    3.5 Part 3 Chapter 5 — Their Brothers' Keepers (15% in)
  • They all knew the verdict in advance and they knew its reason; no other reason had existed for years, where no standards, save whim, had existed.
    3.5 Part 3 Chapter 5 — Their Brothers' Keepers (44% in)
  • He knew that the specific reason behind the Plan was Orren Boyle; he knew that the working of an intricate mechanism, operated by pull, threat, pressure, blackmail-a mechanism like an irrational adding machine run amuck and throwing up any chance sum at the whim of any moment-had happened to add up to Boyle's pressure upon these men to extort for him this last piece of plunder.
    3.6 Part 3 Chapter 6 — The Concerto of Deliverance (54% in)
  • They, the impotent mystics, struggling to escape the responsibility of reason, had known that he, the rationalist, had undertaken to serve their whims.
    3.6 Part 3 Chapter 6 — The Concerto of Deliverance (64% in)
  • You have been taught that morality is a code of behavior imposed on you by whim, the whim of a supernatural power or the whim of society, to serve God's purpose or your neighbor's welfare, to please an authority beyond the grave or else next door-but not to serve your life or pleasure.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (15% in)
  • You have been taught that morality is a code of behavior imposed on you by whim, the whim of a supernatural power or the whim of society, to serve God's purpose or your neighbor's welfare, to please an authority beyond the grave or else next door-but not to serve your life or pleasure.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (15% in)
  • You have been taught that morality is a code of behavior imposed on you by whim, the whim of a supernatural power or the whim of society, to serve God's purpose or your neighbor's welfare, to please an authority beyond the grave or else next door-but not to serve your life or pleasure.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (15% in)
  • But neither life nor happiness can be achieved by the pursuit of irrational whims.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (20% in)
  • If you hold the irrational as your standard of value and the impossible as your concept of the good, if you long for rewards you have not earned, for a fortune or a love you don't deserve, for a loophole in the law of causality, for an A that becomes non-A at your whim, if you desire the opposite of existence-you will reach it.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (30% in)
  • Happiness is not to be achieved at the command of emotional whims.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (30% in)
  • Sacrifice could be proper only for those who have nothing to sacrifice-no values, no standards, no judgment-those whose desires are irrational whims, blindly conceived and lightly surrendered.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (41% in)
  • They want to cheat the axiom of existence and consciousness, they want their consciousness to be an instrument not of perceiving but of creating existence, and existence to be not the object but the subject of their consciousness-they want to be that God they created in their image and likeness, who creates a universe out of a void by means of an arbitrary whim.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (52% in)
  • Whenever you committed the evil of refusing to think and to see, of exempting from the absolute of reality some one small wish of yours, whenever you chose to say: Let me withdraw from the judgment of reason the cookies I stole, or the existence of God, let me have my one irrational whim and I will be a man of reason about all else-that was the act of subverting your consciousness, the act of corrupting your mind.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (52% in)
  • He believes that physical objects are endowed with a mysterious volition, moved by causeless, unpredictable whims, while he is a helpless pawn at the mercy of forces beyond his control.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (59% in)
  • He wants them to surrender their consciousness to his assertions, his edicts, his wishes, his whims-as his consciousness is surrendered to theirs.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (64% in)
  • Every period ruled by mystics was an era of stagnation and want, when most men were on strike against existence, working for less than their barest survival, leaving nothing but scraps for their rulers to loot, refusing to think, to venture, to produce, when the ultimate collector of their profits and the final authority on truth or error was the whim of some gilded degenerate sanctioned as superior to reason by divine right and by grace of a club.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (73% in)
  • You who've lost the concept of a right, you who swing in impotent evasiveness between the claim that rights are a gift of God, a supernatural gift to be taken on faith, or the claim that rights are a gift of society, to be broken at its arbitrary whim-the source of man's rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (88% in)
  • Only a brute, a fool or an evader can agree to exist on such terms or agree to give his fellow men a blank check on his life and his mind, to accept the belief that others have the right to dispose of his person at their whim, that the will of the majority is omnipotent, that the physical force of muscles and numbers is a substitute for justice, reality and truth.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (90% in)
  • So long as men, in the era of savagery, had no concept of objective reality and believed that physical nature was ruled by the whim of unknowable demons-no thought, no science, no production were possible.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (91% in)
  • Now you have placed modern industry, with its immense complexity of scientific precision, back into the power of unknowable demons-the unpredictable power of the arbitrary whims of hidden, ugly little bureaucrats.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (91% in)
  • You mean, physical facts are open to correction, but your whims are not?
    3.8 Part 3 Chapter 8 — The Egoist (59% in)
  • You mean, physical nature can be adjusted to men, but your whims are above the laws of nature, and men must adjust to you?
    3.8 Part 3 Chapter 8 — The Egoist (59% in)

There are no more uses of "whim" in Atlas Shrugged.

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