By this point of the book it’s been pretty firmly established that John Galt is basically awesome and no matter what you say or do he is just going to do what he personally feels is best and right anyways. Despite all the evidence that this is the case, Mr. Thompson still thinks he’s going to be able to make Galt do whatever he wants. Poor Mr. Thompson, it must be nice to live in such a fantasy world.
Galt is being kept in a hotel room while Mr. Thompson tries to use every person, argument, and tactic available to him to convince Galt to step in as the savior of the national economy. For the longest time Galt just ignores them all and doesn’t say a word, but eventually he starts to talk and Mr. Thompson doesn’t like what he’s got to say.
The most interesting part to me is how Galt acts so completely nonchalant about the entire ordeal. He never gets upset, he never loses his cool, he just answers their questions and then goes back to being quiet. Eventually Mr. Thompson resorts to making violent threats and takes Galt down to the lobby of the hotel he’s been held at and sets him up for a press conference. Galt is being held at gunpoint during the press conference because Mr. Thompson wants to force him to say the right things, but Galt ruins all of that very quickly by forcing the gun into view of the media gathered at the event.
Chaos erupts and the next thing you know Galt is tied to a table, naked as the day he was born, and a group of Mr. Thompson’s associates are getting ready to torture him with some sort of electrical torture machine.
I must say I wasn’t quite expecting John Galt to wind up on a torture table when I started reading Atlas Shrugged, but by the time it happened I sort of understood how it fit with the rest of the story. I’ve only got one chapter left and it seems like there are a lot of loose ends that need to be tied up before things are finished.