Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest - Ayn Rand Institute

About this Award: 

Have you read one of Ayn Rand’s thought-provoking novels? Now’s the time! Enter the Ayn Rand Institute's Atlas Shrugged essay contest for your chance to win thousands of dollars in scholarship prize money. 

 

Amount: 

$25,000 (1st place)

$2,500 (2nd place)

$500 (3rd place)

$100 (finalists)

 

Number of Awards Available: 

59

 

Deadline: 

April 29, 2021

 

Region of Study: 

Worldwide

 

Level of Study: 

High School - Senior Year, College Undergraduate; Graduate

 

Eligibility : 

No application is required. Contest is open to students worldwide, except where void or prohibited by law. Essays must be written in English only.

 

Entrant must be in the 11th or 12th grade for any part of the school year in which the contest is held. ARI reserves the right to make exceptions to this rule, on a case-by-case basis, for international students or for students with nonstandard school years.

 

Essay Required?: 

Yes

 

Essay Details: 

Select one of the three following topics:

 

1. Atlas Shrugged depicts a society of diminishing economic freedom. What is the philosophical motivation behind these controls and what is the practical result? What is hero John Galt’s answer, both practically and philosophically? Use the events in the novel to support your answer. In your answer, consider what Ayn Rand says in the lecture “Faith and Force.”


2. Dagny says to Rearden: “If I’m asked to name my proudest attainment, I will say: I have slept with Hank Rearden. I had earned it.” Why is she so proud, and what does she mean by having earned it? How and why does Rearden’s attitude differ from hers? How do their attitudes toward sex relate to the wider themes of the novel? Consider also what Ayn Rand has to say in her essay “Of Living Death.”


3. Atlas Shrugged is a story that portrays a dramatic conflict of characters and their values. What is the most significant conflict in the story? Is it the conflict between the creators and the looters? Is it the conflict the creators experience in their own souls? Is it something else? Explain your answer.

 

Essay must be no fewer than 800 and no more than 1,600 words in length, double-spaced. Spelling errors and/or written corrections (by anyone) found on the essay will count against the final grade and should be omitted before submission.

 

Essays will be judged on whether the student is able to argue for and justify his or her view—not on whether the Institute agrees with the view the student expresses. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of Atlas Shrugged.

 

One entry per student per contest.

 

Contact email: 
Field(s) of Study: 
English;