Friday, 9 September 2011

Francisco d'Anconia - Greatest Tragic Hero ever?

The most important question that has been asked throughout 'Atlas Shrugged' is "who is John Galt?" Yes correct we know John is the mysterious man, the brain behind strike, in many peoples' eyes the true hero of the book.

But I would like to ask "Who is Francisco d'Anconia?" Do we really know him when we read the first two volumes of the book? He is the mystery man hiding in plain sight. Every time he appears in a scene you feel the excitement of whats he is going to throw at us. How he is going to break all our preconceived motions about him? Is he really is the international playboy, an incompetent rich boy who likes to spend his fortune? Dagny's past and childhood memories tell us its not right. But his present image force you to face the contradiction.

For me, the main hero of the book is Francisco..The Childhood friend of Eddie and Dagny. Frisco. The child who knew how to be truly happy. The teen who wants to take d'Anconia fortunes to even bigger heights than it ever reached. The man who sticks to his principles of not working for the looters. The Man who precisely and deliberately plotted the destruction of the most important thing in his life 'd'Anconia Copper' and in the process lost the most important person, his one and only love Dagny.

The night when Dagny met him last, where she gets the glimpse of the toughest choice that lies in front of him is what defines Frisco. He knows what he has to do. And he knows that this battle might make Dagny hate him forever still he knows his friend Galt is right.But the pain he knows that choice will be giving to Dagny is what he hated most about it. Man you need guts to do that.

His was the greatest influence on Dagny's upbringing. He was her first love. He breaks her trust the most. At least it seems to be that way till the end. He always seem to be carefree and mocking. But when the people who matter to him like Dagny and Hank Rearden don't understand the facade and he cannot explain to them his true reasons, then his vulnerability is truly displayed.

It breaks my heart to get him beaten and ridiculed by people. The moment he knows that he has lost Dagny is the most brutal to feel. You actually feel the pain seeping through the book into you. The aim of his battle was ultimately to get Dagny. Though he wins his fight against looters but he loses much more in the process. Even Galt acknowledges this. He says to Frisco once "Of all of us who are fighting this, you are the one who has to suffer the most". How true!!!!

He will always remain Dagny's past. Through Frisco and Dagny we get to know that though the past is influential and driving force in our life we cant recapture or relive it. How much ever we try hard to keep holding on to it.

For me Frisco is the most tragic hero you can ever have. And how i would love to change the end of the book to correct this. But if it was so then Atlas shrugged wouldn't be the book that i have come to love.
Francisco I will always love you :)

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