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Writings based on Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand's most popular novels are Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, which present her philosophy, Objectivism, in vivid characterizations.

  Metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, esthetics, and  politics are the five main branches of philosophy that she identifies. Utilizing her methodology, one can be rational about all aspects of life. These essays present my understanding of Objectivism.

Older Essays

This is Your Mind

Independence Day Special 2005

Copyright Issues Statement

Independence Day Special 2011:

 Jesus or Ayn Rand?

Don't Blame Wall Street

Governments and Individual Rights

Anarcho-Capitalism rebuttal

Doctors and Individual Rights

Internet Freedom VS On-line Piracy

Laws Must be Specific to Preserve Freedom

To Students of Objectivism

Kant as Founder of Modern Art

Thinking in Terms of Principles

The Purpose of Art

On Objectivity -- The Method of Thought

Applications of Philosophy

Happiness by a Proper Standard

Morality and War

Induction and Anarchism

Immigration and Applied Egoism

Independence Day 2012:

  Losing the Battle

On Civil Society

Batman and Justice

Paul Ryan and Objectivism

Philosophy in the Workplace

Articulating Freedom

The Argument for Freedom

Psycho-epistemology

Black Friday Special, The Morality of Profit

Intellectual Property Rights

How The Internet Works

Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History

The Morality of Copyrights and Patents

Justice

Freedom of Speech -- a Sacred Right

Objective Value

Teleological Measurements

Induction

Causality

Cognition

Ayn Rand as a Moral Hero

Moral Integrity

On Dualism

Protest NSA Spying

The Objectivist Trilogy

The DIM Hypothesis

Tolerance and DIM

Individual Rights

How We Know

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis of the poem "She Walks in Beauty" by Byron

Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
all rights reserved 1993


She walks in beauty, like the night\
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;\

[Byron is comparing the aura of beauty of this woman to a starry sky. The observation of stars on a very clear evening gives one the impression of great depth and mystery. There are all those bright spots so far, far away -- what are they?]

And all that's best of dark and bright\

[The quality of mystery of the heavens.]

Meet in her aspect and her eyes;\

[Women with dark eyes have this same quality of mystery. One can look into their eyes and get the feeling of peering into something very deep; but one can also see the spark of intelligence, which is aptly compared to the glitter of stars in the night sky. Look up the word "aspect" in your dictionary and see how many different ways Byron uses this word in the context of this poem.]

Thus mellowed to that tender light\

[She's well matured, as in a good wine (which may also imply that she is "unsampled"); and has a delicate character, which becomes evident by looking into her eyes.]

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.\

[One does not see the stars in daylight, and , therefore, there is no mystery to be observed; so she is not very a very overt person.]

{Note how the ending rhymes convey these comparisons:
night\skies\bright\eyes\light\denies\.}

One shade the more, one ray the less\

[But she's not completely mysterious, either.]

Had half impaired the nameless grace\

["Grace" is a Christian term, though Byron does not identify which one he is referring to (see my historic note ).]

Which waves in every raven tress,\
Or softly lightens o'er her face;\

[Not only does she have dark eyes, she has black wavy hair, which is long enough to touch her face. Also, this "nameless grace," is evident through her facial expressions.]

Where thoughts serenely sweet express\
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.\

[If one reads "pure" and "dear" as meaning "having a light complexion," then we have another physical description of the woman. Also, hair lives on the head, the seat of intelligence. Given the fact that this woman has dark hair and a light complexion, one is reminded of the contrast of the velvet black of a cloudless night to the glitter of stars alluded to in the first stanza.]

{Again, note how the ending rhymes convey this information:
less\grace\tress\face\express\place\.}

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,\
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,\

[She not only has a light complexion, but is in good physical condition; and she *is* intelligent. We can begin to assess the character of the woman as being demure, as in "So soft, so calm." The first meaning of "demure," according to my dictionary, is: "shy and modest, reserved."]

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,\

[This refers to the second meaning of "demure": "coyly decorous or sedate," where "coy" means "artfully or affectedly shy or reserved" and "sedate" means "undisturbed by passion or excitement." In other words, she uses her intelligence to apply her make-up, and makes facial expressions intended to gain the attention of would-be suitors, without being overt about it.]

But tells of days in goodness spent,\

["Goodness" has to mean by a Christian standard, keeping in mind that "nameless grace." She is indeed a demure woman, since she does not bed down all those would-be suitors.]

A mind at peace with all below\

[Again, the Christian code is alluded to: the view of the world that man's earthly (i.e. below heaven) passions are the result of having a physical body. This woman accepts the "burden" of her physical being with grace, that "nameless grace" Byron refers to earlier: Chastity. (As a historic note, the original Christian graces were: Faith, Hope, Charity, and Love. Later, Augustine claimed that       Chastity was implied; thus it was the unnamed grace.]

A heart whose love is innocent!\

[This reflects Platonic love, and re-affirms the character of the woman as demure.]

{Again, note how the ending rhymes help to bring to mind these observations: brow\eloquent\glow\spent\below\innocent.\}

[In this reading, some historic knowledge is necessary, but Byron had a two thousand year history of Christianity to take for granted. (This ends our Bible lesson for the day, you can go back to being Objectivists, now ;) .]


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Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

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Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.