Perhaps the most interesting difference between the two books is the portrait of Rand's husband Frank O'Connor that emerges. He is still ultimately, acquiescent in her monomania, but he does not always remain silent. Mention is made of times when Frank would lose his temper with Rand, after which she would apologize profusely, so afraid was she of losing him. So troubled in fact was there marriage, that Rand had considered divorcing him during the long stretch of Atlas Shrugged's composition but did not want to upset her life while she was working on the novel (the virtue of selfishness made manifest). She was not the only one who considered it:
Once, during a vicious quarrel between the O'Connors in the presence of the Brandens, Frank walked out of the living room, into the bedroom. Barbara followed. She found him half sitting, half lying on the bed in an attitude of sorrow and defeat. "I want to leave her," he told Barbara, clutching her arm. "But where would I go?" Rand was the center of his life.
I'll have more to say about Rand's politics later.