James Taggart is a true friend of the novel, spending most of his time in planning intrigues and spreading dirty gossip. Of course, he does not call the masses for revolution and havoc of fundamentals. He unconsciously loses control of his emotions, denying the deeds committed.
James is both a criminal and prey of his chosen philosophy. He embodies the power hidden by weak and flabby persons. It is cowardice that serves as the dominant reason for his destructive thoughts. The hero scares and causes pity, trying to find his place in society.
James is not too close with his younger sister Dagny. They discuss family business together, but they don’t confide with each other. He frankly rejoices in her troubles, seeking to comprehend the logic of her thinking. Shortage of mutual comprehending reflects the value conflict between various social cohorts.
The personage is jealous of her sister’s success and glory, wanting to see himself in her place. At the same time, he understands the weakness of own worldview, which reduces his chances of winning. Wishing to harm, he realizes that he cannot do the only natural being.
The principal showed great promise in the past and could become the same as Dagny. But he was looking for the criminal community, which promised him power. This proposal was hard to resist, so we see James on the side of the pirates. It is not surprising that in childhood he received the nickname snail because he leaves a slimy mark on people's souls.
The protagonist is prone to attack than to salutary speeches. He speaks of the mental crisis that has befallen the world of capitalists. James contrasts the philosophy of communism with the rotten society, seeing in it the only salvation. He is so confident in own right that he seeks to educate his spouse according to his ideals.
James Taggart in the Essays