TUESDAY, May 1, 2012 7:00 PM Arrival Time

The Fountainhead Session 5
We are discussing Ayn Rand’s epic novel The Fountainhead in one session per month in 2012.

Jackie Hazelton

The Fountainhead, Part 2, Chapters 1-5
Pages 203-255 in the Centennial Edition
Pages 213-266 in the Bobbs-Merrill hardback
Pages 194-243 in the Signet paperback

The Fountainhead

Part II – Ellsworth M. Toohey

Chapter I [pp. 213-221 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 194-201 Signet paperback]

1. Does Roark seem to have given up on architecture as he labors by day and relaxes by night? Does his detachment from painful thoughts about building indicate resignation, or simply a refusal to allow suffering to be a major part in his life? [213-215;194-196]

2. Whereas Roark works to exhaustion of necessity, Dominique occasionally pushes herself to exhaustion on her walks, as if the exhaustion were the goal. Does this make any sense? What purpose is there in Rand’s depiction of each of them, in their own way, stretching out on the ground in the woods? [215-216;196-197]

3. Roark endures physical pain as part of his laboring existence, but seeks to ignore mental anguish over his plight. Dominique seeks out uncomfortable experiences. Does she do so to accomplish the same end as Roark? [216-218;197-199]

4. Why does Dominique think Roark’s face an “abstraction of strength made visible”? Why does his unwavering observation of her upset her so? She has singled him out by returning to look at him, so why is she surprised that he knows that? [216-218;197-199]

5. Dominique thinks of “being broken – not by a man she admired – but by a man she loathed.” Have we had any indications at all of any men whom she did admire? What does it mean that she seems to have this intense loathing for Roark and desire that he suffer? [218-221;199-201]

Chapter II [pp. 222-234;pp. 202-214]

6. How do Dominique’s thoughts about her sexual feelings for Roark resemble those of Hank Rearden for Dagny early in Atlas Shrugged? In what respects do Dominique and Rearden act differently upon their feelings? [222-224;202-204]

7. What kind of reaction does she expect from Roark in response to her treating him as if he were indeed merely a workman doing a job for her on the fireplace slab? What kind of a reaction does he give her? Which of them has the better understanding of the other? [223-229;203-208]

8. In spite of Rand’s explanation of Roark’s taking Dominique as “rape by invitation” and the narrative of the novel expressing that both of them understood and fully accepted their actions, are you comfortable with the scene? [229-232;208-211]

9. If this was such an important event in Roark’s life, is it reasonable that he would so cavalierly leave her behind with no real thought of her, that he would be astonished that he had even thought of her as he was on his way? [232-233;211-212]

10. Dominique’s thoughts about her encounter with Roark seem to echo certain thoughts of Hank Rearden toward Dagny early in Atlas Shrugged. How are they similar, and how are they different? [233-234;212-214]

Chapter III [pp. 235-247;pp. 214-225]

11. Both Toohey and Steven Mallory do things that Keating would never do, yet Keating admires one and resents the other. What is the difference between those two men that explains this? [235-238;214-217]

12. What is the nature of the danger in Mallory’s motive to both Keating and Toohey? Why does Keating fear learning what that danger is, while Toohey seems to understand it all too well? [239-240;218-219]

13. Keating finds Toohey to be disconcerting in ways that he never expected. What are they, and why are they so puzzling to Keating? [242-247;219-225]

14. After the initial words at their meeting, Keating seems to think he can let his guard down and just be himself with Toohey. But does he really? How does he continue to revert to his usual style? And why does Toohey approve? [242-247;219-225]

15. Is the statement, “There are things that must be destroyed – or they’ll destroy us.” the key to Toohey’s character? And what is the key to Keating’s? [244-247;222-225]

Chapter IV [pp. 248-257;pp. 226-235]

16. “In Gertrude Stein’s writing every word lives and, apart from concept, it is so exquisitely rhythmical and cadenced that if we read it aloud and receive it as pure sound, it is like a kind of sensuous music. Just as one may stop, for once, in a way, before a canvas of Picasso, and, letting one’s reason sleep for an instant, may exclaim: “It is a fine pattern!” so, listening to Gertrude Steins’ words and forgetting to try to understand what they mean, one submits to their gradual charm.”

– Mabel Dodge Luhan, Speculations, or Post-Impressionists in Prose, 1913, borrowed fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gertrude_Stein

No question, here. Just added this quote for comparison to Lois Cook! Let one’s reason sleep, indeed! [248-250;226-228]

17. Has Toohey completely destroyed any appreciation of value and self in Catherine? What similarities are there between Toohey and Katie here and James Taggart and Cherryl in Atlas Shrugged? What differences? [250-255;228-232]

18. Is Keating’s character on a par with Cook’s, or Toohey’s? [255-257;232-235]

Chapter V [258-266;pp. 235-243]

19. Why does Dominique change her mind about quitting her job at the Banner? [258-259;235-236]

20. What contradiction does Toohey catch Dominique in? [259-260;236-237]

21. What are the defining characteristics of Toohey’s group of young “builders,” if any? [261-266;237-243]

22. For long periods in the novel, Roark appears only indirectly, with brief mentions of events in his career and references to his character. What other techniques used in this novel (honed here, perhaps?) did Rand use more dramatically in Atlas Shrugged? [235-266;226-243]

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