TUESDAY, October 2, 2012 7:00 PM Arrival Time

The Fountainhead Session 9
We are discussing Ayn Rand’s epic novel The Fountainhead in one session per month in 2012.

Jackie Hazelton

The Fountainhead, Part 2, Chapters 13, 14, & 15
Pages 368-401 in the Centennial Edition
Pages 380-413 in the Bobbs-Merrill hardback
Pages 350-382 in the Signet paperback

The Fountainhead

Part II - Ellsworth M. Toohey

Chapter XIII [pp. 380-391 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 350-361 Signet paperback]

1. What does Toohey mean when he writes that “Mr. Roark pulled a Phryne in court”? What does this reference tell us about Ayn Rand? What else is interesting about this reference? [380;350]

2. Toohey has indescribable nerve, accusing Dominique of “a scurvy trick!” Why does he think that? Doesn’t her statement, “Let us say that we are moles and we object to mountain peaks,” accurately sum up Toohey’s stated philosophy? [381;351]

3. If Toohey genuinely believed all that he is saying about the importance of selflessness, then why would he criticize Catherine for trivial things such as mismatched stockings and careless make-up? If selflessness is the ideal, why should such issues matter, to her or to him? Or does he have another motive? [385;354]

4. Toohey has built his public persona on claiming to take religious platitudes literally, yet when Catherine responds to his urging to lose her identity and forgetting the name of her soul, she takes him literally in asking “when the gates fall open, who is it that’s going to enter,” he accuses her of making a smart crack. Why doesn’t he like a dose of his own medicine? How does he respond to her? Why doesn’t she pursue his irrationality? [387-388;357-358]

5. When Toohey believes he can succeed, as he apparently does, in manipulating society on a grand scale (as he bragged to Dominique in the previous chapter, pp. 368-369;338-339), why does he spend so much time on such a trivial project as manipulating his niece? [382-389;352-358]

6. Why does Keating want to be forgiven for an undisclosed guilt, by someone who was not directly injured by him at all (at least not in that instance)? Why would he find that of any value to him at all? Does such “forgiveness” have any meaning at all? [390;360]

7. Why does Catherine not know why she says she is not afraid of her uncle, yet he does? [382-391;352-361]

Chapter XIV [pp. 392-400 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 361-369 Signet paperback]
8. Why is Keating willing to proceed with Dominique’s plan to marry immediately, with no understanding of her motive? Why has Dominique decided to marry him after all her previous rejections of him? What about Dominique’s demand is so difficult for him, and why does he try to delay making a decision? [392-397;361-366]

9. Why is Dominique’s first act after marrying Peter Keating to go sleep with Roark? Why didn’t she, for instance, spend the night with Roark and then marry Peter? [397-400;366-369]

10. How important is this “final” conversation between Dominique and Roark to the plot, character development, and theme of the novel? [398-400;367-369]

Chapter XV [pp. 401-413 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 369-382 Signet paperback]
Why is Peter Keating so enraged that Guy Francon is not sure about his life’s accomplishments? Is Peter scared? If so, of what? (403-404;

11. Is it dawning on Keating yet what Dominique had meant earlier when she warned him that marrying him would be intended as punishment for herself? Are outward appearances to the world about having Dominique as his wife providing Keating all the satisfaction he expected? Is Peter learning that outward appearances and other people’s opinions are not as valuable as substance? (401-405;

12. When Peter seemingly gloats over his “acquisition” of Dominique to Toohey, what does Toohey mean when he says, “No less than I expected, … [a]nd no more”? [405-406;

13. Neither Peter nor Toohey appears to believe it possible that Dominique has had an intimate relationship with Roark. Is this surprising? Either way, why? Why does Dominique say, “I overestimated you, Ellsworth”? (405-407;

14. What do you think motivates Toohey to pick the group of architects who will rebuild the Stoddard Temple into the “subnormal” children’s home? What seems to be the motivations of those architects? [408-409;

15. What is the significance to the story of the children from nearby slums who sneak into the park of the Stoddard children’s home, and are chased away by the caretakers? [409-410;

16. Has Toohey succeeded in pushing Catherine into losing her self-identity, as we saw him attempting earlier (385-388;354-358)? What is the evidence, either way? What is meaning of her stated concern for the children’s chances for “self-expression”? [410-411;

17. What is it that Roark finds so important about helping Mallory be able to continue doing his sculptures? [411-412;

18. Why is Toohey so eager to get some reaction from Roark? [412-413;

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