WHEN:
TUESDAY, July 2, 2013 6:30 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
The Fountainhead Session 17
Second to last session.

DISCUSSION LEADER:
Jackie Hazelton

READINGS:
The Fountainhead, Part 4, Chapters 14, 15, & 16
Pages 660-694 in the Centennial Edition
Pages 685-720 in the Bobbs-Merrill hardback
Pages 623-656 in the Signet paperback

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: by John Kannarr
The Fountainhead

Part IV – Howard Roark

Chapter XIV [pp. 685-695 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 623-633 Signet paperback]

1. Toohey answers Mrs. Keating, “Yes, I’m sure.” Which of her statements is he replying to? Is Toohey there to help Keating? Rand uses an interesting metaphor to describe Toohey’s appearance to Keating. How apt is it? [685-686;623-624]

2. When Toohey tells Keating his goal of sending Roark to prison, why doesn’t Keating ask him to leave right then? Toohey says that he knows Roark’s motive. Why does Toohey think that bringing it out in court will achieve his goal? Is Toohey right that Keating has hated Toohey all his life, even as he followed him? [686-687;624-625]

3. Could Toohey possibly be telling the truth when he says that at times he wants to turn away from his success? Have we ever seen any indication of that? Why is he so certain that the contract between Keating and Toohey is damning to Roark? [Aside to our lawyer, did Rand not understand rules of court procedure, or is disclosure to defendants of “evidence” a more recent development?] [688-689;624-625]

4. Even as Toohey claims that he sees his success within his grasp, he claims that he doesn’t really like it. Does that make any sense at all? What does he expect to get out of it, and what possible meaning is there to finding such satisfaction as his capacity permits? [689-690;628]

5. Toohey’s prescriptions include killing man’s aspirations and integrity, enshrining mediocrity and destroying reverence, preaching altruism and denigrating happiness, and making him feel guilty. Do you think any of these are really intentional objectives of anyone? What do you think of Toohey’s [Rand’s] statement, “there’s always a purpose in nonsense”? [690-691;628-629]

6. How would you compare Toohey’s revelations to Keating to, say, Galt’s speech? [An interesting precursor to Atlas – “A world with its motor cut off.”] Any thoughts on how well Toohey’s “world of the future” compares to the world of Anthem? [690-694;628-632]

7. Is Toohey crazy? [694-695;632-633]

Chapter XV [pp. 696-710 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 633-648 Signet paperback]

8. Scarrett must have known what Wynand’s reaction to Toohey’s column was likely to be. What action has he taken in response? What was he hoping for? [696-697;633-635]

9. What is Rand telling us through Toohey’s gloating parting speech to Wynand? [699-700;636-637]

10. Why had Wynand never taken any special notice of the “small, indispensable spark plugs” of the Banner, the ones who belonged to the Union? Does that seem uncharacteristic of Wynand? [700;637]

11. Does Harding’s article in the New Frontiers demonstrate a lack of integrity? How so? [700-701;638]

12. Why has Alvah Scarrett so misunderstood Toohey? How does his error compare to Wynand’s? [702-704;640-641]

13. Why does Wynand lie to Dominique about the situation at the Banner? [705;642]

14. Why does Dominique whisper to Gail that “It will be all right”? What could she be thinking that would make it so? [709;646]

15. Does Wynand appear to understand the importance of not giving in, as Roark expresses it, and sticking to the end, no matter what it takes? Why does Roark say Wynand won’t need Roark any longer if he does? [709-710;646-647]

Chapter XVI [pp. 711-720 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 648-656 Signet paperback]

16. Why are members of the board annoyed by Wynand’s monogram-inlaid boardroom table? Why does Wynand even have a board of directors? So, is it Wynand’s personal money that he is losing, or a corporation’s? The board member says it’s Wynand’s money. Later, someone else talks about losing our shirts. Confusing? [711-712;648]

17. What does Wynand mean, when he is thinking that the board member has run the paper from the beginning, and that there’s nothing to save now? [712;648]

18. What is the view of business held by the man who asks why they are losing their shirts? Does his view reflect the history of Wynand himself? [712;649]

19. “He made a step back. It was not a wall behind him. It was only the side of his chair.” What a dramatic reference to previous events in Wynand’s life! What does this refer to? [714;651]

20. When Wynand thinks, “I had no right to hope for escape. I had no right to kneel and seek redemption,” does this refer to his whole life or to recent events in his life? [714;651]

21. What is going on in Wynand’s mind after he leaves the boardroom? How effective are the many metaphors Wynand, and Rand, use to describe his life and what he has become? What are some of them? Do they also illustrate the overall theme of the novel? [714-720;651-656]

22. Wynand obviously regrets what he has allowed to be done, in his own name, to Roark, but nothing occurs to him about the others he has ruined in the past. Why? [717-720;654-656]

23. Are there previews here in this passage of what Rand will base Atlas Shrugged upon? [719-720;655-656]

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