WHEN:
TUESDAY, August 6, 2013 6:30 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
The Fountainhead Session 18
LAST SESSION.

DISCUSSION LEADER:
Jackie Hazelton

READINGS:
The Fountainhead, Part 4, Chapters 17, 18, 19, & 20
Pages 695-727 in the Centennial Edition
Pages 721-754 in the Bobbs-Merrill hardback
Pages 657-687 in the Signet paperback

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: by John Kannarr
The Fountainhead

Part IV - Howard Roark

Chapter XVII [pp. 721-731 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 657-667 Signet paperback]

1. What is Ellsworth Toohey counting on? Has he won? [721;657]

2. What is Roark counting on when he writes his letter to Wynand? If he is not forgiving toward Wynand, how would you describe his feelings and action? [722;657-658]

3. Why does Wynand still think that he and Dominique can continue? What is he counting on? [722-723;658]

4. Why does Dominique seem at peace in her woodland retreat? What is she counting on? What is the significance of the earth as background to her now? [723;659]

5. Why would Roark make an exception for Wynand? Is it credible? Does Dominique, for once, make more sense than Roark? What does that portend? [724-725;660-661]

6. Why does Dominique think that “to confess happiness is to stand naked, delivered to the witness”? Do her actions the next morning deliver her naked to the world? [725-726;661-662]

7. Why would Alvah Scarret now feel that he loved Wynand so much? Why does he think Dominique’s very public infidelity serves Wynand right? [728;663-664]

8. Is Dominique’s cry to Gail that he had no right to become what he had become a tacit admission that Roark was right about him? What does it say about her own history? [729;664-665]

9. What does Wynand’s passivity with respect to the Banner’s campaign against Dominique tell us about his state? [730-731;666-667]

Chapter XVIII [pp. 732-744 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 667-679 Signet paperback]

10. What is the reason for the description of the people who came to witness the trial, those who “had come to witness a sensational case …”? What does it contrast to? What is it telling us about most people, and about readers of The Fountainhead? [732-733;667-668]

11. What does the description of the men of the jury selected by Roark tell us? What is Roark counting on? Does the prosecutor sincerely believe in his case? Does he seem capable of recognizing any alternative? [733-734;668-669]

12. When Peter Keating answers the prosecutor that he was afraid of Howard Roark, is he being honest? What could he or should he have answered? [734-735;669-670]

13. What is the meaning of the feelings and thoughts described as occurring in the court audience when Roark takes the witness stand? Does it seem possible that those feelings and thoughts also belong to the Toohey crowd? [735-736;670-671]

14. Very often the authors of novels choose as a title a particular phrase that occurs in the text. Is that the case here? [736-743;671-678]

15. What do Roark [and Rand] say is the unique characteristic of man and his survival? Is that theme constant throughout Rand’s works of fiction? [736-743;671-678]

16. What other important ideas that are described here are developed further by Rand in Atlas Shrugged? Which are most important to you, or were most important in your personal development? [736-743;671-678]

17. Notice the implied comparison of Keating and Roark, respectively, at the end of each man’s testimony, in their images in the other people’s minds. How well does it fit the theme of the novel? [735,743-744;670,678]

18. Why does Wynand stand when the jury’s decision is being presented? Why does Roark turn to look at Wynand after it has been read? Why does Wynand then immediately leave? [744;679]

Chapter XIX [pp. 745-751 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 679-685 Signet paperback]

19. Why is Toohey so uncomfortable as he sits at his desk after returning to work at the Banner? What was he expecting? What is it that he expects Wynand to say or do? [745-748;679-682]

20. Does the incident of the presses stopping remind you of anything in Atlas Shrugged? How is it similar, and how is it different? [747-748;681-682]

21. How can Wynand be so decisive now, yet not so earlier when it would have saved him? [711-714,747-748;648-651,681-682]

22. What does Roark feel when he gets the call from Wynand’s secretary asking him for an appointment? How long does that feeling last? Why does Roark sign the contract so readily, without even reading it? [748-749;682-684]

23. We have already had one indication of Wynand’s future with the description of his divorce from Dominique. Now we have another one, less concrete perhaps, with respect to his empire. Is the image here better or worse than the one we were left with in the movie version? [745,749-751;679-680,683-685]

Chapter XX [pp. 752-754 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 685-687 Signet paperback]

24. Many of Rand’s most stirring descriptive passages are of buildings and city skylines. Is it any wonder that she chose to live so many years, until the end of her life in New York City? What other stirring images in her fiction have you found important to you? [752-754;685-687]

25. Which image of Roark do you find more compelling, the one at the beginning of the novel or the one at the very end? [9,754;7,687]

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