TUESDAY, March 6, 2012 7:00 PM Arrival Time

The Fountainhead Session 3
We will discuss Ayn Rand’s epic novel The Fountainhead in one session per month in 2012.

Cindy Wooten Chapter 10
Jim Kirk Chapters 11-13

The Fountainhead, Part 1, Chapters 10-13
Pages 108-168 in the Centennial Edition
Pages 116-177 in the Bobbs-Merrill hardback
Pages 106-163 in the Signet paperback

The Fountainhead

Part I – Peter Keating

Chapter X [pp. 116-131 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 106-120 Signet paperback]
1. Is Ralston Holcombe substantially different from any other of the mainstream architects depicted in the story? He considers himself a man of ideals. Do we learn what those ideals are? [116-117;106-107]

2. Does Dominique Francon tell people what they want to hear from her? Does she always speak the truth to them? Why do you think she acts as she does toward them? [119-124;109-113]

3. Snyte tells his designers that Austen Heller wants a house that is different. Does he have any idea of what Heller really wants? Does he really care what Heller wants? How do we know? [126-130;115-119]

4. What one thing seems to be sacred to Snyte? Does it make any sense? [105,128;96,117-118]

5. When Rand describes the house in the sketches as having been “designed not by Roark, but by the cliff on which it stood,” does that in any way detract from Roark’s accomplishment, or highlight It? Why, and how? [127-128;117]

6. What words does Austen Heller use in describing what he wants but didn’t get from Snyte’s presented design? How does Roark demonstrate that he understands Heller? [129-130;118-119]

Chapter XI [pp. 132-142; pp. 120-130]

7. Are Snyte’s arguments as to why Roark should return to his employ (and bring back the Heller commission!) convincing? To you, or to Roark? What seems to be Snyte’s motive? Has he learned anything from his experience with Heller? [132-133;121-122]

8. When Keating visits Roark in his new office, why does he “fish” for any hint that Roark might be unsure of himself. Why is Keating appalled when he learns that Roark has no intention of joining the A.G.A.? [134-136;122-124]

9. Why does Cameron tell Roark that if he wins, it will be a great victory for “something . . . that moves the world”? Why does he think that Roark is on his way into “hell”? Does Roark agree with him? [137;125]

10. Is it clear in the story why the workers at the Heller site like Roark? Or why the contractors and superintendents don’t? [138-139;126-127]

11. Is Roark’s explanation to Heller that he thought of the house, not Heller, ring true? To what extent do you think it is true? And to what extent is it not true? [140-141;128-129]

12. How is the Heller house treated in the press and by people in the architectural profession? Is it easier for them to ignore it than to justify their dislike for Roark’s principles and style? Is ignoring it a strategic move? [141-142;129-130]

13. How does their response to it compare to the critics’ response to Rand’s novels? Are there both similarities and differences? [141-142;129-130]

Chapter XII [pp. 143-163; pp. 130-150]

14. What are the common denominators of The Banner’s news campaigns? [143-144;130-132]

15. Does Dominique tell her audiences, both private and public, what they want to hear? Does she follow the typical Banner pattern? [144-147;132-135]

16. What does Dominique think about having a job or other things that would be important to her? Why does she think that way? What does that tell us about her view of the universe? [146-150;134-138]

17. Guy Francon doesn’t appear to understand his own emotions about his memory of Dominque as a young girl jumping the hedge. He is described as wanting to help her without knowing what it is that she needs help against. What could explain that emotion? [150-151;138]

18. How is Dominque’s interaction with Peter different from her father’s interaction with him? [151-154;139-141]

19. How are Peter’s feelings about Dominique different from his feelings about Katie? How do we know? [154-156;141-143]

20. Mrs. Keating masterfully manipulates Peter concerning marrying Katie. How does she do it? Yet Toohey has a simpler approach with his niece, Katie. What is it? Who is the more masterful? [159-163;145-150]

21. Both Peter and Katie are ambivalent about their decision not to follow through on getting a marriage license. How are their reactions to that decision different? How are they similar? [162-163;149-150]

Chapter XIII [pp. 164-177; pp. 151-163]

22. Is it true that there is nothing Roark could say to people about his buildings? What would you tell him to say? Are the defining qualities of his buildings objective or subjective characteristics? [164-166;151-153]

23. What does it mean to say that Roark is “too arrogant to boast”? [166-167;153]

24. Why does Mrs. Wilmot want Roark for an architect? Are there any arguments that Roark could offer her that would be likely to reach her? [167-168;153-155]

25. Roark offers strong arguments to Mr. Mundy about what he, Mundy, appears to be doing in asking for a particular type of house. Does this seem to be consistent with previous statements about Roark’s inability to understand other people? [169-170;155-157]

26. In spite of their differences, Mundy says that he likes Roark. Does that make any sense? [170;157]

27. When talking to Mr. Janss, Roark seems to be describing his vision of integrity. Is this consistent with earlier statements Roark himself made about “some one principle” to cover his “kind of people” that he couldn’t quite explain? [165-166,170-172;152-153,157-159]

28. We don’t find out (here at least) how the Fargo department store project turns out. Does that detract from the story? [173;159-160]

29. Why does Roark agree to pay for certain changes to the house he has designed, even though it involves rebuilding an already completed wing? What does that tell us about Roark’s concept of a building’s integrity? [176;162-163]

30. How does the Architects’ Guild take revenge upon Roark for his non-conformity to their practices? Is the Sanborn residence uninhabitable, as they claim? [177;163]

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