The Fountainhead Summary and Analysis
by Ayn Rand
Part III, Chapters 1-9
Gail Wynand stands at his window with a gun to his head. He tries to come up with something that would give him a reason to die. He has not yet selected an architect for the Stoneridge development and has avoided every architect in the city. Ellsworth Toohey advised him to choose Peter Keating. Wynand, a notorious womanizer, thought that Toohey was telling him that Mrs. Keating would sleep with him to acquire the commission for her husband, but Wynand was not interested. Toohey told him that there would be a gift waiting in his home that night.
That evening Wynand has ended his relationship with his current mistress, a beautiful woman of high social class. After she left, he opened a drawer, saw his gun, and picked it up because he suddenly felt an interest in it. He decided to kill himself. His "lack of shock" when he thought about killing himself made him want all the more to do it.
He tries to go over his own life to see if this will stop him. When he was twelve, he took over his neighborhood gang by fighting three boys at once, one of whom had a knife, and by pulling off a robbery that landed another gang in jail. Gail lived with his father in Hell's Kitchen. His mother was dead. He had worked a series of jobs since childhood, and each time Gail would think of some way to improve the business, he would be told that "he was not in charge." Eventually he quit.
He taught himself to read and write when he was five. He went to school, but he quit when the teacher insisted on teaching at the pace of the slowest in the class rather than the brightest. He liked to walk along Fifth Avenue looking at the wealthy people, wondering what made them different. One day he stole a book of Herbert Spencer poems from a rich woman, and though he only understood a quarter of it, he began to read voraciously, educating himself.
One night he was beaten very badly, and a saloon keeper left him lying bloody in the street. Years later, Wynand drove him out of business and eventually to suicide. His father died when he was sixteen, and he decided to go into the newspaper business when he realized that with newspapers he could get into every home in the city. He went to the office of the Gazette and told the editor that he was going to hang around, that he would do whatever they asked, and that they could start paying him when they felt like it. Two years later he was an associate editor. At twenty-one, he left because the paper was owned by men who were trying to destroy the career of the most honest man Wynand had ever met, Police Captain Pat Mulligan. He went to another paper, whose editor he had great respect for, and he was prepared to give them all the information they needed to take down the men who ran the Gazette. He discovered that this editor had no more integrity than his own boss. He decided that integrity did not exist. A year later another political gang bought the Gazette and made him Editor-in-Chief. Two years later he had these men put in jail and took control of the paper, which he renamed The Banner.
Wynand devoted his paper to printing exactly what the public wanted to hear. It "was permitted to strain truth, taste and credibility, but never its readers' brain power." He made money in various unsavory ways, often using the pages of his newspaper to destroy the competition. He also ruined men who had absolutely no connection to him. By the age of thirty-five, his newspaper had become an empire.
Wynand made his private life public, from his strings of mistresses to the appearance of his bedroom. But there was one aspect of his life he did not share. He had a private art gallery which took up an entire floor just below his penthouse. No one except the caretaker had ever been inside.
When Wynand was fifty-five, he found a new kind of game to play. He would find an eloquent writer who supported important causes and seemed to truly care about the public. Then he bought him and forced him to write utterly banal columns for the Banner. He paid a brilliant conductor to never conduct another orchestra. He found brilliant and honest men everywhere and "forced" them to go against their principles. If they refused, they found themselves going bankrupt, their lives collapsing around them, until they accepted. One of these men committed suicide. Alvah Scarret thought he was going too far. Ellsworth Toohey, in contrast, understood him perfectly.
At this point, Wynand finally puts down the gun, knowing he is safe if only because he needs to die for a reason. He goes downstairs to get a drink. He sees Toohey's present in the living room and wonders what it is. He gets some tools, opens it, and sees Stephen Mallory's sculpture of Dominique. He contacts Toohey, who explains that he wanted to give it to Wynand because it is a sculpture of Mrs. Peter Keating. Wynand tells him that this is a blunder because even if Mrs. Keating is as beautiful as her sculpture, he would rather look at the sculpture than her. Wynand ultimately agrees to see her since at least she will tell him the name of the accomplished sculptor. As Toohey departs, Wynand tells him that whatever he is after could not possibly be worth losing this sculpture.
Keating and Dominique are just returning from a party at Vincent Knowlton's. As they sit in front of the fire, he thinks that everything looks like a stage set, even though it is real. He waits for Dominique to start a conversation, and for a moment he cannot think of her addressing a single isolated sentence to him in their entire marriage. He talks about Lois Cook's most recent book, parroting remarks from the review in the Banner. When Dominique points this out, he stresses that he did read the book. Each time Keating tries to start a discussion, Dominique simply agrees with him or tells him what he clearly wants to hear. Keating sits there thinking that although everyone envies him, something is terribly wrong.
Dominique had changed considerably since their marriage, having become almost everything Keating thought he wanted. She was still completely unresponsive in bed, though. His mother moved out, unable to stand Dominique's indifferent politeness. He does not know what she is doing wrong, but he knows that he cannot stand to be alone with her, even after twenty months. He suggests going to a movie, and she defers to his wish. He changes his mind, declaring that he wants to sit at home with his wife.
Keating starts to tell his wife how beautiful he thinks she is, but he winds up telling her what everyone else says about her. When she alludes to this, he stops. Then, he tells her about an idea he had, "all by myself." He wants to move to the country and build a house. But it becomes apparent to both of them that he never wanted to move to the country--he just wanted to do what everybody else did.
He shouts at her to express her own opinion for once. She offers him a selection of opinions: Gordon Prescott's or Ellsworth Toohey's, for example. He stops, and he realizes that in their entire marriage she has never expressed an opinion of her own. He tells her she is like a body without anything in it, without any kind of soul. He asks her where it is, and she asks him right back.
She tells him that he is beginning to see that he does not want her or anyone else to be real; he just wants them to help him act as if he is real. She explains, "people want nothing but mirrors around them. To reflect them while they're reflecting too." Keating begins to cry; he gets on his knees and puts his face in Dominique's lap. He tells her that he loves her and that she always makes him feel the way one other person made him feel, and he hated that person but he loves her. Dominique makes him admit that the person he is talking about is Howard Roark.
Dominique tells Peter that she married him because she has never been able to do anything halfway. She tells him that she took something he never had, his "pretense" of "self-respect." Just as Keating begins to break down and Dominique asks him to hold onto this feeling, the phone rings and Keating rushes to answer it. Toohey is to come over.
As Keating relaxes and idly converses with Toohey, Toohey asks Keating what Roark is doing now, and Keating comments that this time he is finished. Toohey says that since "rotten" people "suffer though no fault of their own," they should "get a reward." Toohey asks about Stoneridge, and Keating complains about Wynand. Toohey suggests that Keating send Dominique about the case, and he finally admits that Wynand has already agreed to see her.
Dominique meets Wynand in his office. She explains where and why the statue was made, and she reminds him that he was away during the Stoddard Temple case. When he asks why she remembers his whereabouts, she explains that he fired her during his absence. Only then does he learn that she was Dominique Francon. She tells him that she had liked her job; he replies that he wishes she were here to ask for her job back. She tells him that instead she is asking about Stoneridge for her husband, and she will sleep with him if that is what it takes. She adds that she does not love her husband, a "third-rate architect," and she does not want to sleep with him. Wynand says that he understands her now, for she wants to "sell [herself] for the lowest motive to the lowest person [she] can find"--like a man, she is demonstrating her contempt for someone through a sexual act. She corrects him, saying that she is demonstrating her contempt for herself, and he counters that such a quest for self-contempt can only mean she does not have it and will never get it. Wynand accepts her offer. Dominique agrees that Wynand should now give his orders. He tells her that in ten days they will depart for a two-month cruise. When they return, she will go back to her husband with the contract for Stoneridge. He invites Dominique and Keating to have dinner with him that Monday.
Wynand arranges for a private viewing of Stephen Mallory's work and buys five pieces for more than the asking price. At dinner, Wynand assures Keating that the commission is his. Keating is thrilled and swears it will be his greatest achievement. Wynand talks about Keating's buildings and then about Dominique's body, commenting that this is something he and Keating will soon have in common. Keating is flustered, while Wynand insists that he likes to see how honor operates in other men.
Two days before they are set to sail, Wynand calls Dominique and asks her to come to his apartment. She comes, and he takes her straight to his gallery. She spends several hours there, and they say almost nothing. She asks him why he wanted her to see it, and he tells her he does not know.
As Dominique steps onto Wynand's yacht, she asks him what its name, "I Do," means, knowing that he has never answered this question. He immediately tells her that it is a reply to every person who ever told him that he did not run things around here. On the boat Wynand shows Dominique to her stateroom. She sits alone and looks out the porthole until the valet calls her to dinner. She thanks Wynand for her time alone. When he explains that for him sailing is about getting away from places rather than going to them, she agrees, and she comments that when she used to do that, people called her a hater of mankind. He tells her that the "person who loves everybody and feels at home everywhere is the true hater of mankind."
He explains that the man who truly hates mankind does not know how to love anyone in particular; love is what one should feel when one looks at something like the statue of Dominique. They speak easily and at length. Dominique notices how well-suited Wynand is to the luxury of their surroundings. After dinner, they continue their conversation. They agree that they do not feel small when looking at the ocean--they feel vast because man has conquered it. They feel the best when looking at the New York skyline.
After a long while, Dominique asks him when they are "going below." He tells her they are not, and he asks her to marry him. At first she cannot imagine doing it, because she cannot feel contempt for a man who speaks just like she does. Then she remembers the Banner and the way it destroyed Roark. She says yes. He is jubilant and tells her they will return to New York in a week. She will go to Reno to get a divorce, and he will take care of her husband. She offers to sleep with him anyway, but he insists on waiting until they are married, as strange as it seems given both of their histories.
Back home, Wynand tells Keating that he is going to marry Dominique. He gives him a check for $250,000 and the contract for Stoneridge. Keating says he might as well take what he can get. Keating goes straight to the home of his new best friend and new designer, Neil Dumont. They invite some other friends to go drinking. Keating pays more than he drinks, repeating over and over, "we're friends, aren't we?"
Dominique packs her bags and goes to see Stephen Mallory. She has not seen Roark for twenty months, but she visits Mallory occasionally. His studio is now beautifully furnished and decorated thanks to Wynand's purchases. Mallory tells her, without her asking, that Roark is building a five-story store in Clayton, Ohio. She asks him how Roark is. He tells her that Roark is the same--he thinks Roark will never change. Mallory tells her that Roark does not ask about her, and Mallory does not tell him that she visits.
Later, Keating asks Toohey whether helping others is really all that matters in the end, and Toohey assures him it is. Toohey treats Keating roughly, teasing him, though he recognizes that Keating is falling apart. At last, Keating tells him what has happened. At lunch the next day Toohey breaks the news to Alvah, and in return for this notice, Toohey asks him to replace the current drama critic, Jimmy Kearns, with Jules Fougler. Alvah is annoyed because he likes Kearns while Fougler is going to ask for a lot of money, but he finally agrees.
Alvah goes to see Wynand, tentatively suggesting that he reconsider the marriage, but almost immediately Wynand makes clear that "this conversation had better be stopped." Wynand also orders that there will be absolutely no stories when they get married, nothing but the briefest announcement.
On her train to Reno, Dominique looks out the window. She feels as if she has no destination, as if she will sit on this train forever. Suddenly the train slows down, and she sees a sign that says "Clayton." She remembers why she took this particular train. She seizes her things and jumps off the train. She walks into town, and when she meets someone she asks for the site of Janer's new department store. She walks through dark streets, feeling a deep sense of belonging. She reaches the site and sees a light coming from the pit. Now she knows she will see him tonight, but she does not feel ready. She hears the sound of steps and then sees Roark.
They simply start to talk. She says that this is the quarry again, but he disagrees. He tells her, "I love doing it. Every building is like a person. Single and unrepeatable." She tells him it will be like this for the rest of his life, and he replies that if it is he will not mind. He acknowledges that she is not staying, that she is still afraid of "lunch wagons and windows." Dominique tells him that she will marry Wynand, and he agrees that this man is worse than Peter Keating. Dominique takes his hand and kisses it. She looks up and asks him to describe the room where he lives. She asks him to let her spend the night, and he says no.
A man comes up from the site, and Roark goes to speak to him. When he returns, Dominique tells him she wants to stay with him, here, forever. She would give up her money and he will give up architecture; she cannot stand to see him doing this kind of thing when she knows what he has inside of him. He tells her that he is not even tempted, and he would only do it to be cruel to her. She agrees. She asks him just to talk to her for half an hour, and he does. He tells her there is a train soon, and he walks her to the station. A piece of paper blows against Dominique, and without thinking she starts to fold it up, to take it with her, but Roark grabs it and throws it away. They part without saying a word. The train departs.
Ike is just finishing a reading of his most recent play for Ellsworth Toohey, Lois Cook, Gus Webb, Lancelot Clokey and Jules Fougler. For a few minutes everyone makes fun of Ike, talking about how bad the play is, and even Ike agrees. Fougler announces that it is "a great play" because it is so vulgar. Fougler explains that it is much more impressive for a drama critic to give a good review to a bad play than to a good one.
Toohey adds that if millions of people think that a bad work is worth buying and reading and praising, than it becomes suddenly unimpressive, even unmentionable, to have built a cathedral. Ike thanks Toohey and Fougler for picking his "bum play" out of all the possible bum plays. Toohey tells Ike that his play is useful. For example, he says, if he did not like Ibsen, he would convince everyone that Ike's play was as good as Ibsen's, and soon there would be no room for Ibsen at the theatre. Peter Keating enters, and Fougler comments that he hopes Keating will like Ike's play, because only real human beings with big hearts will be able to appreciate this play. Keating feels that he is greater for being in the presence of such creative, spiritual people, and his acknowledgement of their greatness makes them feel great.
Over the past ten years, Henry Cameron's style of modernism slowly won the day, at least in commercial structures. Most were swayed by ideas coming from Germany, which altered Cameron's point that "a building creates its own beauty, and its ornament is derived from the rules of its themes and its structure" to "a building needs no beauty, no ornament and no theme."
Toohey writes a column about architectural modernism, commenting that modern architecture has finally been demanded by the masses and has therefore received mass approval. He explains how it glorifies the common man and the worker.
When the announcement is made that Peter Keating will design Stoneridge, there is a lot of publicity, and Keating tries unsuccessfully to feel happy. He does not have the energy to do anything with it, so he turns it over to his designers.
After Dominique has been gone a month, Guy Francon announces his retirement. He knows about the divorce, but he has no ill-will towards Keating. Keating is left in charge of the firm. He selects Neil Dumont as a partner. Keating forgets to go to the party celebrating the new leadership. Stoneridge is the last contract the firm signs.
When Dominique steps off the train in New York, Wynand is there to meet her. He says they are going to a judge to be married, but she tells him she wants a real wedding with all the trimmings. He thinks for a moment and tells her it will take a week. He takes her to a hotel and tells her he will pick her up there in a week.
They are married by a judge in front of six hundred people. She notices that Wynand, who had wished to be married in private, had staged exactly the ceremony he would have if he had wished to be married in a lavish way. She wears a black dress. She thinks that if she were marrying Roark like this, he would stand the way that Wynand does. Dominique suggests to Wynand that they leave.
At his apartment, she comments that they had the wedding he wanted in spite of it all, and he agrees. She thanks him for keeping her out of the Banner. She asks him if they are going anywhere, and he replies that they will not unless she wants to. She does not. They proceed to Wynand's bedroom. It has been knocked down and rebuilt. Instead of a room made entirely of windows, it is now a "solid vault without a single window." Unlike Keating, when Wynand notices Dominique's unresponsiveness, he tells her that it "won't do," and she feels herself responding, knowing that she would not be able to keep this barrier between them.
In Scarret's office, Toohey comments on the thousands of letters of outrage and criticism that have come flying into the Banner office since Wynand's marriage. Scarret comments that a magazine has been saying some funny things about Wynand recently, calling him things like "the pirate of capitalism." Toohey laughs it off, but Scarret presses the issue, mentioning that he heard that Toohey got Ron Pickering to donate $100,000 to the New Frontiers to keep it from closing. Toohey claims that that was just to help out Pickering and that he cannot tell a magazine not to say anything, which Scarret finds extremely unlikely.
Changing the subject, Toohey confides that he recently got Mitchell Layton to buy a portion of the Banner. Scarret remembers that Mitchell Layton is practically a communist even if he is worth a quarter of a billion dollars. Toohey reassures him that being involved with a conservative paper like the Banner will cure Layton of those notions. He tells Scarret not to reveal this to Wynand.
For two weeks Dominique and Wynand do not leave the penthouse. Wynand is attentive to her every wish. He never invites people over, and he never talks about his work. Dominique knows that he never wants her to leave but that he also knows he would not stop her. He prevents her going out as often as possible, bringing things to her instead. As soon as Dominique realizes how happy this makes her, she starts going out and making Wynand invite people in. Wynand demands only one thing of Dominique: he is going to keep her completely separate from the Banner.
Scarret and Toohey notice that he is working harder than ever before. Scarret is relieved, but Toohey cautions him that Wynand's happiness is the worst thing that could have happened.
Sally Brent, one of the Banner's most popular columnists, decides to ignore Wynand's order. She gains admittance to the penthouse in her usual manner. Dominique gives "the exact kind of story Sally had dreamed about," telling her all about Mr. Wynand's favorite foods and his habits and that it was just a dream come true to marry him. Sally goes back to the paper, writes up the story, and convinces Scarret to run up a proof copy and put it on Wynand's desk. When he sees it, he has Sally fired. That night at dinner he throws the proof copy at Dominique. When she sees it she laughs. Brent goes to work for the New Frontiers. She writes an article about Wynand's social life that "no pulp magazine would have accepted."
Wynand has a diamond necklace specially made for Dominique. She comments that the most sordid thing about his business is that they pander to a public that likes to read about things like housewives killing their husbands' mistresses. She suggests that these housewives make this necklace possible. Wynand counters with his belief that he is able to take the housewife and transform her into this diamond necklace.
The next night he notices that the decoded copy of the telegram in which he fired her--"Fire the Bitch. G.W."--is stuck to the corner of the mirror. He does not remove it, and she believes that she cannot. That spring he goes away for the first time. When he returns a week later, he is pleasantly surprised to see her waiting at the airport.
When she tells him they are going out to see the play No Skin Off My Nose, he laughs as if she is joking. She says quite seriously that his own drama critic said it was not to be missed. He immediately agrees. The play has been a hit for months, though its title had to be changed. "The things being done on the stage were merely trite and crass, but the undercurrent made them frightening." The audience is relieved when someone's laughter or clapping hints that they should laugh or clap. They know that they must like the play, for Fougler had made clear "that anyone unable to enjoy this play was, basically, a worthless human being."
When Dominique and Wynand arrive home after the play, Dominique finds herself again thinking that "this play was the creation of the Banner and that the Banner had "destroyed the Stoddard Temple in order to make room for this play." She thinks that God and the Devil are fighting each other, only the Devil is not so large as everyone thought, instead "many and smutty and small." Wynand interrupts her reverie, worried about her.
She asks him how he feels, having seen his crowning achievement. She tells him that he should worship this play in any way he can, until he cuts her off. She tells him to talk, and he admits, angrily, that the play made him feel sick, but that it was all right, because she was with him, so "it was a pain that went down only to a certain point and then"--Dominique remembers Roark saying these words, and she screams at Wynand to shut up. She says that the Banner "can't be paid for." She tells him that neither of them has a right to say that "the pain ... stops at a certain point." She tells him that tonight she felt like she was committing treason, and he, surprised, tells her he felt the same way. He tells her not to try to share his guilt, and he asks her what happened, but she will not tell him.
Dominique stands on the yacht, where she and Wynand are taking a summer cruise. He says that love is exceptional, and that is the only way for her to have an "exceptional" relationship with someone. He adds that she is actually in love with integrity, but he has never had any integrity. She responds with Dwight Carson, and he agrees, telling her that destroying men like that is like a "sex urge" with him. The only reason he does not want to destroy her is because he feels in love with her. He explains that he does it for the feeling of power, the knowledge that there is no one who cannot be controlled. Dominique wants to know why he is telling her this, and he explains that he wants to be completely honest with her, and here on the boat things do not feel quite real.
One night in late fall, they stand looking out over the city, and they talk about the heroic in man, which Wynand does not believe in. Wynand talks about how skyscrapers make him feel, then mentions that the one thing he still wants to accomplish is to build a Wynand Building and move the Banner there. He tells her that he was born in Hell's Kitchen and that when he was sixteen he chose this life for himself. She looks at him, trying to understand how this is Gail Wynand, the man who created the Banner.
She tells him to fire Toohey. She tells him that she thought that Toohey was what the world deserves and that she never imagined trying to save the Banner from Toohey, but that is what she is doing now. She is positive that Toohey wants to take over the Banner. He laughs at her, insisting that Toohey is far too small and not even popular enough to worry about. She insists that this is the "special nature of his popularity" and that "there really is a secret to the core of evil and he has it." She believes that he wants to take over the world. Wynand laughs at her again, and then he tells her seriously to drop the subject.
One night the way Wynand looks at her makes her remember the words Roark used when describing his love for her: "I've given you ... my ego and my naked need." She tells him that someday she will ask his forgiveness for having married her, but he tells her he does not care why she married him. She says that the thing she had wanted to lose, she has given to him instead, and she wants to understand how they are alike, to think of the name. He tells her that he should be interested, but he is not. He loves her so much that nothing matters, not her love or even her indifference. He adds that with a felling like this, it is the desire that matters, not the object. In response, Dominique reaches up, takes the telegram from the mirror, and throws it away.
This section of the novel contains an important shift of focus from Peter Keating to Gail Wynand. Keating is Rand's model of an inferior man, and he actually has grown weaker throughout the novel. In this section he is literally destroyed, so much so that Wynand takes his place as Roark's antithesis. Interestingly, in the one scene where Dominique almost literally destroys him, when she manages to strip him of all pretense, Keating has a chance to be saved. One can imagine that if Toohey had not called at that moment, Keating might have found a way to strip away some of the mirrors and fill in part of the empty space. This possibility is present in his earlier character, for Roark used to tell him that he did not always do terrible work, and at one time Keating was able to recognize that Roark's words of praise meant far more than any speech in his honor. But Toohey does call, and Keating is destroyed because the people he relied on to help hold up his identity--Toohey and Dominique--are gone.
Keating's destruction helps the reader understand why Toohey wants Dominique and Wynand to meet; he hopes that Dominique will do to Wynand what she did to Keating. Since Toohey had often had occasion to see Dominique and Keating together, he knew that Dominique constantly reminded Keating of how small and unimportant he was. Keating's despair drove him even closer to Toohey, so Toohey could remind him that we are all equally small and worthless. Toohey knows that Dominique views the Banner as the epitome of man's sordid nature, and he believes that Dominique will be able to reflect that back on Wynand until he can no longer stand to see the disgust in her eyes.
Toohey's plan fails first because Wynand actually falls in love with Dominique and marries her; second, because Dominique cannot reconcile Wynand with the Banner. Wynand is an intricate and difficult character. It seems clear that the reader should have as much difficulty grasping him as Dominique does. Wynand could have been a "real" man, but he has exchanged the proper relationship of means to ends. His youth made him desire power above all else, but he does not realize that his power comes almost solely from agreeing with the mob. The Wynand papers tell everyone what they already want to hear. Wynand has never made use of that power to accomplish anything, and it is uncertain whether he would ever be able to persuade the masses to think or believe something they do not already think or believe. That is why Wynand does not understand Toohey. Toohey does not have as much power as he does, but Toohey still can successfully use his power to achieve things that he desires.
This section of the novel also continues to present components of Rand's aesthetic theory. Rand provides multiple examples of inferior art in The Fountainhead, but she provides none so vividly as the No Skin play. She barely mimics two lines of Lois Cook's novels, and she provides no pictures of Peter Keating's buildings, but she renders whole paragraphs from this play. This play represents two values which Rand critiques in the novel. One is a lack of reason, an embrace of the absurd. The second-to-last line of the play expresses its general philosophy, and Ike chooses to follow it with a piece of useless commentary: Jake asks for "a stamp with a picture of George Washington on it." The absurdity of the last line renders the one before it pointless. Whatever its own problems, the play cannot be sincere in its commentary on life if it chooses to denigrate its own central idea in such a manner. If anything, a work of art must be consistent in its central theme, even if that theme is complex and difficult.
Of course, the central idea of this play is the very notion which the novel rejects--that all men are literally equal, not just to each other but to the meanest creature on earth, and that happiness can only come through loving the meanest, lowest thing even more than the highest. When Dominique forces Wynand to sit through this play and then forces him to accept it as his stepchild, she is attempting to make a mockery of his love for her. Wynand claims that he will never reject or disagree with anything that is in the Banner--so, if that is true, he must admit that his love for Dominique can be no greater than his love for Alvah Scarret or Ellsworth Toohey.
By acting in this manner, Dominique is attempting to destroy Wynand, just as Toohey hoped she would. But Dominique's marriage to Wynand is very different from her marriage to Peter Keating. Wynand is actually dangerous to her. She has a hard time seeing the Banner in him all the time. When she forces herself to, such as on the evening of the play, she does not get the joy she expects out of forcing Wynand to look upon his own smallness. Instead, she is forced to see both Wynand's smallness and his potential for greatness. When Wynand says that the pain she causes him "goes down only so far," she is reminded of Roark, and she sees both how similar and how different the two men are.
Dominique will never be able to transform Wynand into the kind of man Howard Roark is because Wynand lacks integrity. Wynand himself admits that he lacks integrity, and he recognizes that Dominique is in love with it. However heavy-handed the point is, Rand represents integrity as a central component of a man or woman who lives correctly. Like a work of art, the essence of a person should be self-consistent. Yet, Wynand is clearly the character who could have been Roark if he could only have taken the inferiority of the world less personally. In this, the person to whom Wynand is most similar is Dominique. Dominique sees and fears this similarity, for when she forces Wynand to see his own smallness, she also raises serious doubts whether she ever will be able to do as Roark demands and accept the presence of the perfect in an imperfect world.
The Fountainhead Essays and Related Content
- The Fountainhead: Major Themes
- The Fountainhead: Essays
- The Fountainhead: Questions
- The Fountainhead: Purchase the Novel and Related Material
- Ayn Rand: Biography
- The Fountainhead Summary
- About The Fountainhead
- Character List
- Glossary of Terms
- Major Themes
- Summary and Analysis of Part I, Chapters 1-5
- Summary and Analysis of Part I, Chapters 6-10
- Summary and Analysis of Part I, Chapters 11-15
- Summary and Analysis of Part II, Chapters 1-5
- Summary and Analysis of Part II, Chapters 6-10
- Summary and Analysis of Part II, Chapters 11-15
- Summary and Analysis of Part III, Chapters 1-9
- Summary and Analysis of Part IV, Chapters 1-5
- Summary and Analysis of Part IV, Chapters 6-10
- Summary and Analysis of Part IV, Chapters 11-20
- Ayn Rand and Communism
- Related Links on The Fountainhead
- Suggested Essay Questions
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 1
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 2
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 3
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 4
- Author of ClassicNote and Sources