Deb and Kat read "The Fountainhead" 2009 discussion

Sep. 18: Part 1, Chapters 9-13

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message 1: by Deb (new)

Deb | 22 comments Mod
Revisiting Chapters 9 and 10 from last week to try to get to the bottom of Ellsworth Toohey and his power to entrance Kathy and Peter.

Also, considering developing a character map to keep track of everyone. It seems like every chapter starts with the introduction of a new character.

Couple of questions to consider for this week's chapters:

1. Austen Heller hires Roark to build a private home, giving him his first commission. What qualities does Heller possess that enable him to recognize the merit of Roark's work when virtually the entire society does not? Despite the professional differences between Heller and Roark's other supporters, e.g., Mike, Mallory, Enright, et. al., what fundamental attribute do they share in common? What point does the author make regarding the ability to recognize genius?

2. The character of Dominique Francon is introduced in this section. Dominique criticizes the work of her own father in her newspaper column and recognizes the fraudulent nature of Keating's work and character, though many admire him. What does Ayn Rand thereby show the reader about Dominique? Why is this important for the reader's ability to understand her coming relationship with Roark?

message 2: by Deb (new)

Deb | 22 comments Mod
We talked a lot about Dominique and her behavior. She seems motivated by a sense of rebellion against the establishment (including her dad, the "yes man") but in contrast to Howard who acts through instinctual rebellion, she does it intentionally.

The flatness of the characters makes them difficult to relate to. It seems clear that Howard is the hero, but there is no intention of making him easy to connect with. It reminds me of Plato's dialogues where the author simply chose a medium through which to express philosophical concepts. The goal is not to draw the reader in, but to present a position. But why did Rand choose a 700 page novel as the format in which to present her position?

There is a 1949 film version with Gary Cooper that we thought it would be interesting to watch upon completion of our read:

Also, for next week, investigation into Freduian psychology may be useful. The concept of ego came up during our discussions and a refresher on id, ego and superego might lend some context.

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Deb and Kat read "The Fountainhead" 2009

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