The Fountainhead

by Ayn Rand

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Part 2, Chapters 1-3 Summary

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Howard Roark enjoys his work at the quarry, despite the pain he feels at the end of each day. Dominique Francon enjoys the solitude of her home in the country, and she roams the surrounding area like a “chatelaine” (ruler) of a kingdom. She finds her way to the nearby quarry and is transfixed at the sight of Roark at work. He looks into her eyes, and she immediately feels controlled. Her desire for this unknown stranger causes her to feel an intense hatred for him. She hopes that he feels pain from his work. Her obsession for Roark drives her to come back to the quarry repeatedly. The two always lock eyes but do not speak. Eventually, Dominique confronts Roark about gazing. He boldly tells her he stares at her for the same reason she stares at him. Feeling even more controlled—and strangely liking it—Dominique manages to walk away and not look back.

Dominique resents that she has lost her freedom in her obsession with Howard Roark. She recognizes that, even in her struggle to keep away from the quarry, Roark is possessing her. She decides to engineer a confrontation. Dominique takes a hammer and makes a deep scratch on her marble fireplace. She hires Roark to replace it. As he examines the marble, she struggles to refrain from touching him. Roark orders a new piece of marble, but he sends another workman to repair the fireplace. When Dominique asks him why he did not fix it himself, Roark asks her if it really makes a difference. Both know that it does.

That night, Roark enters Dominique’s bedroom. He rapes her, and Dominique struggles throughout the act. After Roark leaves, Dominique feels the need for a bath, but she decides she does not want to wash Roark off her. A week later, Roark receives a letter from Roger Enright asking him to come see him; he has a commission for him to do the Enright House. Roark leaves with barely a thought for Dominique. When Dominique goes to the quarry, she learns of Roark’s departure.

Stephen Mallory is chosen by Mr. Slotnick as the sculptor for a statue in the Cosmo-Slotnick Building, but Mr. Slotnick does not like it and asks Keating to choose another. Keating receives an advance copy of an article about himself by Ellsworth Toohey, along with a request to see him. Keating makes the appointment and later learns that Mallory tried to kill Toohey, who was uninjured. When Keating goes to see Toohey the next day, the conversation begins with a mutual admiration exchange, until Toohey tells Keating that he has a commission for him to build the home of Lois Cook. Toohey also congratulates him on his engagement to his niece, Katie.

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Part 1, Chapters 13-15 Summary


Part 2, Chapters 4-6 Summary