The Fountainhead

by Ayn Rand

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Part 2, Chapters 7-9 Summary

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Dominique writes a condemnatory article about the Enright House. Toohey warns her that he can read between the lines that she feels bitterness toward Roark as a person. When Joel Sutton reads it, he visits her and asks her opinion of Roark. The result is that he calls Roark and cancels his commission; he says he is hiring Peter Keating on Dominique’s suggestion. Roark’s response is a laugh.

Dominique comes to visit Roark. She says she wants to sleep with him even though she intends to destroy him. Roark commands her to take off her clothes, and they make love. Dominique tells him that her feelings have not changed and that she still wants to destroy him. Roark tells her that he would not want her if she did not want to destroy him, and he invites her to spend the night so he can make breakfast for her in the morning.

Ellsworth Toohey arrives at Dominique’s home although she has never invited him. He proposes that the two of them join forces in destroying Howard Roark. She agrees, and she continues to sleep with Roark at night. To her, making love with Roark is an act of violence, which she loves. To further destroy Roark, she manages to get several commissions for Peter Keating. Roger Enright comes to her office; he is furious for her attacks on the Enright House. He forces her to go with him to the site to see it in person. She is overwhelmed. Roark also visits the site, and he and Dominique pretend they have only met at a cocktail party. The next day, Dominique writes that she hopes it will be destroyed in some future air raid because it should have a sudden end rather than decay.

Peter Keating is dazzled by Dominique’s new attention to him. Their acquaintances believe that Dominique is in love with Keating, but in private she barely speaks to him. In the meantime, the Council of American Builders continues to meet, although it does nothing but speak and listen.

As a child, Ellsworth Toohey was fragile and sickly and, thus, became the center of his mother’s world. His father did not care for him but followed his wife’s lead with much complaining. As a youth, Toohey developed a fascination with religion and planned on entering the ministry. He acquired several “wounded souls” who looked to him for comfort, which he gave dispassionately. At the age of sixteen he dropped religion and took up socialism. He became known as a humanitarian, and he loved to apply this description to himself. After the publication of his book, Ellsworth became admired by the general population, and he worked even harder to save their worldly souls.

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