The Fountainhead

by Ayn Rand

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Part 4, Chapters 4-6 Summary

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Wynand shows Dominique the designs for their country home. She can tell immediately that Howard Roark has made them. Wynand tells her that Roark will be coming for dinner. When Roark arrives, Dominique numbly acts as if she has never met him. Roark is excessively polite to her. Dominique catches herself referring to Wynand in the past tense. When Wynand and Roark look of the designs, she is amazed that they act as if she will ever live in the house.

Wynand drops in on Roark a few days later. They discuss the similarities in their modes of thinking, and again Wynand reveals his innermost thoughts to Roark as though they were best friends. When Wynand returns to his office, he orders Scarret never to refer to Roark in The Banner from that point on.

As his relationship with Roark progresses, Wynand finds that the type of news reported in The Banner repulses him. He finds a means of cleansing in his frequent visits with Roark. They go out to visit the site where Wynand’s home is being built. Wynand suddenly is aware of the passage of time in his life. He thinks that if he had to stand before God and give an accounting of his life, he would proudly say that he looked for no justification outside of himself. He asks Roark if his feelings for a building are greater than being in love, and Roark says they are.

Dominique resents the time Roark spends alone with Wynand. Although she always plays the perfect hostess, she withdraws after dinner so the two men may talk alone in the study. She realizes that Roark is not punishing her, but it is a type of discipline for both of them. Wynand wonders that Dominique dislikes Roark, though she has said nothing. She asks Wynand if Roark has become a shrine for him. Wynand replies that Roark is like a hair shirt, a means of bringing suffering on himself.

Ellsworth Toohey attends a gathering at the home of Mitchell Layton. The talk centers on the idea that freedom is overrated but that pattern, rhythm, and beauty are what really matter. Mitchell’s wife, Eve, expresses the idea that there is no such thing as an individual. All that exists is the collective and how one fulfills one’s part in it. Gail Wynand is seen as the figure of oppression in the capitalistic system. The Banner is spiraling downward in readership as well as in support from its employees. When he leaves, Toohey feels exhilarated. He stands in the darkened streets, throws his head back, and laughs. He is questioned by a policeman, but he is eventually sent on home.

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