Fountain Head Essay

1789 words - 7 pages

The courtroom verdict at the Courtlandt trial had a huge impact on the lives of every main character in Fountainhead. It was here that the revolutionary, Roark, is acquitted of the felony of destroying a public building. This verdict shakes the world of the evil Toohey, ultimately destroying him. It means the psychological destruction of Gail Wynand, a hard working businessman and friend of Roark's. It also brings on the collapse of Peter Keating, a spineless, mama's-boy and fellow architect and it is the last event, the "rape" being the first, that lets Dominique free her self of he negative ways and fully except Roark's philosophy.Ellsworth Toohey is the embodiment of evil. His ambition is not only to physically own people but also to take possession of their souls by breaking it down and thus in this way he gains power over them. He confesses to Peter that, "If you learn how to rule one single man's soul, you can get the rest of man kind. It's the soul Peter, not whips or swords or fire or guns"¦. it must be broken"(635). Toohey understand that the world is full of Peter Keatings', the ones that need reassurance and recognition from others. He made it very clear that he wanted "Power. I want my world of the future. Let all sacrifice and none profit. Let all suffer and none enjoy. Let progress stop"(639). And he saw this progress in Roark's eye, in his soul and in his work and he despised him for it. He new very well that " great men can't be ruled"(635), and "Anything that can't be ruled must go"(638). That was why he had to destroy Roark. He believed that by praising the Keating's of the world and laughing at the Roark's, he would manipulate the public to condemn and destroy the only man that could save them from themselves. Ellsworth believed that he had succeeded; he believed that he had the power because he ruled the public, but he didn't and he found this out when the jury found Roark "not guilty"(686). For this verdict meant that the world, he had believed to have owned, was ready to embrace Roark's philosophies and was ready for the things that Toohey hated the most, individualism and progress. Toohey had failed, Roark had won and this destroyed Toohey.Gail Wynand, a rugged newspaper tycoon, who had lifted himself up from nothing and had succeeded in becoming one of the wealthiest men of his time. He owned everything within his reach, but lacked the possession of his own soul. He sold this to the public and in return inherited power. He had become the " worst second-hander of all- the man who goes after power"(608). He had created a paper that existed for the public; it printed the things that they wanted to hear, the things that weren't very controversial. It praised everything but heroic venture into new frontiers, because it was written for a society that encouraged traditionalists and condoned individuals. Gail's destruction was due his carelessness in maintaining his integrity. He sacrificed himself and dedicated his whole...

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