The Fountainhead

by: Ayn Rand

Ellsworth Toohey

In direct contrast to Roark, Ellsworth Monkton Toohey embodies everything evil about mankind. He is irredeemably corrupt and evil. Whereas Roark never tries to win friends or influence people, Toohey’s power lies entirely in his ability to control weaker minds and souls. Toohey’s evil is as ingrained as Roark’s goodness—Toohey learns the practice of manipulation as a child, and turns it into an art by the time he graduates from college. By making people feel small and guilty, Toohey shakes their faith in their own abilities and then assumes control of their lives. Toohey preaches selflessness and ignorance of the ego to force people to act with humble mediocrity. Toohey has no talents of his own, so he makes himself excellent by grinding down his followers. His tactics frequently evoke those of Joseph Stalin, the former Russian revolutionary who emerged as Russia’s dictator.