Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. What purpose does the encounter between Roark and the Dean serve? What concepts and beliefs does the Dean represent?
2. Why does the novel sanction Roark’s egoism but not Toohey’s? Since the novel encourages the single-minded realization of one’s goals, why does Rand disapprove of Toohey’s quest for domination?
3. How does Rand justify the use of violence? Specifically, how does she justify Roark’s bombing of the Cortlandt Complex?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. Does Peter Keating genuinely love Dominique Francon? Why or why not?
2. What similarities do Keating and Roark share? Why does Rand make them somewhat similar?
3. Why does Gail Wynand take so much comfort in the knowledge that both he and Roark “came from nothing”?
4. Dominique admits that she and Wynand are very similar people. How is this true? How are they different?
5. The Fountainhead was written during the rise of totalitarian states in Europe and Russia. How might the events of this period have affected Rand’s novel?
6. How does The Fountainhead portray women? How do Dominique and Catherine measure up to the male characters?
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