The Fountainhead

by: Ayn Rand

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

Quote 3

He was not the corrupt publisher of a popular empire. He was an aristocrat aboard a yacht. He looked, she thought, like what one believes an aristocrat to be when one is young: a brilliant kind of gaiety without guilt.

Rand uses physical characteristics to illustrate her characters’ personalities. This quotation from the ninth chapter of the third book of The Fountainhead shows a physical symbol of Wynand’s redemption. Dominique looks at Wynand sitting on his yacht and muses that his gestures and carriage reveal his true self. She thought him an evil publisher at first, but now sees that he has become an idealized aristocrat. Like Roark, Wynand is tall and carries himself with confidence. He moves quickly, showing his vibrancy. He is on a yacht, surrounded by luxury that would overwhelm most people, but his “brilliant kind of gaiety” overwhelms his surroundings. The once-suicidal Wynand has changed his worldview, becoming optimistic, and his new personality is so forceful that it overwhelms the facts. Technically he is still a “corrupt publisher,” but his good intentions so overwhelm that technicality that the quotation says Wynand “was not the corrupt publisher.”