Keating’s cynical decision to sell his wife to Wynand marks the end of his brief happiness, and with this display of weakness and amorality his fortunes begin to change. In only a few chapters, Keating gives up a woman he loves, finds that Toohey no longer has time for him, and enters a period of mediocrity unusual even for him. Early in the novel, Keating’s and Roark’s careers were juxtaposed, but now Keating is never mentioned in the same breath with Roark’s name. Toohey, who built Keating’s career by praising him in the newspaper, now distances himself from his protégé by embracing a philosophy of architecture that contradicts everything Keating has ever designed. Consistent with his philosophy, Toohey thinks of Keating not as a human being, but as a pawn that must move wherever Toohey’s whim commands. Keating can no longer rely on Katie, for she has capitulated to her uncle and become a broken woman. Keating has always drawn his strength from the praise and loyalty of others, and once they leave him he finds himself with no inner resources.

Wynand, on the other hand, regains the convictions of his youth and becomes stronger as Dominique’s influence begins to chip away at his disillusionment. Although Dominique never gets Wynand to express regret for his misdeeds, she does make him reconsider his actions, and leaves him primed to come over to Roark’s side. She helps pull Wynand’s true heart and spirit from beneath the ruthlessness and forcefulness that mark his way of doing business.