Part 2, Chapter 12 Notes from The Fountainhead

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The Fountainhead Part 2, Chapter 12

The Stoddard Temple was to open November 1st, but Stoddard comes back on October 31st, is met by Toohey, and declares that there will be no opening. Toohey writes about it in his column as a great mockery of religion, glorifying the ego of the architect, a structure not worthy of a temple. He declares Roark, as an architect, is dead. Stoddard sues Roark for damages for breach of contract, and wants enough money to have another architect fix it.

It had been easy for Toohey to convince Stoddard. Stoddard had returned from his voyage scared that he was going to hell, having seen nothing but promises of damnation in the temples he visited. He looked at Roark's temple and it was so different from anything else that he didn't know what to think, and looked to Toohey for guidance. Ellsworth said it was obvious that it was a sign from God that Stoddard was unworthy to create a temple; he had thought Roark would do something good but had been wrong; it was Stoddard's fault, not his own. He reminded Stoddard that he had promised not to tell anyone who had told him to hire Roark. He told him to sue Roark, and said that the temple, with some alterations, could be fit to be the home for subnormal children that he had previously wanted.

The Temple becomes a public issue; everyone from a famous actress to a college professor to Kiki Holcombe writes letters to the editor saying how the temple is blasphemous. The A.G.A denounced the temple as fraud, as do the Councils of American Builders, Writers, and Artist (Toohey's groups). The Banner makes the issue its crusade; it calls for essays on "Why I Go To Church," and runs articles on the history of religious buildings and sculpture. Stoddard opens the Temple while he awaits the suit and people flock to it and vandalize the sculpture. A few people appreciate it; Heller writes an article in its defense, but is quickly forgotten.

Roark does nothing but say that he hopes every man who is interested visits it and describes it in his own words. His statement was switched around in the paper so he looked like a man hungry for publicity who thinks the public knows nothing.

Despite Heller's protests, Roark decides to represent himself in the suit; Holcombe can change the temple anyway he wants. At first, Mallory refuses to talk about it, but then asks Roark if he remembers the beast Mallory was talking about. He says he shot at Ellsworth because he thinks Ellsworth knows everything about the beast.

Dominique comes to see Roark the night that Stoddard announces the lawsuit. He tells her that what she's thinking is much worse than the pain he feels. It doesn't hurt that much that they're destroying the temple, what matters is that it existed. She says that the reason she was taking all the other commissions away from him is that they have no right to live in his buildings.

Dominique goes to Ellsworth and asks what the point of the lawsuit is - it'll all be forgotten soon. He tells her that's exactly the point; everyone will have forgotten the temple and Stoddard, but Roark will remain as the architect who botched a building and had to be sued. It'll be a dead issue and no one can talk out of a dead issue. She says nothing. He tells her not to try to buy Stoddard out, even though she has already tried. It won't work. Then he asks her if she will testify as an architectural expert for the plaintiff, and she agrees.

The case opens in February. Steven Mallory, Mike, Kent Lansing and Heller sit together. Mike and Mallory talk about what they have to keep themselves thinking about during the trial; for Mike, it's the granite quarry.

Roark sits alone for the defense. The crowd has come expecting to pity him, but ends up hating him; he is calm and impersonal, not defiant or defeated as they had expected or hoped. The plaintiff's opening statement was that although Stoddard had given Roark freedom, the commission was for a temple, which the building was not, by any known standards. Roark waived his right to an opening statement.

Ellsworth is the first witness; he makes a long speech about the history of religious temples and concludes by saying that the characteristics of a temple are a sense of awe and a sense of man's humility, and Roark's temple has neither. It goes against what every man on the street, and in the courtroom, stands for. He gets applause; Roark has no questions for him.

The next witness is Peter Keating. At first he seems uncomfortable. He answers the questions posed to him. He had gone to Stanton with Roark. Roark was expelled because he had no talent. Roark worked for him at Francon and Heyer, but had no real career, and didn't care what the client thought. It becomes clear, though, that Keating is drunk when he starts to ask why it is so bad to want to be liked by people. He gives a rehearsed monotone statement of exactly how the temple is bad. Roark has no questions; this is the end of the first day of trial. That night Mike, Mallory, Lansing, Enright, and Heller came to Roark's room to cheer him up, but he cheers them up instead. He, as Mallory put it, was supporting his supporters.

Several more expert witnesses are called: Prescott, Snyte, Holcombe (who says that it served Stoddard right, for he did not ask for Renaissance style). The last witness is Dominique. She asserts that Roark's goal was to create a temple to the human spirit, glorifying the human soul. Ellsworth thought it was professing a hatred of mankind. She says that we should destroy the temple, not to protect us from it, but to protect it from us. Roark has no questions; the plaintiff rests. Roark gives ten photographs of the building to the judge, and the defense rests.

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