The Fountainhead Quotes

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The Fountainhead Quotes

Quote 1: "Here are my rules: what can be done with one substance must never be done with another. No two materials are alike. No two sites on earth are alike. No two buildings have the same purpose. The purpose, the site, the material determine the shape. Nothing can be reasonable or beautiful unless its made by one central idea, and the idea sets every detail. A building is alive, like a man." Part 1, Chapter 1, pg. 24

Quote 2: "If you want my advice, Peter," he said at last, "you've made a mistake already. By asking me. By asking anyone. Never ask people. Not about your work. Don't you know what you want? How can you stand it, not to know?" Part 1, Chapter 1, pg. 33

Quote 3: "What these could do, he could do better. He smiled. Peter Keating needed his fellow men." Part 1, Chapter 3, pg. 39

Quote 4: "Were he to be told that this was the best or the ugliest house in the world, he would agree with either." Part 1, Chapter 5, pg. 72

Quote 5: "I have no answer to give them, Howard. I'm leaving you to face them. You'll answer them. All of them, the Wynand papers and what makes the Wynand papers possible and what lies behind that. It's a strange mission to give you. I don't know what our answer is to be. I know only that there is an answer and that you're holding it, that you're the answer, Howard, and some day you'll find the words for it." Part 1, Chapter 5, pg. 76-77

Quote 6: "He had forgotten his first building, and the fear and doubt of its birth. He had learned that it was so simple. His clients would accept anything, so long as he gave them an imposing façade, a majestic entrance and a regal drawing room, with which to astound their guests. It worked out to everyone's satisfaction: Keating did not care so long as his clients were impressed, the clients did not care so long as their guests were impressed, and the guests did not care anyway." Part 1, Chapter 6, pg. 81

Quote 7: "Roark looked at the sketches, and even though he wanted to throw them at Keating's face and resign, one thought stopped him: the thought that it was a building and that he had to save it, as others could not pass a drowning man without leaping in to the rescue." Part 1, Chapter 7, pg. 90

Quote 8: "He felt a sensual pleasure in giving orders to Roark; and he felt also a fury of resentment at Roark's passive compliance. He continued, knowing that he could continue only so long as Roark exhibited no anger, yet wishing desperately to break him down to an explosion. No explosion came." Part 1, Chapter 7, pg. 91

Quote 9: "Sometimes, he was asked to show his sketches; he extended them across a desk, feeling a contraction of shame in the muscles of his hand; it was like having the clothes torn off his body, and the shame was not, that his body was exposed, but that it was exposed to indifferent eyes." Part 1, Chapter 8, pg. 99

Quote 10: "Keating looked at Catherine. There was no Catherine; there was only a white face dissolving in the sounds of the loudspeaker. It was not that she heard her uncle; Keating could feel no jealousy of him; he wished he could. It was no affection. It was something cold and impersonal that left her empty, her will surrendered and no human will holding hers, but a nameless thing in which she was being swallowed." Part 1, Chapter 9, pg. 109

Quote 11: "Her slender body seemed out of all scale in relation to a normal human body; its lines were so long, so fragile, so exaggerated that she looked like a stylized drawing of a woman and made the correct proportions of a normal being appear heavy and awkward beside her." Part 1, Chapter 9, pg. 111

Quote 12: "The house on the sketches had been designed not by Roark, but by the cliff on which it stood. It was as if the cliff had grown and completed itself and proclaimed the purpose for which it had been waiting." Part 1, Chapter 10, pg. 124

Quote 13: "It doesn't say much. Only 'Howard Roark, Architect.' But it's like those mottoes men carved over the entrance of a castle and died for. It's a challenge in the face of something so vast and so dark, that all the pain on earth-and do you know how much suffering there is on earth?-all the pain comes from that thing you are going to face. I don't know what it is, I don't know why it should be unleashed against you. I know only that it will be. And I know that if you carry these words through to the end, it will be a victory, Howard, not just for you, but for something that should win, that moves the world-and never wins acknowledgement. It will vindicate so many who have fallen before you, who have suffered as you will suffer. May God bless you-or whoever it is that is alone to see the best, the highest possible to human hearts. You're on your way into hell, Howard." Part 1, Chapter 11, pg. 133

Quote 14: "He studied Roark and the house with the same meticulous scrutiny; he felt as if he could not quite tell them apart." Part 1, Chapter 11, pg. 135

Quote 15: "If I found a job, a project, an idea or a person I wanted-I'd have to depend on the whole world. Everything has strings leading to everything else. We're all so tied together. We're all in a net, the net is waiting, and we're pushed into it by one single desire. You want a thing and it's precious to you. Do you know who is standing ready to tear it out of your hands? You can't know, it may be so involved and so far away, but someone is ready, and you're afraid of them all. And you cringe and you crawl and you beg and you accept them-just so they'll let you keep it. And look at whom you come to accept." Part 1, Chapter 12, pg. 143

Quote 16: "Now, take a human body. Why wouldn't you like to see a human body with a curling tail with a crest of ostrich feathers at the end? . . . It would be ornamental, you know, instead of the stark, bare ugliness we have now. Well, why don't you like the idea? Because it would be useless and pointless." Part 1, Chapter 13, pg. 165

Quote 17: "The twelve faces before him had a variety of countenances, but there was something, neither color nor feature, uupon all of them, as a common denominator, something that dissolved their expressions, so that they were not faces any longer but only empty ovals of flesh." Part 1, Chapter 13, pg. 166

Quote 18: "It was a war in which he was invited to right nothing, yet he was pushed forward to fight, he had to fight, he had no choice-and no adversary." Part 1, Chapter 14, pg. 175

Quote 19: "Keating let himself be carried by the torrent. He needed the people and the clamor around him." Part 1, Chapter 15, pg. 188

Quote 20: "And it made them sit silently, facing each other, in astonishment, in resignation." Part 1, Chapter 16, pg. 192

Quote 21: "She knew suddenly that he was not telling her about himself; he was speaking of her." Part 2, Chapter 1, pg. 208

Quote 22: "Keating discovered that he liked this process of hesitation; he held the fate of two men and of many potential others; their fate, their work, their hope, perhaps even the amount of food in their stomachs. He could choose as he pleased, for any reason, without reasons; he could flip a coin, he could count them off on the buttons of his best. He was a great man-by the grace of those who depended on him." Part 2, Chapter 3, pg. 223

Quote 23: "Let's take two parallel lines. I'm inclined to agree with Euclid, I don't think these two parallels will ever meet. . . .No man likes to be beaten. But to be beaten by the man who has always stood as the particular example of mediocrity in his eyes, to start by the sie of this mediocrity and to watch it shoot up, while he struggles and gets nothing but a boot in his face, to see the mediocrity snatch from him, one after another, the chances he'd give his life for, to see the mediocrity worshipped. . . .well, my little amateur, do you think the Spanish Inquisition ever thought of a torture to equal this?" Part 2, Chapter 7, pg. 268

Quote 24: "You know that I hate you, Roark. I hate you for what you are, for wanting you, for having to want you. I'm going to fight you-and I'm going to destroy you-and I tell you this as calmly as I told you that I'm a begging animal. I'm going to pray that you can't be destroyed-I tell you this, too-even though I believe in nothing and have nothing to pray to. But I will fight to block every step you take. I will fight to tear every chance you want away from you. I will hurt you through the only thing that can hurt you-through your work. I will fight to starve you, to strangle you on the things you won't be able to reach. I have done it to you to today-and that is why I shall sleep with you tonight." Part 2, Chapter 7, pg. 272-3

Quote 25: "You missed the beautiful pride of utter selflessness. Only when you learn to deny your ego, completely, only when you learn to be amused by such piddling sentimentalities as your little sex urges-only then will you achieve the greatness which I have always expected of you." Part 2, Chapter 11, pg. 322

Quote 26: "And so I didn't come here to do you a favor or because I felt sorry for you or because you need a job pretty badly. I came for a simple, selfish reason-the same reason that makes a man choose the cleanest food he can find. It's a law of survival, isn't it?-to seek the best. I didn't come for your sake. I came for mine." Part 2, Chapter 11, pg. 328

Quote 27: "We are poisoned by the superstition of the ego. We cannot know what will be right or wrong in a selfless society, nor what we'll feel, nor in what manner. We must destroy the ego first. That is why the mind is so unreliable. We must not think. We must believe." Part 2, Chapter 13, pg. 365

Quote 28: "Like the three of us-with me serving as understudy for the hypotenuse, quite an appropriate substitution, since I'm replacing my antipode, don't you think so, Dominique?" Part 2, Chapter 15, pg. 382

Quote 29: "You don't want Stoneridge. You want to sell yourself for the lowest motive to the lowest person you can find." Part 3, Chapter 3, pg. 436-37

Quote 30: "One can't love man without hating most of the creatures who pretend to bear his name." Part 3, Chapter 4, pg. 444

Quote 31: "When I look at the ocean, I feel the greatness of man, I think of man's magnificent capacity that created this ship to conquer all that senseless space. When I look at mountain peaks, I think of tunnels and dynamite. When I look at the planets, I think of airplanes." Part 3, Chapter 4, pg. 446

Quote 32: "She thought how strange it would be if she ever said 'Hello' to him; one did not greet oneself each morning." Part 3, Chapter 5, pg. 461

Quote 33: "They stood straight, facing each other for a moment, as if at attention; it was almost like a military salute." Part 3, Chapter 5, pg. 466

Quote 34: "It was a contest without time, a struggle of two abstractions, the thing that had created the building against things that made the play possible-two forces, suddenly naked to her in their simple statement-two forces that had fought since the world began-and every religion had known of them-and there had always been a God and a Devil-only men had been so mistaken about the shapes of their Devil-he was not single and big, he was many and smutty and small." Part 3, Chapter 8, pg. 492

Quote 35: "Roark approached and sat down, and they did not notice that they had not greeted each other." Part 4, Chapter 2, pg. 516

Quote 36: "only by the power of its own perfection. Not bars and ramparts-but your talent standing as a wall between us and the world." Part 4, Chapter 2, pg. 519-520

Quote 37: "...for the first time in his life he had spoken to a man without feeling the reluctance, the sense of pressure, the need of disguise he had always experienced when he spoke to people; there had been no strain and no need of strain; as if he had spoken to himself." Part 4, Chapter 2, pg. 521

Quote 38: "She sat at the head of the table, between the two men facing each other at her sides." Part 4, Chapter 4, pg. 540

Quote 39: "Then he sat facing Roark in the study of his penthouse-and he felt no pain; only a desire to laugh without malice." Part 4, Chapter 4, pg. 547

Quote 40: "He shrugged, smiling, when he faced Roark across the restaurant table." Part 4, Chapter 4, pg. 547

Quote 41: "My work done my way. A private, personal, selfish, egotistical motivation. That's the only way I function. That's all I am." Part 4, Chapter 8, pg. 580

Quote 42: "I did hurt you, Katie, and maybe more than you know yourself. But that's not my worst guilt. . . . Katie, I wanted to marry you. It was the only thing I ever really wanted. And that's the sin that can't be forgiven-that I hadn't done what I wanted." Part 4, Chapter 10, pg. 598

Quote 43: "Being with Howard is like being alone with myself, only more at peace." Part 4, Chapter 11, pg. 602

Quote 44: "He walked across the room he had designed for her, he sat down, facing her, then width of the room between them. She found herself seated too, not conscious of her own movements, only of his, as if his body contained two sets of nerves, his own and hers." Part 4, Chapter 12, pg. 612

Quote 45: "Don't allow men to be happy. Happiness is self-contained and self-sufficient. Happy men have no time and no use for you. Happy men are free men. So kill their joy in living." Part 4, Chapter 14, pg. 636

Quote 46: "Everything I said is contained in a single word-collectivism. And isn't that the god of our century? To act together. To think-together. To feel-together. To unite, to agree, to obey. To obey, to serve, to sacrifice. Divide and conquer-first. But then-unite and rule." Part 4, Chapter 14, pg. 639

Quote 47: "Independence is the only gauge of human virtue and value. What a man is and makes of himself; not what he has or hasn't done for others. There is no substitute for personal dignity." Part 4, Chapter 18, pg. 681

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