Notes on The Fountainhead Themes

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The Fountainhead Topic Tracking: Architecture

Part 1, Chapter 1

Architecture 1: Roark explains to the Dean his rules: "[w]hat 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 it is made by one central idea, and the idea sets every detail. A building is alive, like a man." Part 1, Chapter 1, pg. 24

Part 1, Chapter 6

Architecture 2: Although Roark treats every building as though it were alive, Peter forgets his buildings: "He had forgotten his first building, and the fear and doubt of its birth." Part 1, Chapter 6, pg. 81

Part 1, Chapter 7

Architecture 3: Roark treats a building as some would treat a person; he cannot see one that needs help without helping: "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

Part 1, Chapter 8

Architecture 4: Roark's sketches are a part of his self: "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

Part 1, Chapter 9

Architecture 5: Dominique is compared to a drawing, her lines long and out of place just as Roark's buildings were against the uglier buildings in the city: "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

Part 1, Chapter 10

Architecture 6: The house which Roark designs for Austen Heller is so perfect for the site that it seems that the earth grew it: "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

Part 1, Chapter 11

Architecture 7: Austen Heller compares the house to Roark: "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

Part 1, Chapter 13

Architecture 8: Convincing Nathaniel Janss of his design, Roark compares a building to a human body: "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

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