Literature Study GuidesThe FountainheadPart 3 Chapters 7 9 Summary

The Fountainhead | Study Guide

Ayn Rand

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The Fountainhead | Part 3, Chapters 7–9 : Gail Wynand | Summary

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Summary

Part 3, Chapter 7

Wynand meets Dominique at the train station in New York. She knows he must have kept careful track of every step in her divorce from Keating. He knew exactly when to be there to meet her, and she had told no one her plans. He again tells her he loves her, and she allows that she's glad to see him. She asks for a "real wedding" and he calculates this would take a week at least to arrange. In the meantime, she stays at a hotel. The wedding is attended by 600 people "appropriate to a Grand Opera premiere or a royal rummage sale." Dominique wears a black gown. Toohey ignores her, and her father seems wistfully hopeful. She is surprised when Scarret demands to know why every paper in the city carried an announcement of the wedding except the Banner.

Following the wedding, readers of the Banner weigh in with letters condemning Wynand for marrying a divorced woman. Scarret and Toohey have a discussion, during which Scarret brings up the fact that rival newspapers have been out for Wynand's blood in a big way. He says that "someone" leaked a photo of the statue Mallory had made of Dominique to them. Toohey says he has no idea who that might have been. Toohey now not only writes for the Banner, but also for a small, little-known liberal paper, the New Frontiers. He has also positioned a very wealthy and "red" (socialist/communist) young man, Mitchell Layton, among the stockholders for the Banner. Toohey says he's not so much red as "He's just a pale tea-rose. Mostly yellow."

Part 3, Chapter 8

Dominique and Wynand have remained isolated from the rest of the world for two weeks. At the end of that time, Wynand returns to his work, but Dominique obeys his implicit demand that she does not leave the apartment for any reason. After a few months of this, she invites people to visit them. The narrator says "he maintained a wall she could not break—the wall he had erected between his wife and his newspapers." No work by her ever appears in his papers. The attempt by a reporter to interview Dominique resulted in her being fired and the story pulled. Somehow the story did appear in New Frontiers. After Wynand returns from a trip out of town, Dominique takes him to a play that had been praised in the Banner. But the play is so bad they both find it painful. Wynand tells her that "it was a pain that went only down to a certain point." Suddenly she flies into anger and he wants to know what it is about that idea that upsets her. She refuses to tell him.

Part 3, Chapter 9

Wynand and Dominique continue to peel the layers off each other in an effort to get at the real motivations at work within them. Wynand specifically states to her "I don't want anything—except to own you." He further skirts around her own secret thoughts. He says, "Just let me see a man of a slightly higher dimension—and I've got to make a sort of Toohey out of him." He also tells her that he hates "the impossible conception you love so passionately." She counters with a plea that he fire Toohey. But Wynand laughs it off as she tells him, "You're only a tank ... He's a corrosive gas" and ends by saying that Toohey is out to "control the world." She tells Wynand she doesn't love him even though he's said often enough that he loves her. She takes the cablegram she has kept in which Wynand instructed Scarret to fire her from the Banner and throws it away. The narrator describes the act as "Her hand ... the fingers extended, slanting down, as they had opened."

Analysis

The fact that Wynand meets Dominique at the train station means he's kept close track of her every move. Although he never mentions it, he also very likely knew of her side-trip to Clayton to see Roark (Part 3, Chapter 5). Just as he owns the statue of Dominique that Toohey has sent to him as bait, Wynand now expects to exclusively own her person. Dominique accepts this reality as part of her test—it is in direct opposition to her desire for freedom. If she can endure Wynand's total control of her, she will be ready to endure anything. If she can endure anything, Dominique can become equally capable of establishing her freedom from any and all entanglements, traps, or obligations. It is in her complete complicity with Wynand's control and possession of her that contains the seed of her complete rejection of him.

As is often the case, Toohey has his hand in the (tea) pot of everything that goes on in the city, and he makes sure that hand is as invisible as possible. He makes good use of the statue of Dominique to lure Wynand's attention. Toohey can be employed by Wynand and write whatever he wants in his newspaper column. At the same time, he can provide inflammatory articles against Wynand in rival papers. Only Toohey could've leaked the photo of the statue of Dominique in connection with the news of her divorce and remarriage to Wynand to rival papers.

Dominique tries to warn Wynand away from Toohey. She recognizes the particular threat Toohey presents to any man in whom she has an interest. She is a woman with an especially sharp intellect so Toohey expects her to be especially attractive to a man with a corresponding intelligence. This is why the attention she pays to Keating puzzles Toohey. She must make especially certain that Toohey never gets an inkling of her secret affair with Roark. She tries to mask the affair behind a show of hatred toward him. Dominique further pays attention to the consistent pattern of actions and words coming from Toohey in a way most others do not until it is too late. It is her knowledge of Toohey's desire to control the world that compels her to warn Wynand against him. The comparison of Wynand to a tank is her recognition that Wynand openly and directly faces his opponents. Toohey is, according to her estimation, more like a corrosive gas. Given enough time and lack of awareness of its presence, a gas eats away at any material.

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