Part II Chapters 1-5Summary
Roark works in the Connecticut granite quarry that is owned by Guy Francon. He feels exhausted at night and this satisfies him: “he liked the work?(201). Close by, unbeknownst to either, Dominique lives at her fathers estate in solitude. She wakes to hear the dynamiting and feels satisfaction in the destructive sound. One day she visits the quarry where she notices the orange-haired Roark who stares boldly at her. He angers her because his gaze connotes ownership and because she realizes for the first time in her life that she could fall in love. So begins her obsession with Roark. She returns again to the quarry to watch him boldly watching her and when they finally speak it is with familiarity.
Dominique unsuccessfully fights her compulsion to go to the quarry. She asks Roark to come to her house to examine a piece of marble she has broken on purpose. When its time to install the new marble, Roark has another man come to do the job, to Dominiques great consternation. She takes him to task, “why didnt you come to fix the marble,?and he asks why she cares (215). She slashes him across the face. Three nights later, Roark walks up the stairs to Dominiques bedroom, takes her roughly into his arms and rapes her. She attempts to fight him but he dominates her, and she finds this humiliation satisfying. He leaves her silently and she lies on the bathroom floor all night. A few days later, Roark gets a letter from Roger Enright asking him to come to New York and design a building. Dominique goes to the quarry and discovers he has left, much to her chagrin and humiliation.
Peter Keating is sad not to see his name for once in the daily newspapers and is overwhelmed with gratitude when he finds Ellsworth Tooheys next day column on his desk praising him to the heavens for his work as an architect and with a written invitation to visit. Then he learns that a young sculptor named Stephen Mallory has shot Toohey and wonders immediately whether the column will be published. Toohey escaped injury, the column runs and then Keating visits Toohey in his office. Toohey charms Keating and the younger man falls under the older Tooheys spell and suggests Keating act as chairman of a group of young architects: “he liked Toohey better than any man he had ever met?(230). Toohey asks Keating to call him Ellsworth and tells him he is happy about his engagement to his niece Katie.
Katie and Keating sit having tea with Toohey who criticizes her: “youll make his Cream of Wheat, launder his handkerchiefs and bear his children?(235). She has nothing to say as the men talk. When the topic of Roarks new commission comes up, Keating tells Toohey of his earlier friendship with Roark and Toohey proceeds to interrogate Keating about Roark. Keating explains that Roark would “walk over corpses?to be an architect (239). In addition, Toohey tells Keating to have a talk with a new modernistic author named Lois Cook who wants a house built in New Yorks bowery. Keating reads her nonsensical book and thinks it brilliant. She tells him she wants to create the ugliest house ever built and he accommodates her.
After Dominique returns to New York, she returns to the Banner and almost quits her job. She remains obsessed over Roark: “she was not free anymore?(242). Toohey visits her and sees a picture of the Enright House on her desk. Such an architect “should have committed suicide,?she tells him because anything that beautiful should never be erected because people would just ruin it. It is just too good, she says, and will never receive the reverence it deserves. Dominique interrupts the first meeting of Tooheys young group of architects in the middle of his speech in which he calls for them to organize a noble dream. Keating spies Dominique at the meeting and when he tries to kiss her afterwards, she is repulsed. He knows that she has been with a man because of the difference in her otherwise neutral attitude towards him. She admits the man was a workman at a quarry in Connecticut. He tells her he is still in love with her and she warns him away.
Dominique moves to the center in this part of the novel. She is very dark, living a masochistic existence that negates everything to which she might become attached. She cannot stomach people because she knows they corrupt the perfection for which she longs. Earlier on she remarked that she collected statues only to destroy them before they could be viewed by imperfect others who might criticize them unduly. To her, what is pure and clean is at the mercy of the world which seeks to lower anything that is original and perfect and raise up anything that is copied and tawdry. These sentiments force her into isolation because she refuses to love anyone whom the world might destroy. Thus, she icily suffers those who offend her like her father Francon, Keating and Toohey because she knows she can remain emotionally aloof from them.
Her interchange with Roark, however, makes her shudder to her core because here, for the first time in her life, is a man whom she can love. And, with this love comes hatred for him because he has power over her, and this power can cause her great pain. The world will destroy such perfection, she realizes, and thus it would be far better for her to destroy him first, like one of her exquisite shattered statues. This sort of convoluted thinking might perhaps help readers understand the violence of Dominique and Roarks masochistic sexual encounter. It must be highly explosive. Roark has to violate her to break down her hard, cold, icy demeanor much in the manner of the way he breaks rock with a jackhammer in the granite quarry. And later on she must reciprocate to break him down.
Rand also moves Toohey into the central action of the plot. In a manner of speaking, he is like Roark who, instead of designing buildings or art, designs people by controlling them. People like Roark, and Dominique, for that matter, scare him because he realizes he cannot control them. He himself is physically ugly, and he makes every attempt to savagely destroy beauty. He praises mediocrity in everything but especially architecture, and more especially the buildings designed by Keating. He utilizes his voice to extol mediocrity and negate beauty. In this regard, he organizes groups of writers, artists and architects who are weak and unproductive at best and puts them in positions of power to insure the failure of anyone with real talent.
Part II Chapters 1-5Summary