Part II Chapters 11-15Summary
Toohey continues to preach the disintegration of the ego to Peter Keating who feels ashamed of the Cosmo-Slotnick building: “you missed the beautiful pride of utter selflessness?(322). Roark offers a commission to Stephen Mallory, the sculptor who shot Toohey, for a statue of the human spirit for the Stoddard temple. Young Mallory has been so hardened to rejection in the past that he reacts with anger because he believes that Roark cannot be interested in his work, and it takes a while for Roark to convince him. He weeps with relief that idealistic men like Roark exist. Mallory is thrilled by Roarks suggestion of Dominique for a model. Instead of a high, imposing temple designed to make man feel small, Roark builds a horizontal structure to inspire people by honoring the image of man, “showing that there is no higher reach beyond its own form?(332).
The financial backing required to build the Aquitania Hotel falls short thanks to the stock market crash, and Lansing is forced to halt construction until more money can be found. Stoddard returns from his round-the-world tour the day before and cancels the opening of the temple. Toohey finally writes an article titled “Sacrilege?about Roark, the most dismissive, castigating condemnation he has ever penned, calling the temple “an insolent mockery of all religion?(339). Stoddard files a law suit against Roark at Tooheys suggestion. Although hardly anyone has even viewed the temple, all the newspapers as well as the major architects in New York attack Roark. Toohey and Keating and others act as witnesses for the plaintiff at the trial along with Dominique, and while it seems as if she attacks Roark she is in effect really attacking Toohey: “Ellsworth Toohey said that this temple was a monument to a profound hatred of humanity?(355). Stoddard should receive damages not for alteration, she maintains, but for demolition. Roarks only defense is ten photographs of the Stoddard Temple he presents to the judge.
Hardly surprisingly, Stoddard wins the suit and Roark is forced to pay damages. Dominique insists her trial testimony be printed in the Banner and threatens to quit otherwise. Gail Wynand, the publisher, orders that she be fired. Meanwhile, young Katie admits to her uncle Toohey that she is depressed and cannot find any satisfaction in social work. Indeed, she is beginning to hate people: “what Im afraid of most,?she insists, “is being myself (361). Toohey suggests she surrender her ego and look to the people she helps and not herself for happiness. Puzzled, Katie agrees, and soon after this Keating shows up feeling demoralized about testifying against Roark. He feels better with Katie and tells her they will run away and get married the following morning. In jubilation, Katie tells Toohey that she is no longer afraid of him.
After Keating arrives back at his apartment, Dominique appears and asks him to marry her. He accepts, and Dominique drives to Connecticut where a judge performs the ceremony and the newlyweds return to New York, where Dominique drops Keating off at his apartment. Then she goes to see Roark and after they make love she tells him she loves him. This is the first time she has ever admitted this to him. Then she tells him she has married Keating so she will not have to see him further diminished and inevitably destroyed: “it would mean to struggle against things and men who dont deserve to be your opponents?(375). Roark reciprocates by telling Dominique that he loves her and will not stop her because if she were to marry him she would not be happy. “You must find your own way,?he tells her. He will not be destroyed, he tells her furthermore, and promises that he will wait for her.
Dominique moves into Keatings apartment despite the fact that she hates it. She coolly suggests that his mother continue to live there. After they have sex, Keating is angry because he realizes Dominique is no longer a virgin. “Howard Roark,?she tells him honestly after he demands to know the name of her lover, and he doesnt believe her. Toohey comes to dinner and continues his ongoing battle with Dominique. Four architects redesign the Stoddard Temple into a home for “Subnormal Children.?
As the depression continues, Roark has trouble finding work especially in light of the Stoddard scandal. His office sinks back to one room. He finally goes to see his redesigned temple where he meets Toohey who has been waiting for him. Toohey tells Roark that he understands his work better than any living person and Roark remains quiet until he finally asks Toohey: “what did you want to say to me??When Toohey realizes his destructive actions have made no impact on Roark whatsoever, he answers “nothing,?and walks away (389).
Through her character Toohey, Rand demonstrates the power of the media as a destructive force. Toohey is an angry wannabe, so to speak, who can feel and fully appreciate the glories of art, but cannot produce anything. So, he lashes out at anyone who shows genius or talent. He has achieved such recognition as a humanitarian that his word is taken as truth. Thus, when he lashes out at Roark through the medium of the Banner he is taken at his word and Roark is considered anathema. Toohey has spent a great deal of time and thought on his plan to annihilate Roark. It was, after all, his suggestion for Stoddard to hire Roark in the first place, then talk Stoddard into firing him and ultimately into suing. Yet, after all this, when we would anticipate Roark would thoroughly hate and want revenge, this proves not to be the case.
In addition, the sculptor Mallory fully realizes Tooheys evil and this explains why he attempted to shoot him. He hasnt yet reached the point where, like Roark, he couldnt be bothered wasting the energy on something so worthless. Roark, actually, it could be said wouldnt lower himself to Tooheys level by fighting him, or the media he symbolizes. Indeed, Roark, the ultimate individual, desires nothing to do with any sort of formal institution. For instance, he doesnt hire a lawyer to defend him at his trial. He knows he cannot win. He lets his work speak for itself by showing the judge the photographs. In addition, he gives no credence to the institution of marriage by allowing himself to feel jealousy. He loves Dominique but considers her a free agent. All that concerns him is his art. The rest is irrelevant.
Dominiques marriage to Keating works out better than Keating anticipated. She is absolutely perfect in every wifely way and goes out of her way to please him-that is, until he realizes that while he has Dominiques physical company he doesnt have anything of her spirit. She is like an indifferent mannequin and she continues to punish herself daily by making the perfect life for Keating.
Part II Chapters 11-15Summary