The Fountainhead: Top Ten Quotes

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  1. "Never ask people.about your work.?(p. 33)
    This is the advice Roark gives Keating when asked whether Keating should accept a scholarship to the prominent Ecole des Beaux Arts or a job at the New York's most prestigious architectural firm.
  2. "You're too good for what you want to do with yourself.?(p. 62)
    Henry Cameron tells Roark that he will suffer greatly because in spite of designing the most beautiful buildings, they will remain on paper and never be erected while he will watch mediocre others reap high commissions and glory because they are willing to copy the past.
  3. "If I found a job, a project an idea or a person that 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 all pushed into it by one single desire.?(p. 143)
    Dominique explains her fears of desiring anything or anyone to the editor of the Banner after she turns down a promotion which would advance her career. The independently wealthy Dominique doesn't desire a career.
  4. "It was not necessary to wonder about the reasons. It was necessary only to hate, to hate blindly, to hate patiently, to hate without anger, only to hate and let nothing intervene, and not let oneself forget, ever.?(p. 194)
    Keating realizes the depth of his hatred for Howard Roark after Roark returns the check he wrote to keep him quiet about the Cosmo-Slotnick Building. Roark entreats Keating not to fear because he would be ashamed to have his name associated with such a mediocrity.
  5. "There is not a person in New York City who should be allowed to live in this building.?(p. 287)
    After Roger Enright escorts Dominique to the Enright House, she writes in her column that no one should be allowed to inhabit the building. However, this is a veiled comment. Dominique really considers it so perfect that it should not be corrupted by people who will harm it and not appreciate its grandeur.
  6. "We're alone. Why don't you tell me what you think of me??(p. 389)
    After four architects redesign the Stoddard Temple into a home for "Subnormal Children,?Roark finally goes to see his redesigned temple where he meets Toohey who has been waiting for him. Toohey asks him to tell him what he thinks of him but Roark just looks quizzically at him. He hasn't been thinking of Toohey at all while Toohey has proudly believed he has destroyed Roark's peace of mind. He slithers away, dejected.
  7. "I'm a parasite. I've been a parasite all my life.?(p.575)
    Keating honestly tells Roark about how he perceives himself and begs him to design the Cortlandt Homes project for him and to put the name Keating on it. Roark tells him he will design the project as long as Keating agrees that absolutely no changes will made. Keating's statement demonstrates deep introspection but not enough for him to change his basic personality. He is doomed.
  8. "One can't put on an act like that-unless it's an act for oneself, and then there is no limit, no way out, no reality.?(p. 600)
    Keating has made progress as an individual. He sees the full effect of Toohey's evil nature and mind control in the older Katie who has come to be enslaved by Toohey's philosophy of altruism and communalism.
  9. "It's I who have destroyed you.by helping you.?(p. 611)
    Peter Keating explains to Howard Roark that things got away from him and two other architects ruined the Cortlandt building by making disfiguring additions. He takes responsibility but Roark says it was not Keating who destroyed Roark but Roark who destroyed Keating when he helped him by anonymously designing buildings under Keating's name for the satisfaction of seeing them constructed.
  10. "We don't want any great men?I shall rule.?(p. 635)
    In his lengthy monologue in Keating's apartment, Toohey finally confesses his intentions. He wants power and in this effort attempts to make people into selfless beings, who in addition to altruism and excessive guilt forget how to be happy themselves. Since great people don't buy into this philosophy and thus obstruct his path to complete power and domination, he wishes to eliminate them.

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