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The Fountainhead Review Questions

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Janea Herbert AP Language and Comp. The Fountainhead Review Questions: The Keating Section Ch. 1-6 1. The “preface” is metaphorically significant because it is a foreshadowing of the issues that Roark will have to deal with. Just as he is standing on a cliff, about to dive into the lake, he is preparing to dive into a new part of his life which he knows will be difficult. Roark is also going to shape out things which in the metaphor, granite rocks are waiting to be cut.
2. What the meeting with the Dean of Stanton reveals about Roark is that he is an independent thinker who follows his own convictions despite other acceptable standards existing which he does not to follow. Roark does not care what other people think of his vision, nor does he care about the consequences he faces when he refuses to conform. What Roark’s rules tell me about him is that he doesn’t like to copy other people’s styles in any way and believes that everything should be original because no two things serve the same purpose. What the Dean means when he says this statement is, that architects are not really individuals, because they belong to a larger social unit comprised of many people, and is less important than the group as a whole. An objectivist would reject the Dean’s proclamation because he/she believes that the most important goal in peoples’ lives is to please themselves. In light of the novels’ philosophical underpinnings, the purpose for this scene is to establish the philosophical values of objectivism which Roark represents and to present this philosophy as an opposition, or in contrast to, a common belief which values the good of society over individuality.
3. Roark’s architectural vision differs from that of his peers because while his peers are into copying the styles of other time periods/cultures into their own work and portray the pre-established and accepted standard of beauty, Roark believes in original designs which fit the unique purpose of the building instead of repeating what others have done, and is more about practicality than beauty.
4. The central tenet of Howard Roark’s architectural vision is individualism. He strongly disagrees with copying any element of others’ work and insists on designing things in his own way.
5. Peter Keating is described as dark-haired, having dark, alert and intelligent eyes, a gentle and generous mouth, a classically-skull shaped head, slender, athletic and slim: a person with a beautiful appearance. He is also popular, the top student in college, likes to dominate any rivals, and he is artistic. He is a foil for Howard Roark in terms of his contrasting appearance and personality. While he has dark hair and eyes, Roark has gray eyes and orange hair. Keating is also popular and likes to be around people while Roark does not seem to like too much of a people person. Finally, while Roark likes to march to the beat of his own drum regardless of how others treat him/react and does not bother with dominating other people/ any rivals, Keating seems to be very concerned with being number one at everything. And very much unlike Roark, other people’s opinion matter very much to Keating.
5. Henry Cameron is an old, struggling, alcoholic architect. He used to be extremely successful when he was young as the number one architect in New York. Cameron has always felt buildings should not copy each other in style and designs unique structures – to which he’s been continuously criticized and thought of as a crazy “modernist.” He functions in the novel as being a mentor to Roark, since they share the same ideals about architecture, as well as a symbol of objectivism. He represents someone who has lived their whole life practicing this philosophy and has been largely rejected by others for his unusual ideals. Guy Francon functions in the novel as a foil to Henry Cameron. He is now one of the most successful architects ever and practices the opposite of objectivism. He believes in incorporating the older building styles of history into his architecture and not deviating from these pre-established standards towards any originality. Because he goes along with what is accepted by everybody else, he is praised and has not received any hostility or resistance or rejection as Cameron or Roark who believe otherwise.
7. The source of Howard Roark’s calling to architecture is his desire to change the way things are on the earth. He loves the earth but dislikes the shape of things on it and wishes to make them into how he feels they should be.
8. Keating shows himself to be the ultimate opportunist as it relates to his interactions with Davis, Stengle and Heyer because he uses them to achieve success and ultimately get rid of them as rivals in a very manipulative and deceptive way. He does this so well that people see him as a very kind person, even those who he is using to his own advantage. He befriends Davis and eventually gets him fired by offering to do his work for him continuously. Keating then inherits Davis’s position as chief draftsman and salary, (and helps him find a new job out of consideration). He similarly causes Stengel to leave by encouraging him to work on a project Francon was planning on doing and opening his own office he wanted to for a while. Francon thinks Stengel betrayed him and promotes the loyal Keating to chief designer. Finally, Keating interacts with Heyer in a way that suggests he might be the next person he steps on, on his way up. He is the only one in the office to acknowledge Heyer’s good side, Keating may eventually find he opportunity to use him and subtly sabotage him and take his position, just like he did with Davis and Stengle, to the final step: Francon’s partner in the firm.
9. Keating’s relationship with Katherine Halsey reveals that he is a type of person who treats others at his own convenience and is not very sincere. Keating usually doesn’t visit or talk to Katherine unless he feels like it or is lonely. He doesn’t keep his promise to see her the following day, and may not talk to her for months at a time. The relationship also reveals that Katherine is very passive. She doesn’t object to Keating’s behavior and that he doesn’t keep his word or any issues like that. She treats him like he does nothing wrong and settles for anything. However, she is not very needy or dependent on him since she does not seek him out or checkup o him if they do not talk in a while. She only answers when Keating initiates a talk or visit. Keating can’t make a real commitment to Katherine because he is not loyal to her, in terms of keeping his promises or investing a lot of care and thoughtfulness, and is fairly selfish.
10. Ellsworth Toohey says that architecture has a huge effect on people’s existence and lifestyles throughout history in his Sermons in Stone. Toohey also says that architecture is the greatest of the arts and that building is a socially collaborative thing that should reflect on architect’s time and country.

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