Guy Francon, its designer, had known how to subordinate himself to the mandatory canons which generations of craftsmen behind him have proved inviolate [....] (1.4.3)
There are two harmful ideas here that Roark has to battle against the entire novel: the idea that people need to "subordinate" themselves to the crowd, and the idea that the past is always right. Guy Francon fails from the start.
He winced a little when he was addressed as "Hey, Modernistic." (1.9.15)
Snyte embraces nicknames in his workplace, but not in a cool way. Here Roark must deal with having his identity effaced, or erased, by Snyte's insistence on identifying his workers by their "style" as opposed to something like, oh, their names.
"This is the time to merge his self in a great current, in the rising tide which is approaching to sweep us all, willing or unwilling, into the future." (1.9.57)
Toohey uses a lot of water imagery when he speaks about mankind. Here he uses water to represent both the passage of time and the collective group of people that all individuals should "merge" into.
"If I found a job, a project, an idea or a person I wanted—I'd have to depend on the whole world. Everything has strings leading to everything else. We're all so tied together." (1.12.70)
Dominique doesn't often speak in symbols or metaphors, but she uses the image of a net to express her distaste for the crowd.
Catherine had said it, he was selfish; everybody was selfish; it was not a pretty thing, to be selfish, but he was not alone in it [....] (1.15.49)
Keating's internal monologues provide some of the most interesting stylistic experiments in the book. Here we get the repetition of "selfish" and a series of choppy phrases to indicate Keating's inner turmoil.
"Do you have to be quite so fanatical and selfless about it?"
"What?" Roark asked incredulously. (1.15.170-1)
In both this book and her later novel, Atlas Shrugged, Rand liked to play around with language and experiment with opposites. Her heroes often take "bad" words and make them "good." Here a man accuses Roark of being "selfless," when Roark sees himself as being selfish. Selfishness is actually good. Selflessness is bad. Confused yet?
"Only when you can feel contempt for you own priceless little ego, only then can you achieve that true, broad peace of selflessness, the merging of you spirit with the vast collective spirit of mankind." (2.9.38)
Toohey gets a bit redundant and repetitive when talking about individualism and how terrible it is. Here, he tells his hapless niece Katie to abandon her ego and "merge" with the "collective," meaning the crowd or mob.
"To mortify the soul is the only act of virtue" (2.9.38)
Toohey uses a good bit of religious imagery and diction in his speech, which helps to emphasize how he is a lot like a religious leader in his speeches and his philosophy.
"Man's proper posture in a house of God is on his knees. Nobody in his right mind would kneel within Mr. Roark's temple." (2.12.12)
Toohey might be trying to insult Roark here, but Rand is trying to have her readers see how Roark's temple is actually the better option here.
"Howard Roark built a temple to the human spirit. He saw man as strong, proud, clean, wise and fearless." (2.12.200)
Dominique's trial confession (at Roark's first trial) is one of the few times in the book she speaks honestly before a large crowd. We get confirmation that her views on individualism are the same as Roark's.
"You must stop wanting anything. You must forget how important Miss Catherine Halsey is. Because, you see, she isn't." (2.13.111)
Toohey raises self-sacrifice and self-denial to a virtue, in a sort of demented adoption of Christian doctrine. It was views like this that philosophers like Nietzsche and later Rand herself pitted themselves against.
"You never wanted me to be real. You never wanted anyone to be. But you didn't want to show it." (3.2.142)
Dominique accuses Keating here of basically not wanting to deal with people at all. Which is a bit odd given how much Keating seems like an extrovert. But Keating wouldn't mind empty shades surrounding him and making him look good...but not actual, messy people.
"Every building is like a person. Single and unrepeatable." (3.5.230)
Roark's views on buildings basically sums up the book's theme of individualism.
"If I asked you to keep your soul—would you understand why that's much harder?" (4.8.70)
There's a surprising amount of discussion about "souls" in this book, mostly from Toohey and Roark. These two men seem to get at the heart of the matter that everyone talks around, and their battle for people's "souls" helps to cast Toohey in the role of the devil and Roark in the role of a Christ figure.
"And isn't that the root of every despicable action? Not selfishness, but precisely the absence of self." (4.11.58)
Roark completely nails the horror of Toohey's philosophy here. Toohey isn't just advocating selfless behavior, but the entire absence of self. He wants individuals totally beaten down.
"Never ask people. Not about your work. Don't you know what you want? How can you stand it, not to know?" (1.2.6)
Roark and Keating's early discussion about making decisions really sets up the contrast between the two men. Roark has always been certain and finds it upsetting to not know things.
"Do you always have to have a purpose? Do you always have to be so damn serious? Can't you ever do things without reason, just like everybody else?" (1.7.56)
Roark is logical, with a constant purpose, and Keating is more emotional and has trouble deciding. The two men's differences aren't used for comedic effect, sadly. Instead, Keating is just wrong and miserable and Roark is too cool for school.
He went away, relieved and desolate, cursing himself for the dull, persistent feeling that told him he had missed a chance which would never return [....] (1.12.269)
Keating is scared to make decisions and choices, and it's this character trait that drives his decisions (if you can call his actions "decisions" at all) and actions throughout the whole book.
"Don't you know that most people take most things because that's what's given to them, and they have no opinion whatsoever?" (1.13.110)
The idea of most people's lack of options—and lack of will to choose—is a frequent motif throughout the book, and it's something that both good and bad characters comment on.
"But a desire to choose the hardest might be a confession of weakness in itself." (2.6.116)
This grammatically awkward sentence refers to the oh-so-common tactic of setting yourself up to fail. It's easy to think that the cards are stacked against you when you choose to pursue something that is super-hard.
"And what, incidentally, do you think integrity is? The ability not to pick a watch out of your neighbor's pocket?" (2.10.35)
In context, this is a sly little comment. Integrity, according to Roark, is a positive action. And we don't mean that it's nice; rather that it's something you do. Failing to do something (like not pickpocketing) doesn't fit the Roark definition of integrity.
"I can't live a life torn between that which exists—and you." (2.14.114)
Dominique here says she has to choose between Roark and the world. This is because Roark is the closest thing to an outlaw in the decidedly un-Wild West world of architecture. He sure rails against the constraints of society, though.
She had not noticed him take her hand; it seemed so natural and what she had wanted from the moment of seeing him. But she could not allow herself to want it. (3.7.16)
The ever-neurotic Dominique often refuses to make positive choices for herself. Oddly enough, her insistence on not wanting mirrors Toohey's advice to Katie and Keating, when he tells them not to want things.
"Isn't that a luxury worth achieving? Does it matter how? They were the means. You're the end." (4.2.60)
Gail Wynand gets his Machiavelli on in this quote. The ends justify the means, according to Wynard.
"Your soul has a single basic function—the act of valuing. (4.4.87)
Roark sees souls as decision-making machines. It's interesting he uses the term "valuing" here, since value has a connotation linked to money and commerce.
"It's the hardest thing in the world—to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage." (4.10.62)
Keating learns a very hard lesson over the course of the book, but in the end he comes to recognize the courage it takes to be an individual and make decisions that go against the crowd.
Roark's words were like the steps of a man walking a tightwire, slow, strained, groping for the only right spot, quivering over an abyss, but precise. (1.8.23)
Rand uses a metaphor of a tightrope walker to describe Roark's tense manner of speaking. She also compares misspeaking to falling into "an abyss": you better believe that Ayn Rand was a firm believer in saying the exact right thing.
Then the thing which happened hit Peter on the back of the head; it was not a sound or a blow, it was something that ripped time apart, that cut the moment from the normal one preceding it. (1.9.52)
The rather lengthy descriptions of Toohey speaking at a rally are kind of terrifying. Toohey here comes across as a force of nature capable of ripping time apart, like a philosophical atomic bomb.
"I think it would have been better if you hadn't told me that you liked me. Then I would have had a better chance of its being true." (1.10.97)
Here Dominique proves herself to be a certified cynic: according to Dominique the best way to be assured that someone doesn't like you is for them to tell you that they do like you.
He knew while he spoke that it was useless, because his words sounded as if they were hitting a vacuum. (1.13.76)
Language can be something very powerful, but only if you're speaking to a receptive audience. Otherwise, you might as well stay silent.
"You'll be exposed publicly," said Keating, the sounds of his voice glittering. "You'll be denounced as a grafter." (1.15.30)
Keating's voice is clearly bedazzled. When Keating is in his heyday, everything he does is evocative of wealth: even his voice is diamond-studded.
"He said, Wait a minute, and he read it again, he looked up, very puzzled, but not angry at all, and he said, if you read it one way [...] but on the other hand [....]" (2.8.145)
Roark relates an incident of someone reading Dominique's column and hitting upon the double meaning behind her words. Most characters in this book are pretty straightforward, but Dominique in embraces the nuances of language.
"I want to ask every man who is interested in this to go and see the building, to look at it and then to use the words of his own mind, if he cares to speak." (2.12.45)
Roark encourages people to form their own opinions and speak their own minds here. Everything for Roark ties back to his strong individualist views.
They could always speak like this too each other, continuing a conversation they had not begun. (2.12.63)
This quiet sense of connection between Roark and Dominique is a recurring motif throughout the latter part of the novel.
Queer things were happening to Keating's verbal punctuation: some words came out crisply, as if he dropped an exclamation point after each; others ran together as if he would not stop to let himself hear them. (2.12.133)
Rand often describes how people speak rather than just telling us verbatim what they are saying. Here, we don't really need to know what Keating is saying about Roark in his testimony. We get a lot more insight into Keating's state of mind by learning about how he sounds.
"You wanted an act to help your act—a beautiful, complicated act, all twists, trimmings and words. All words." (3.2.142)
Dominique basically calls Keating out as being a performer, or a showman. Why? Because Keating's words aren't backed with actions. He talks the talk, but he does not walk the walk.
He settled back, to enjoy a long speech of persuasion. He thought it would be interesting to hear what arguments she'd choose and how she'd act in the role of petitioner. (3.3.103)
Toohey loves messing with people, and he also enjoys playing with language. His love of language is kind of endearing… or it would be if he weren't so freaking evil.
Keating did not care so long as his clients were impressed, the clients did not care so long as their guests were impressed, and the guests did not care anyway. (1.6.32)
Rand is hammering home the idea that happiness based on impressing others is futile—everyone here is trying to ultimately impress a group of totally clueless guests.
"May God bless you - or whoever it is that is alone to see the best, the highest possible to human hearts. You're on your way into hell, Howard." (1.11.14)
Cameron's warning here may not seem like it ties into the book's happiness theme, but this book takes happiness to mean a sort of passion that you can't live without, not merely feeling cheerful. Roark here is setting off to pursue his passion, even though it will be hard.
"You call that freedom?" "To ask for nothing, To expect nothing. To depend on nothing." "What if you found something you wanted?" "I won't find it. I won't choose to see it." (1.12.79-82)
Dominique contradicts herself here, as usual. She longs for freedom, which she takes to mean being free, literally, from everything. But she also refuses deliberately to see things she might want. As a result, she isn't free at all.
"Will you be happy if you seal yourself for the rest of your life in that borrowed shape? Or if you strike free, for once, and build a new house, your own?" (1.13.84)
Roark tries to counsel his poor clients with philosophy. This client just wants a nice Southern mansion, but instead he gets a lecture. One man's "borrowed shape" is another man's dream house, Roark.
Dominique had spent so many summers and winters, surrounding herself with people in order to feel alone, that the experiment of actual solitude was an enchantment to her and a betrayal into a weakness she had never allowed herself: the weakness of enjoying it. (2.1.14)
Once again, Dominique seems to be unwittingly participating in Toohey's world view by viewing enjoyment as a sort of weakness. The diction here is worth noting, too. The word "enchantment" gives us the sense of a fairy tale, underlining the fact that Toohey's worldview is as far from reality as the story of Cinderella.
His normal assurance in meeting people had vanished; but he felt at ease, as if all responsibility were taken away from him and he did not have to worry about saying the right things. (2.3.52)
Happiness for Keating seems to be a lack of pressure and worry. He's so scared of responsibility that he can't be happy with it.
They were simply four people who liked being there together. (2.11.265)
This quiet scene of Mallory, Roark, Dominique, and Mike hanging out at the Stoddard Temple is one of the nicest scenes in the entire book. They're just being pals.
"I've never met the men whose work I love. The work means too much to me. I don't want the men to spoil it." (4.2.45)
The idea of men spoiling things they create is definitely foreign to Roark and his crowd, who basically are what they create. And the union between who they are and what they do is what makes them happy.
"Every form of happiness is private." (4.11.64)
Roark's idea of happiness as private becomes very political when put in opposition to Toohey's view on happiness as a sort of public commodity that should be shared and not experienced by one individual.
"We've tied happiness to guilt. And we've got mankind by the throat." (4.14.91)
Toohey's secret to success is revealed here, though he didn't originate this idea. He implies he hopped on board a bandwagon of religious and political teachings that date back a pretty long time—those Puritans weren't overly cheerful, after all.
She thought, I've learned to bear anything except happiness. I must learn how to carry it. (4.17.14)
Leave it to Dominique to turn happiness into some sort of burden that she has to figure out how to manage. Good grief.
Something was growing in him with each new building, struggling, taking shape, rising dangerously to an explosion. The explosion came with the birth of the skyscraper. (1.3.66)
Sometimes a skyscraper isn't just a skyscraper. In The Fountainhead skyscrapers act as a metaphor for America's explosion into the twentieth century and the modern age.
Roark glanced through the paper. The front page carried the picture of an unwed mother with thick glistening lips, who had shot her lover [....] (1.5.104)
The Banner is depicted as a tawdry tabloid here, and it's something that Roark and Cameron hold in contempt. Cameron seems to think The Banner represents America, sadly, but the always-cool Roark doesn't seem to care one way or the other.
"Look at those who spend the money they've slaved for - at amusement parks and slide shows." (1.12.72)
Dominique puts on her monocle and proceeds to judge "the rabble" for their stupidity. Modern America is a corrupt Pleasure Island in Dominique's mind.
He thought, this is how men feel, trapped in a shell hole; this room is not an accident of poverty, it's the footprint of a war [....] (2.11.160)
The scene is interesting because of the imagery Roark uses. Here he talks about a "shell hole" and goes on to use images of war, and particularly of World War I to describe his tense and demoralizing encounter with Mallory.
Nobody had ever heard of them, but they were Councils and this gave weight to their voice. (2.12.38)
Rand frequently critiques American bureaucracy throughout the book, and here she tackles the way people cede power and influence to groups just because they call themselves "Councils."
It was a pedestal from which a god had been torn, and in his place there stood, not Satan with a sword, but a corner lout sipping a bottle of Coca-Cola. (3.8.53)
This sounds like the lyrics to a folk song. Rand mashes up religion and American pop culture here, emphasizing how "evil" commonplace things (a dude drinking a Coke) can be by comparing the image to Satan.
From different states, little unexpected parts of the country, calls had come for him: private homes, small office buildings, modest shops. (4.1.48)
So much of this novel is based in New York that it's easy to forget there's an America outside the city. We get occasional reminder though.
"[The city] gave me everything I have. I don't know why I feel at times that it will demand payment some day." (4.9.10)
Wynand has a huge respect for the city, but he feels as though it might demand a hefty payment for allowing him success. New York has become a living entity for him.
When Keating tried to invoke his contract, he was told: "All right, go ahead, try to sue the government. Try it." At times, he felt a desire to kill. There was no one to kill. (4.12.20)
Keating's rage at government bureaucracy is definitely not something that has gone away in the years since 1940. Unfortunately, it's a formless entity that cannot be killed, no matter how much you hate standing in line at the DMV.
My city, he thought, the city I loved, the city I thought I ruled. (4.16.49)
In the end Wynand realizes that he never controlled "his" city at all. This idea of the city as a powerful, almost seductive, creature crops up in a lot of American literature. In this book, however, Wynand's intense relationship with New York is unique among the other characters.
"Accept them, Roark. Compromise. Compromise now, because you'll have to later, anyway [....]" (1.4.146)
For Cameron, society is all about being forced to compromise and to give in to all the corruption. Maybe he had been mainlining The Wire before he met with Roark.
[T]hat merely by living through their own obscure days his readers were representing and achieving all the highest objectives of any civilization. (1.6.2)
The tone here is pretty bitter, as the narrator assesses what Toohey is preaching to the masses. Here Toohey gives everyone a false sense of importance by telling people that they are important just by existing. This logic is supremely not Objectivist.
He dressed well and watched people noticing it. He had an apartment off Park Avenue, modest but fashionable, and he bought three valuable etchings as well as a first edition of a classic he had never read nor opened since. (1.6.31)
Keating's rise up the social ladder is one of superficial achievements and materialism. All the details here help to emphasize the superficial and hollow nature of Keating's life.
"The family on the first floor rear do not bother to pay their rent, and the children cannot go to school for lack of clothes. Their father has a charge account at a corner speak-easy." (1.12.11)
Dominique's scathing run-down of various people living in a tenement is pretty controversial. She doesn't glamorize or sugarcoat the poverty or the social ills (like alcoholism) going on. But it's her tone of contempt and judgment that is really worth noting here. Dominique seems to have as much love for humanity as Scrooge or the Grinch does.
"Because on your side you have reason—oh, I know, it's something no one really wants to have on his side—and against you, you have just a vague, fat, blind inertia." (1.13.112)
The image of "inertia" here, with descriptive words that make it sound like an actual body, provides a good image of how society is viewed in this novel. And it's not very pretty.
"That is not an insult to you, Keating. Try to understand that. You're not the worst of the world. You're its best. That's what's frightening." (2.5.100)
This really is an insult. Dominique inverts worst and best here to emphasize just how much she dislikes the world as it is, and how much she dislikes Keating by extension.
If the violence of the battles which people never hear about could be measured in material statistics, the battle of Kent Lansing against the board of directors of the Aquitania Corporation would have been listed among the greatest carnages of history. (2.10.31)
The narrator doesn't often get to display a sense of humor, but this is one of the rare, and awesome, exceptions. We get a good example of a mock epic here, when a dull board meeting is described in terms associated with great battles.
"The senseless is the major factor in our lives." (2.12.82)
Toohey should get a gig writing depressing fortune cookies. This introduces a debate about free will (Roark is for it, Toohey is not), and also describes society at large as rather stupid.
The public asked for crime, scandal and sentiment. Gail Wynand provided it. (3.1.170)
The public is a bunch of heathens, and Wynand's contempt and bitterness toward his audience come out strongly in this section of the book, which deals with Wynand's career.
"Give it up. Take some meaningless job—like the quarry. We'll live here. We'll have little and we'll give nothing." (3.5.292)
For a long time Dominique wants to hide from society. She eventually learns to share Roark with the wider world. Sharing is caring, Dominique.
"I'm the kind that uses people. I don't want to use you. Ever. Don't let me. Not you." (1.4.116)
Keating's desperate tone really comes out here in his extremely short sentences and his repetition. He's so worried about using Katie that he can barely get the words out.
But she knew when she pronounced the "yes" that she had waited for this and that she would shatter it if she were too happy. (1.6.101)
We don't get a lot of insight into Katie's feelings for Keating, but here we get to go beneath her normally calm demeanor and see just how nervous she is in regards to Keating. She's scared to show too much emotion, lest she "shatter" or ruin things.
There were moments when something rose within him, not a thought nor a feeling, but a wave of some physical violence, and then he wanted to stop, to lean back, to feel the reality of his person heightened by the frame of steel that rose dimly about the bright, outstanding existence of his body as its center. (1.11.129)
This book deals with a lot of different kinds of love, and one of the most profound is Roark's love for his work. The diction and imagery here is very physical, as if Roark's work is a spiritual—as well as something of a sexual—experience.
"Dominique! Haven' you ever been in love at all? Not even a little?
"I haven't. I really wanted to fall in love with you. I thought it would be convenient. [....] But you see? I can't feel anything." (1.14.109)
Dominique's inability to feel things coincides with early descriptions of her as icy and cold. Dominique is very closely associated with ice imagery for a large chunk of the novel.
She thought she had found an aim in life—a sudden, sweeping hatred for that man. (2.1.23)
The novel unites hatred and love together quite often—basically any sort of violent, passionate emotion can fall under the "love" umbrella.
It was strange to be conscious of another person's existence, to feel it was a close, urgent necessity [....] (2.2.122)
This might seem like a throwaway passage, but when the supremely selfish and self-centered Roark is super "aware" of another person, it's a big deal.
"I can't stand it, anything to take you away from it, form their world, from all of them, anything, Roark [....]" (2.8.156)
Dominique is being selfish here, which is a good thing according to Rand's philosophy. But she is also being afraid, and that is not a good thing in this novel.
"Personal love is an act of discrimination, of preference. It is an act of injustice - to very human being on earth whom you rob of the affection arbitrarily granted to another." (2.11.30)
The diction here, with lots of SAT vocabulary words, helps to highlight Toohey's pedantic style. Toohey often speaks like he's leading a classroom discussion, and he also throws out outlandish ideas just to see what people will do.
"I love you Dominique. As selfishly as the fact that I exist." (2.14.126)
That's not the declaration of love most people would imagine, but at least Roark is honest. The fact that he loves Dominique selfishly is a good thing, since it contrasts to Toohey's whole selflessness spiel.
Alvah Scarrett had never hated anything, and so was incapable of love. (3.1.190)
Again, hatred and love are closely linked. It's interesting that hatred becomes a sort of prerequisite for love. Alvah is "incapable" of love until he has hated something. Maybe he should go try flying on the day before Thanksgiving. That might cure him.
"As a matter of fact, the person who loves everybody and feels at home everywhere is the true hater of mankind." (3.4.22)
Being at home everywhere sounds like something Keating would aspire toward…which means it's a bad idea. Loving everyone basically means you don't really love anyone, because love can't be stretched that thin. As Roark says, love is very selfish.
"Do you know what you're actually in love with? Integrity. The impossible." (3.8.26)
Aside from Roark, no one gets Dominique quite like Wynand does. He reveals something of himself whenever he speaks about her, though. Here, he lets us know that he finds integrity "impossible."
"But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the secondary consequences." (4.8.86)
Roark lectures Keating on loving his work and the importance of loving the process of creation, not just the material end results. For the superficial and materialistic Keating, that's a tough lesson.
He stopped, his mouth open, staring at her. He had not intended to say that. He had never allowed himself to think that before. (1.4.92)
There are all kinds of power in this book, many of them unexpected and strange. Here, Katie demonstrates an odd sort of power over Keating by encouraging him to be honest with himself.
Keating felt a warm pleasure; he had influenced the course of a human being, had thrown him off one path and pushed him into another [....] (1.5.10)
Keating starts sounding like a Wynand or a Toohey in training here. All three men love to manipulate and control other people and take pleasure in dominating others. It's notable that Keating hasn't destroyed anyone here though, yet. He merely "pushed" someone into a new direction.
He continued, knowing that he would continue only so long as Roark exhibited no anger, yet wishing desperately to break him down to an explosion. No explosion came. (1.7.87)
Keating and Roark often square off, and Keating never can seem to get the upper hand. The imagery here is interesting too, as two opposite concepts (breaking down and exploding out) are tied together.
The thought followed him, gentle, unstressed, monotonous, at his work, at home, at night: he was a murderer...no, but almost a murderer...almost a murderer...(1.15.44)
The style here really emphasizes Keating's inner distress and shock. The ellipses, short phrases, and repetition of the word murder give us a lot of insight into Keating's traumatized state of mind.
"I'll break you some day, I swear I will, if it's the last thing I do!"
"Keating," said Roark, "why betray so much?" (1.15.118-9)
Keating goes for a Wicked Witch of the West style threat here, but Roark isn't buying it. It's interesting that Roark views Keating's threat towards him as a sad self-revelation.
There was something heavy and colorless about Catherine, and very tired. (2.4.22)
Poor Katie's downfall starts here, as Keating notices how Toohey seems to be draining the life out of her, like some sort of demented vampire.
"We can never really know another person, except by our first glance at him. Because, in that glance, we know everything," (2.6.198)
Toohey defines power for us here, in a roundabout way. While he carries on a lot about controlling and destroying people, the ability to do those things rests in knowledge. Toohey betrays his arrogance here as he seems to claim stellar snap judgment as one of his superpowers.
"I feel that they have no right to minds of their own, that I know best, that I'm the final authority for them." (2.13.87)
Katie is horrified of her own growing arrogance and desire to dominate and boss other people around. The words she use here echo words we hear Toohey use throughout the novel, and help to emphasize just how much Katie is becoming like her uncle.
"Keating, if I could do this [...] I can do anything now [....]" "If you think I'm going to bother you often [....]" "As often or as seldom as you wish, Keating. (2.15.56-8)
This has got to be the most awkward post-sex conversation ever. Dominique seems to be using sex as a test here, and she passes by being able to endure it with Keating. This honeymoon is off to a great start, sheesh.
"When there's no news, make it," was Wynand's order. (3.1.179)
Wynand's ability to control the flow of information is one of the major sources of his power, but as we see later on his power has definite limits.
"Power, Dominique. The only thing I've ever wanted. To know that there's not a man living whom I can't force to do—anything." (3.8.46)
Wynand, unlike other characters, comes right out and says that he only wants power. The way he defines power is very telling though. He, along with Toohey, defines power as the ability to control other people. However, we see both of these men fail in their dominance of others throughout the novel. Power is clearly something else here that they are missing.
"All this power I wanted, reached, and never used [....] Now they'll see what I can do. I'll force them to recognize him as he should be recognized." (4.9.94)
Poor Wynand lives out the whole pride-goeth-before-a-fall thing as he displays way too much confidence in his power. Turns out, Wynand only had power when he was giving others what they wanted, such as tabloid garbage.
"The soul, Keating, is that which can't be ruled. It must be broken. Drive a wedge in, get your fingers on it—and the man is yours." (4.14.91)
Toohey's statement about breaking people's souls is probably the most horrifying thing he says in the novel.