Monday, August 31, 2009

Chapter Elaven

Chapter eleven starts with Roark opening his new office. It’s described as a large open space with great views above the city and a view of the Hudson river off in the distance. When Keating comes to visit him he describes the place as modest but to me it sounds pretty impressive. Keating’s inner thoughts show anger and resentment for Roarks opportunity. Roark shuns the associations and clubs of architecture because he sees no  real purpose in those groups other than to pat each other on the back and perpetuate how important they are. They are really only important to each other. On the door of Roarks office it says Howard Roark Architect. This is perceived but the powers that be but to Roark I don’t think he means anything by it. To him he has education, tools, and a client. What else would an Architect really need?

Roark is sitting on a hill near the house with Heller one afternoon and Roark describes the house in a beautiful way. Saying how the floor plan is the first consideration and the outside of the house is shaped by the needs of the interior. He also makes references to the fake buildings that are still being made. With pillars that support nothing. After he describes and compares his work with others it makes his seem to have so much more integrity. 

Roark’s friend Mike finds his way to work for Roark on the Heller house. They have one of those great conversations that where both are so confident and understand each other so well that they is hardly any reason to speak at all.

After the Heller house is completed it is ignored by the publications, ridiculed by the clubs of good ole boys, and laughed at by the neighbors. It seems that society wasn’t ready for this building but I hoped Toohey would see it’s importance and beauty but even his column was silent about the Heller house.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chapter Ten

Chapter Ten introduces two fun characters; Ralstom Holcombe, and his wife Kiki.  The description of him was great. I could picture him perfectly, walking down the street with his staff, dark suit, and brightly colored shirt sticking out because of his grand belly. I found his attitude towards architecture to be very cool at first but then found he was stuck in the beliefs that gave most of the architecture world short comings. Later on in the chapter there is another example of how the major firms are unable to deliver to there customers because they believe in rules of architecture. 

Holcombes wife Kiki is described in a way that I found disgusting. I’m not sure exactly what it was but I could just tell she was so full of herself that the only friends she has are because of her status in society.

We learned a little more about Francon’s daughter. I don’t think she is a “good” person but I really enjoyed her character and her rebellious spirit. She doesn’t seem to have many friends that can keep up with her sharp tongue but she has many admirers because of her amazing beauty. Keating seemed to have done better than most and he was very taken with her. I’m afraid he is going to do the wrong thing and pursue Dominique (Francons daughter) and lose Katie. That doesn’t seem so bad to me because he does not deserve someone like Katie.

At the end of the chapter Roark finds himself working on a project for a customer that really wants something new and different for his home. Roark designs something probably perfect but then the “experts” at his firm wreck it with there rules of architecture. As the customer complains Roark steps out of his expected role and without saying a word starts drawing on top of the drawing the artist had made. Synte fires Roark for this outrage but unknowingly let him draw long enough so that the customer (Austin Heller) saw that Roark was the man for the job. He took Roark to lunch and gave him the job of designing and building his home.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chapter Nine

Roark gets a job! Roark continued his masochistic search for employment and happened upon the perfect firm. John Erik Snyte was in charge and he had designers from all genres. And now with Roark he had his modernist. Roark didn’t like to be labeled anything but his hard times had helped him grow as a human and was willing to settle a little to continue towards his passionate goals.

Keating becomes unnerved in this chapter. He starts to become unfairly short with people and maybe it’s because his bullet proof firm is now on the receiving end of gossip and publicly embarrassing news. 

Katie starts to really show her passion and it’s for great men. At least for her uncle who is proving to be intelligent, brave, and respected by the masses. And his respect is seemingly more justified than Guy Francon’s or what Keating’s hopes to be.

Chapter Eight

Chapter Eight starts with a high for me. Francon gives Roark a chance for what he was seemingly born to do. It’s a client who wants a building like that of which was designed by Henry Cameron. But because of Roark’s cold way of objecting to Francon’s ideas of what the building should be, Francon gets very upset and insulted by Roark. He fires him and Roark spends the rest of the chapter spiraling downward and even thinks that he may never build again.

Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven was filled with notable moments. After Keating learns of Cameron’s retirement he goes to Roark to offer him a job. This must be because Keating fears Roark and once he was no longer working for Cameron he was in danger of becoming something great and worst of all better than Keating. As long as Roark was working for Francon & Meyer, Keating feels in control of his adversaries destiny. The notable part came when it showed Roark becoming angry for the first time. He was working on drawing and hated that he was in a position to work on what he considered lesser buildings. His anger seemed justified knowing his style of thought but still surprising because it was the first time in the story that he showed real human emotion. I found him to be closer to being like Cameron than he had been before.

Another part I found interesting was that he turned down Keating to go for a drink after Keating had offered him the job but later on he meets a construction worker that offers him a drink and he agrees. This construction worker turns out to be similar to Roark in the way that he has no interest in the week minded no matter what there status is in society. There is a great statement about Mike (the construction worker) in the final part of chapter seven. “His view of the world was simple: there were the able and the incompetent; he was not concerned with the latter.”

Chapter Six

Chapter Six begins with the description of a book by Ellworth Toohey (Halsey’s uncle). He has written a book on architecture, bringing it to the common man. He states one of his goals is for men to talk about architecture like they talk about baseball. I found it interesting that he takes all credit away from any single man on the erection of a building. Saying that would be “spiritual embezzlement”. This “spiritual embezzlement” seems to me to be exactly what Guy Francon has achieved and Peter Keating aspires to do.

Also in this chapter Cameron falls ill and retires. Cameron ask Roark to burn everything in his office. Basically erasing most of the evidence of the last many years of his career. That section ends with Roark staring up a picture hanging on the wall of a skyscraper that was never built. I believe it’s the same picture that Roark was staring at when he first walked into Cameron’s office.

That last part of this chapter Keating’s mother moves to New York to live with him. She gives back handed advice and unsatisfied thoughts about his life like most mothers can do. Also on a visit to Katie he proposes to her, but I get the feeling he will take his time in the hopes that something better could come along. Her love for him is so much purer than his. I imagine he will screw it up in the end. 

Chapter Five

Peter Keatings great talent is becoming more clear. He has artfully got both the men senior to him a the firm out of the way. First he got Tim Davis fired in such a cunning way that Davis still thinks of Peter a close friend and someone who helped his career not hurt it. Then there is Stengal. Keating did something he rarely does by exposing his darker side. But It proved to be worth it when Stengal left, Keating got his job and Francon was none the wiser. After Keating must do the job that he did not honestly earn he is stumped and afraid so he turns to Roark who easily designs the interior and leaves the facade up to Keating. This I found poetic. 

Roark and Cameron continue to struggle and it seems that Cameron will not even be able to pay his companies bills.