Dominique Francon: The Fountainhead Character Analysis

Dominique Francon (As portrayed by Patricia Neil) In the book the aesthetics of Dominique are never described.
Dominique Francon (As portrayed by Patricia Neil) In the book the aesthetics of Dominique are never described.

Dominique Francon Character Analysis

Dominique Francon represents the part of Ayn Rand’s philosophy that is ethics. “Man-every man-is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others not sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.” 

“…I saw you talking to him, that Howard Roark? / I think…that he is the most revolting person I’ve ever met.” Page 263

This quote describes Dominique in the beginning of the book. She was not her own person and she let the world walk over her and make her lose hope that everything that was beautiful was going to be lost. When Howard Roark comes along and she realizes that he is the perfect man for her, she begins to resent him because she believes he too will be crushed by society. Dominique desires to be with Roark because he is everything she idolizes, but at the same time she wants to destroy him before society can. 

Howard Roark
Howard Roark

“Wait. This is terribly important. Dominique, you’ve never said, not once, what you though. Not about anything. You’ve never expressed a desire. Not of any kind

In this quote Peter Keating expresses his displeasure with Dominique for never having an opinion on anything. Ayn Rand is trying to convey that Dominique does not “…exist for his [her] own sake.” Peter even goes to far as to project what Ayn Rand is trying to get across to the reader by saying that Dominique is like a walking body without a soul. “Where’s your I?” (p.425) Peter says when he tries to get Dominique to express why she doesn’t ever express her opinion. Ayn Rand uses Dominique to show the reader that this is what society wants each individual to be. A mindless, opinion less body. She was trying to convey the fact that a society who has no opinions and is scared to form any, is easy to rule over because nobody will rise up and object to anything, even if it morally wrong and on the inside they know it. It goes against her philosophy that each man should be their own individual.

“Don’t fool yourself my dear. You’re much worse than a bitch. You’re a saint.” Page 279

In this quote Dominique is portrayed as evil and mean to a lot of characters in the book. On the surface she is indeed mean and cold (like the ice cold diamond necklace she receives).  On the inside she has a deeper motive, however, hence her being a “saint”. She tries to preserve what is beautiful in the world, even though in the beginning of the book she loses hope. As the book progress on we begin to see a change in her behavior as she begins to care less what the world thinks of her and her thoughts. 

The Fountainhead
The Fountainhead

“Wynand bought Dominique a necklace…It was made of diamonds without visible settings, spaced wide apart in an irregular pattern, like a handful of scattered acc

This quote describes Dominique before she finds herself “scattered…irregular…random” and held together by barely noticeable chains. Dominique is a dynamic character and as Howard Roark reaches more and more into her spirit, she begins to not let the world not intimidate her and slowly becomes less “random” and “accidental”. This quote symbolizes how Roark succeeds in making Dominique not be scared of the world and the part of Ayn Rand’s philosophy that states that mans “rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.” At first Dominique does not possess this quality yet by the end of the book the references to her being like ice and very scattered, stop because she changes.

Want to be enlightened? Read the book.

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Dominique's Opinion on Howard Roark

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Comments 2 comments

elnavann profile image

elnavann 5 years ago from South Africa

I also read the book very long ago - I remember that I got a bit disillusioned with Ayn Rand at some time in my life. Your characterisation of Dominique is interesting and intrigued me to have another look at what Ayn Rand stood for.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

I remember reading this book many years ago. You made some excellent points that explain Dominque's character and her transition with Howard's influence. Voted/rated up.

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