The rape scene in The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand and Sex 1.1)

WARNING: Explicit content. Graphic description of Rape.

Ayn Rand’s The Fountainheadi has a unique take on male/female relationships. Here is Dominique Falcone’s first sexual experience. She is with the hero, Howard Roark. This is the beginning of their book-long romance:

“… she felt the blood beating in her throat, in her eyes, the hatred, the helpless terror in her blood. She felt the hatred… She fought in a last convulsion. Then the sudden pain shot up… …and she screamed. Then she lay still.

It was an act that could be performed in tenderness, as a seal of love, or in contempt, as a symbol of humiliation and conquest. It could be the act of a lover or the act of a soldier violating an enemy woman. He did it as an act of scorn. Not as love, but as defilement. And this made her lie still and submit. One gesture of tenderness from him- and she would have remained cold, untouched by the thing done to her body. But the act of a master taking shameful, contemptuous possession of her was the kind of rapture she had wanted.”

This is not a scene of consensual “play” between two loving equals.  The feelings are hatred and fear, scorn and contempt.

Later, Dominique describes the eventii, “He didn’t ask my consent. He raped me. That’s how it began.” After that, they only have sex when she is cheating on her husbands; until the end of the book, when the two unite.

It is important to note that the hero of this rape scene is, in Rand’s wordsiii, “an ideal man” and the story is a “presentation of a moral ideal”.

Pg 217 The Fountainhead, Signet, Penguin Books, 1952

Pg 671 ibid

Introduction, ibid.




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