"A house can have integrity, just like a person," said Roark, "and just as seldom."
"In what way?"
"Well, look at it. Every piece of it is there because the house needs it -- and for no other reason. You see it from here as it is inside. The rooms in which you'll live made the shape. The relation of masses was determined by the distribution of space within. The ornament was determined by the method of construction, an emphasis of the principle that makes it stand. You can see each stress, each support that meets it. Your own eyes go through a structural process when you look at the house, you can follow each step, you see it rise, you know what made it and why it stands. But you've seen buildings with columns that support nothing, with purposeless cornices, with pilasters, mouldings, false arches, false windows. You've seen buildings that look as if they contained a single large hall, they have solid columns and single, solid windows six floors high. But you enter and find six stories inside. Or buildings that contain a single hall, but with a facade cut up into the floor lines, band courses, tiers of windows. Do you understand the difference? Your house is made by its own needs. Those others are made by the need to impress. The determining motive of your house is in the house. The determining motive of the other is in the audience."
"Do you know that that's what I've felt in a way? I've felt that when I move into this house, I'll have a new sort of existence, and even my simple daily routine will have a kind of honesty or dignity that I can't quite define. Don't be astonished if I tell you that I feel as if I'll have to live up to that house."
"I intended that," said Roark.
"And, incidentally, thank you for all the thought you seem to have taken about my comfort. There are so many things I notice that had never occured to me before, but you've planned them as if you knew all my needs. For instance, my study is the room I'll need most and you've given it the dominant spot -- and, incidentally, I see where you've made it the dominant mass from the outside, too. And then the way it connects with the library, and the living room well out of my way, and the guest rooms where I won't hear too much of them -- and all that. You were very considerate of me."
"You know," said Roark, "I haven't thought of you at all. I thought of the house." He added: "Perhaps that's why I knew how to be considerate of you."
---------------------------------------------------------Last summer, I started reading The Fountainhead and felt very frustrated with it. I did not like either of the main characters, seeing them both as crazy extremes of the way one is to approach life. This summer, I am reading it again and I find it to be an interestingly, wonderfully different experience. It's amazing how much a person can change in a year. Even subtle changes can inspire drastic growths in one's outlook on the world.
This particular segment of the book is one which I feel speaks directly to me and my learning experiences this past year, so I am sharing it with you. It speaks volumes of truth to me. I hope it does to you, too.