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Dominique Francon is not a person; she is a barometer. The only significant woman character in Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead, she serves solely as an indication of her current husband’s success. While she is Mrs. Peter Keating, her husband is at the height of his architectural career. When Keating trades her to Gail Wynand, it is then Wynand who is at his best, having secured as wife the woman he desperately wanted to possess. As Mrs. Roark, finally, Dominique signifies the victory of the virtuous egoism that her husband represents over its antithesis, evil altruism. Dominique herself, however, does not adhere to this same virtuous egoism, instead becoming, paradoxically, selflessly dependent upon others in her need for fulfillment from the men whom she embellishes. Thus, in her portrayal of Dominique’s relationships in The Fountainhead, Rand suggests that women are not people in and of themselves; they require men to worship and so are unable to achieve Rand's ideal of pure egoism.



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