Architecture critic Ellsworth Toohey schemes against all the other characters in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. An arch-exponent of the morality of altruism, he preaches self-sacrifice and service to others at every opportunity. But what does that have to do with architecture — or with literature, theater or the other artistic fields with which Toohey concerns himself? In this lesson, you’ll study Toohey as a character, exploring what he’s really after in all his schemes. In what way does Toohey embody collectivism “not in politics, but in man’s soul”?

Spoiler alert: This lesson assumes that students have read The Fountainhead.