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Severinian

"Time marches on"

2 posts in this topic

What exactly happened to Toohey at the end of The Fountainhead? He's in an interview for a position in a new newspaper, and tries to find out about the owner's weakness, and the paragraph ends with "In the radio room across the hall somebody was twisting a dial. 'Time,' blared a solemn voice, 'marches on!' "

I don't understand the significance of that last part. Is it simply saying that Toohey will just go on as he always does? 

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Actually, he makes the inquiry about the owner's weakness toward the end of the first day on the new job, rather than at the interview. The twisting of the dial is changing the radio station, is analogous with the change in the staff at the new newspaper,

From Notes While Writing, The Journals of Ayn Rand

Toohey proceeds successfully on his chosen course of destroying all those whose lives touch his. He fails only with three human beings: Roark, Dominique, and Wynand. Roark is the great, consuming hatred of his life, the symbol of all that he must destroy. He is helpless before Roark; he cannot touch Roark spiritually—and he knows it. So he marshals every social weapon he controls—to break Roark's career. And Toohey holds a great power over society, carefully built up through the years. But he fails. He cannot prevent Roark's ultimate triumph. In regard to Dominique, Toohey is one of the few who understand her real nature. He goads her on to self-destruction. He helps to bring about her marriage to Wynand—a marriage he hoped would destroy them both. He has a special interest in Wynand: he works slowly, through many years, to obtain editorial control of the Wynand papers, on which he is employed as a special columnist-commentator. He understands Wynand. He knows that Wynand's bitter cynicism is only a mask for the kind of spirit Toohey dreads; he knows that Wynand is not basically corrupt. He hopes to achieve that corruption through Dominique, whom he considers to be the worst possible influence that Wynand could encounter. He fails in his calculations. At the end of the story, he loses that particular battle by losing his position with the Wynand papers. But another great newspaper signs him up at once. Toohey, like time, marches on.

 

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