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Un-understood Quote from The Fountainhead

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It's when Mike asks Roark if he knows anything about some super[intendent] who describes Roark as the most "stubborn and the lousiest bastard he's ever been up against."

I have no idea where this is in connection to at all, I've never understood it, even re-reading this book for the umpteenth time =(

Any thoughts?

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Consider this passage describing Mike's character a bit:

"People meant very little to Mike, but their performance a great deal. He worshiped expertness of any kind. He loved his work passionately and had no tolerance for anything save for other single-track devotions. He was a master in his own field and he felt no sympathy except for mastery. His view of the world was simple: there were the able and there were the incompetent; he was not concerned with the latter. He loved buildings. He despised, however, all architects."

And just before that where Mike is telling Roark:

"Well, you'll be the first one [architect] that knows something besides pretty pictures and tea parties. You should see the teacher's pets they send us down from the office."

Most people view those with expertise and a passion for what they do as simply stubborn lousy bastards who insist on things being done their way. Mike , as IchorFigure points out, are developing a mutual understanding of their respective desires for mastery in their respective fields.

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Hey Il,

I haven’t read the book in a long time. However, I do understand why Mike would say such a thing. You see, the superintendent didn’t like Howard's unbending nature. Howard did things the way they were supposed to be done. Most superintendents like to be expedient when things get tricky. But Howard’s function was dictated by the form of the task at hand. People meant very little to him in regards to his method of doing things—or really better said meant nothing. And very naturally that would get on the nerve of a superintendent of today’s world. Mike said this as a compliment to Howard. He knew why Howard would take it as so. Mike like this about Howard becuase Mike was the same. That is why they hit it off so well from the very beginning.

Gold is money,


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Thanks for the responses, but I know why Mike and Roark get along--I get why someone else would describe Roark in such a fasion as well.

I was merely wondering whether the quote is actually in reference to a physical event in the plotline. No superintendent or contractor is ever introduced, this is before Roark ever built his first building, he (seemingly) is in no position to actually annoy anyone. It seems to be a short few lines that came out of no where in reference to nothing at all (plot-wise), which is obviously very uncharacteristic of Ayn.

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{Roark] (seemingly) is in no position to actually annoy anyone.
He is. Go back a bit and see the episode where he and Mike meet. It starts off with a bit of tension, flowing from Mike's prejudice, and morphs into friendship. If Roark were to repeat the exact same behavior with another person, would it unfold the same way? What exactly happened between him and the supervisor doesn't matter. Imagine the exact same encounter with Mike taking place between Roark and a very mediocre guy. It is easy to see how someone like that might say Roark's was stubborn; an insecure person might even call him a lousy bastard.
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Most parasites and moochers consider the producers and achievers of this world to be stubborn bastards. The reason is the mystical worship of force and a lack of self esteem among parasitical second handlers. Just as Roark was seen to be stubborn, most liberals see entrepreneurs and those who advocate freedom in the same way. Miss rand was the first to recognize this singular charactersic of certain individuals which appears as the standard oeuvre of fare in an atmosphere of force worshipping liberalism.

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