Character Analysis Lois Cook


Lois Cook is an outstanding example of the meaning of nonconformity. She defies social belief in beauty, attractive living quarters, and even personal hygiene. In this regard, she is far worse than Guy Francon, for he uncritically follows the best of society's norms where Cook rebels against them. Worse than this is her incoherent style of writing. She rebels against grammar, meaning, and intelligibility. Her book has no discernible meaning, yet she postures as a profound thinker. All she needs is a few power-seeking critics like Ellsworth Toohey to sing the praises of her books, and the followers like Keating — too timid to form their own judgments — will accept Toohey's evaluations.

Lois Cook is not merely a second-hander whose life is dominated by the people against whose values she rebels. She is an example of nihilism — a desire to destroy the best that human society has to offer. She doesn't fight against vulgar tabloids, corrupt politicians, widespread illiteracy, or any of society's ills. Instead she attacks cleanliness, beauty, and literary intelligibility — the best of men's values. As one of Toohey's more important protégés, Lois Cook is as committed to destruction as is her leader.