Add to basket Add to wishlist Description Her first major literary success, Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead is an exalted view of her Objectivist philosophy, portraying a visionary artist struggling against the dull, conformist dogma of his peers; a book of ambition, power, gold and love, published in Penguin Modern Classics. Architect Howard Roark is as unyielding as the granite he blasts to build with. Defying the conventions of the world around him, he embraces a battle over two decades against a double-dealing crew of rivals who will stop at nothing to bring him down.
All of the major intellectual themes that inform Rand's fiction and her subsequent philosophy are presented clearly in this novel.
Having grown up in the totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union, holding an impassioned belief in political freedom and the rights of the individual, Ayn Rand wrote The Fountainhead as a tribute to the creative freethinker.
Its hero, Howard Roark, is an innovative architect, a man whose brilliant and radically new designs are not understood and are rejected by the majority of society.
Roark, like many inventors and creative thinkers of history, struggles to win acceptance for his ideas against the tradition-bound masses, who follow established norms and are fearful of change. The theme, as Ayn Rand states it, is individualism versus collectivism, not in politics but in men's souls.
The book is about the conflict between those who think for themselves and those who allow others to dominate their lives. According to Ayn Rand, the goal of her writing is the presentation of an ideal man.
Howard Roark is the first such figure in her novels. His independence, his commitment to his own rational thinking, and his integrity mark him as a distinctive Ayn Rand hero.
Rand described herself as a "man-worshiper," as one who revered man at his highest and best. She held man's creative mind as sacred, and consequently admired the great original thinkers of mankind — the artists, scientists, and inventors, such as Michelangelo, Newton, and Edison.
In Rand's fiction, she illustrates the heroic battles such great individuals have to go through, both to develop their new ideas and methods and to struggle against a conservative society that rejects them. Ayn Rand presents her heroes as ends in themselves, inviting her readers to simply witness and savor the sight of human greatness.
Which, incidentally, is the greatest value I could ever offer a reader. She points out that, as a benign secondary consequence, a reader witnessing the life of Howard Roark may be inspired to seek his own heroic achievements.
Roark, as a freethinking individual, is opposed by sundry collectivists — some who believe that a person should conform to others, some who believe that a person should rebel against others, and some who believe that, politically, we should have a Fascist or Communist dictatorship in which the individual is utterly subordinate to the will of the people.
Regarding this aspect of the book, Rand sets her hero against various collectivist ideas that existed — and to some degree continue to exist — in the United States. The obvious example of collectivism in The Fountainhead is the political one.
Ellsworth Toohey, the novel's villain, is a Marxist intellectual, preaching socialism to the masses. He holds that an individual has no value in himself but exists solely to serve his brothers. As Ayn Rand wrote the novel, in the s, collectivism was rapidly engulfing the world.
First the Communists took over her native Russia, then the Fascists came to power in Italy, then Hitler and the National Socialists took political control of Germany.
On September 1,Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, as allies, invaded Poland, plunging mankind into the most destructive war of its history. In the early s, collectivism appeared to be on the threshold of military conquest of large portions of the globe.
In the United States, many intellectuals, politicians, labor leaders, and businessmen thought of the Communist and Nazi systems as "noble experiments," as new attempts to emphasize an individual's moral responsibilities to his fellow man. Before the war, there was ideological support in the United States for both the Communists and the Nazis; even after the war, support among the intellectuals continued for Communism and does to this day.
Ayn Rand wrote The Fountainhead, at one level, as a fervent warning to her fellow man of the unmitigated horrors of collectivism, whether of the Nazi, Fascist, or Communist variety; the evils that result in concentration camps; the extermination of millions of innocent victims; and the precipitation of world war.
Ayn Rand witnessed these horrors firsthand in Europe; she wrote The Fountainhead, in part, to prevent their recurrence in America. But The Fountainhead is not fundamentally about politics. The book warns against a more subtle manifestation of collectivism, one that underlies the political danger and makes that danger possible.
Although all human beings have minds, many people choose not to use theirs, looking instead to others for guidance. Many people prefer to be led in their personal lives by an authority figure — be it parents, teachers, clergymen, or others.
Those who prefer to be led by authority figures are conformists, refusing the responsibility of thought and self-directed motivation, taking the path of least resistance in life.
In the character of Peter Keating, a conventional architect who goes by public taste, Ayn Rand provides an incisive glimpse into the soul of such an abject follower. The picture is frightening.
Keating, in many ways an average American status seeker, desires acclaim from others. In exchange for social approval, he is willing to sacrifice any and all of his personal convictions. He becomes a blind follower of the power broker, Ellsworth Toohey, and in so doing reveals the mentality of the millions of "true believers" who blindly follow a Jim Jones, a Sun Myung Moon, or an Adolf Hitler.
Ayn Rand shows that conformity, a widespread phenomenon in contemporary American society, is one of the underlying causes of collectivist dictatorship. In The Fountainhead, Rand also shows that nonconformity, often thought to be the opposite of blind obedience, is merely a variation on the same theme.
The nonconformist, too, places the beliefs of others first, before his own thinking; he merely reacts against them, instead of following them. It is no accident that Ayn Rand shows these rebels as followers of Toohey, because nonconformists, placing others first, always cluster into private enclaves that inevitably demand rigid obedience to their own set of rules.
Nonconformists value freethinking no more than does the herd of conformists.Ayn Rand: Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead. Rand’s first successful play, Night of January 16th (; originally titled Penthouse Legend), was a paean to individualism in the form of a courtroom drama.
>Ayn Rand, published in The book’s female protagonist, Dagny Taggart, struggles to manage a transcontinental railroad amid the. Rate this book. Clear rating.
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likes. Like “I don't wish to be the symbol of anything. I'm only myself.” ― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead. likes. Description: A Study Guide for Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Novels for metin2sell.com concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more.
For any literature project, trust Novels for Students for all of your research needs. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand [ePUB] The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand ePUB. Request an eBook HERE. When The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand was first published, Ayn Rand”s daringly original literary vision and her groundbreaking philosophy, Objectivism, won immediate worldwide interest and acclaim.
A short summary of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of The Fountainhead. Your book-smartest friend just got a makeover.
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Each of the lists below is in chronological order according to the publication date of the first edition of each book. For books published posthumously, the editor is listed.