The Fountainhead is a novel by Russian-American author Ayn Rand, her first major Initial sales were slow, but the book gained a following by word of mouth and became a bestseller. More than million copies of The Fountainhead. The Fountainhead book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The revolutionary literary vision that sowed the seeds of Obje. But the book addresses a number of universal themes: the strength of the individual, the tug between good and evil, the threat of fascism. The confrontation of.
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A Review of the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. It's a remarkable book, a defense of the individual creative spirit. I'm glad I read it and it's a good. Rejected by twelve publishers as “too intellectual,” The Fountainhead became a best seller within two years. Synopsis and more background here. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.
Wynand is so strongly attracted to Dominique that he pays Keating to divorce her, after which Wynand and Dominique are married.
Wanting to build a home for himself and his new wife, Wynand discovers that Roark designed every building he likes and so hires him. Roark and Wynand become close friends; Wynand is unaware of Roark's past relationship with Dominique. Washed up and out of the public eye, Keating pleads with Toohey to use his influence to get the commission for the much-sought-after Cortlandt housing project.
Keating knows his most successful projects were aided by Roark, so he asks for Roark's help in designing Cortlandt. Roark agrees in exchange for complete anonymity and Keating's promise that it will be built exactly as designed.
After taking a long vacation with Wynand, Roark returns to find that Keating was not able to prevent major changes from being made in Cortlandt's construction. Roark dynamites the project to prevent the subversion of his vision. Roark is arrested and his action is widely condemned, but Wynand decides to use his papers to defend his friend. This unpopular stance hurts the circulation of his newspapers, and Wynand's employees go on strike after Wynand dismisses Toohey for disobeying him and criticizing Roark.
Faced with the prospect of closing the paper, Wynand gives in and publishes a denunciation of Roark. At his trial, Roark makes a speech about the value of ego and integrity, and he is found not guilty. Dominique leaves Wynand for Roark.
Wynand, who has betrayed his own values by attacking Roark, finally grasps the nature of the power he thought he held. He shuts down the Banner and commissions a final building from Roark, a skyscraper that will serve as a monument to human achievement.
Eighteen months later, the Wynand Building is under construction. Dominique, now Roark's wife, enters the site to meet him atop its steel framework.
Rand's stated goal in writing fiction was to portray her vision of an ideal man. Rand described the inspiration as limited to specific ideas he had about architecture and "the pattern of his career". Introduced to the reader as Roark's classmate in architecture school, Keating does not really want to be an architect.
He loves painting, but his mother steers him toward architecture instead. He becomes a social climber , focused on improving his career and social standing using a combination of personal manipulation and conformity to popular styles. By middle age, Keating's career is in decline and he is unhappy with his path, but it is too late for him to change.
Rand asked this young woman to explain her goals in life.
The woman's response was focused on social comparisons: the neighbor wanted her material possessions and social standing to equal or exceed those of other people. Rand created Keating as an archetype of this motivation, which she saw as the opposite of self-interest.
Only at the end of the novel does she accept that she can be happy and survive. Philosopher Chris Matthew Sciabarra called her "one of the more bizarre characters in the novel".
While Wynand shares many of the character qualities of Roark, his success is dependent upon his ability to pander to public opinion. Rand presents this as a tragic flaw that eventually leads to his downfall. In her journals Rand described Wynand as "the man who could have been" a heroic individualist, contrasting him to Roark, "the man who can be and is".
Ellsworth Monkton Toohey is Roark's antagonist. He is Rand's personification of evil—the most active and self-aware villain in any of her novels.
He styles himself as representative of the will of the masses, but his actual desire is for power over others. She attended a New York lecture by Laski as part of gathering material for the novel, following which she changed the physical appearance of the character to be similar to that of Laski.
One character in particular, Howard Roark, is what all men should seek to become. He makes you reflect and rethink and redesign and reconstruct your personna.
Is Roark fiction? Of course. Is that life attainable? Probably not. Is it a goal? It is for me. Every time I cry, I cry because Howard Roark exists now as a part of me.
It is rare that one can sit down, for pleasure, read a book, for pleasure, and accidentally fumble upon a set of views that challenge those previously held. While The Fountainhead made me consider my ethics, it also altered them. It made me realize that man could be as great as he wants to be, and how acheivement is our ultimate goal.
The proposal of whether or not Rand effectively combines Objectivism within the plot could not be refuted effectively, however with previous knowledge of Rand's personal ideals, the book remained enticing, albeit cult-like.
The novel, or rather the philosophy behind it, encourages selfishness, not in the primitive, survivalist manner, but in a murderous, conscienceless, frightening one. In a primary example, one of the main characters, ironically the protagonist, rapes a woman during the plot progression. The woman immediately realizes that she has fallen in love with the rapist, because of his eternal devotion to his ego, and therefore, his dismissal of thought, emotion, or respect for any other being.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the book, there was a surfeit of implications that would leave anyone with a conscience very uncomfortable. Subscribe to our Thank you for signing up! Check your inbox for the latest from Odyssey.