Creators And Parasites In Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

989 words - 4 pages

Creators and Parasites in The Fountainhead

"The creators concern is the conquest of nature.  The parasites concern is the conquest of men," Howard Roark states in his dramatic courtroom speech defending himself after the Cortlandt Homes incident.  This quote sums up the two categories of people in rather graphic form.  The creator, or non-conformist, being glorified in his attempt to better the very earth itself, independent of the constraints of humanity.  The parasite, or conformist, being reduced to the lowest of all species, with a selfish goal of ruling man.  This is a goal a conformist will never reach because instead of guiding society, the conformist is bound by societies rules.  This accurate depiction can be visibly seen in the characters of Howard Roark, Peter Keating, and Ellsworth Tooey.

 

            Howard Roark is a creator, and he knows it.  Glorifying himself, although not looking for praise, but rather stating something that is as common to him as a fact.  A devout anarchist, Roark views nature as something that man must improve upon.  He has no desire for anything from mankind, he does not want to be a leader, or even for others to see the world his way, he simply doesn't care about those things.  The destruction of the Cortlandt Housing project is a result of a view that any alterations of a creators plans by a mere parasite perverts something sacred.  In keeping with this ideal it appears sickening that any person would lower their talents to the level of standard society, even if they do it for the sake of survival.  A creator must never compromise, especially to the whims of lemmings that simply exist in a world foreign to the creator.  Howard views himself as a God, and society as mere faceless individuals who have no effect on the world.  He defends his right to create and destroy that which he built, based on his right to preserve his moral integrity. 

 

            Peter Keating is a parasite, clinging to any facet capable of bringing him acceptance.  He finds it remarkably simple to sell his soul in exchange for an ounce of praise, in a field that is incapable of bringing him happiness.  Peter is a weak man with no integrity, broken and living in despair, watching life slowly slip away from him.  Parasite are dependant upon a host for life, and when that host leaves the parasite dries out and dies.  Peter Keating's host was society, which left him high and dry, and utterly alone.  The characteristic's which enabled his climb to the top, in a cruel twist of fate bring about his crushing defeat leaving him wondering where it all went wrong.  Characteristics such as his willingness to compromise and desire to please his clients.  A parasite can never truly be happy because it lives...

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