Five Page Analysis Of Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead" Novel. Explains The Significance Of Modern Architecture And The Modern Architect.

1254 words - 5 pages

The Fountainhead is a highly descriptive novel depicting the trials of a modern architect and society's opinion on the principles of contemporary architecture. Throughout Ayn Rand's story, many different situations arise that intentionally spark conflict in the minds of the readers. The main controversies addressed are the characteristics and demeanor of the modern architect, the uniqueness of the modern architecture itself, and the debate of a society that that is unwelcome to change. THESISIn The Fountainhead, the author introduces Howard Roark as the hero architect who endures a great deal of hardships to overcome the ideal standard of classic and traditional architecture. From the very beginning of the story Roark is noted for his stubborn individuality and creative architectural mind. His getting expelled from the Stanton Institute of Technology was only the start of a long history of disapproval from the majority of society. Instead of giving up and giving in to the public's ideas of "good" architecture, Roark only becomes more independent and passionate about his work. He clearly represents the characteristics relating to any modern inventor through his radical designing process and his defiance to conform to society's ideals.Ayn Rand introduces Peter Keating at the same time as Roark in her story. Also an architect, Keating is the exact opposite of Roark, doing everything according to what the public wants and relying solely on architecture of the past to design his buildings. The story quickly reveals that Roark is the only character that acts out of creativity and his own set of principles. Both the Dean who expelled him from school and Keating, like many people in real life, are unable to create their own philosophies and beliefs. As Roark puts it during his trial, "The creator originates. The parasite borrows. The creator faces nature alone. The parasite faces nature through an intermediary" (679). When the Dean tells Roark that everything worth building has already been done, he reveals his dependency on the past for inspiration.Although all human beings have minds of their own, many people like Keating choose not to use theirs, looking instead to others for guidance. These people prefer to be led by an authority figure and refuse the responsibility of thought and self-directed motivation. As Keating admits to Roark, "I've been a parasite all my life. I have fed on all the med who lived before we were born. I have taken that which is not mine and given nothing in return" (575). The millions of New York City inhabitants blindly following Ellsworth Toohey's editorials in the Banner newspaper represent the majority conforming to a single idea.Howard Roark is the exact opposite from most people. He sets the standard of freethinking and persists through society's rejections of his architecture with his fiery desire to create new structures. He is the embodiment of great innovative thinkers who have carried mankind forward despite being...

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