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Objectism In The Fountainhead, By Ayn Rand

1111 words - 4 pages

Standing as, perhaps, one of the most controversial and, simultaneously, innovative philosophies of the twentieth century, Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy has gathered an unprecedented following. Demonstrated and explained in detail through the use of the characters Howard Roark, Ellsworth Toohey, Peter Keating, and Dominique Francon in her infamous novel The Fountainhead, Rand creates a storyline that effectively portrays all aspects of society - its evils and its goods. Rand's employment of both Dominique and Roark's positions in society, her explanation and justification for Dominique's seemingly cruel acts against Roark, and her weaving of Dominique and Roark's love for each other into a further enforcement of select core ideals of Objectivism, creates a perfect forum for both a promotion of the novel's core philosophy and a modeling of a flawless work of literary fiction.
Throughout the novel, Dominique is characterized as a pillar of resistance; although her demeanor is casual and calm when interacting with other characters, her overall stance in the novel is one of conflict. She is pitted against society in an untraditional way; not existing as a violent external force attempting to change society to understand her ideas, but, instead, a quiet enemy of the collective, subtly manipulating the right strings only when necessary to serve herself. Further, Dominique sees no purpose in openly fighting against the machine that is the whole of society. Instead, her sole purpose is Howard Roark. Dominique's love for Roark is congruent with her instinctual human nature; to lean toward pain and away from the conventional sources of happiness. Roark, on the other hand, is a man who is not against society, but, rather, society is against him. He exists only to build; only to mold the beauty that resides within him. Unfortunately, though, the ideal of selfishness that Roark embodies throughout the novel - the act of a man who knows the source of his own personal truth, and is unafraid to project it onto the facade of his own reality - is not only frowned upon, but completely hated by the whole of society, by those who know they will never reach such greatness, such eternal truth, by men like Ellsworth Toohey, who seek to destroy the glimmers of light in the world, working off the premise that individuality is a danger to the current way of life, a motivation for change into a world in which they know nothing.
Only a few insightful souls possess the eyes to see beneath the granite facade of society; Dominique Franco being one of them. In a seemingly contradicting stance, though, she appears to side with society throughout the novel; attempting to "destroy" Roark in every way possible. She continually persuades prospective clients to hire Peter Keating as opposed to Roark. She testifies against him, openly, in court; insisting his building, the Stoddard Temple, should not be allowed to exist. She marries Peter Keating in a desperate...

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