This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Objectivism And The Fountainhead Essay

2112 words - 8 pages

Objectivism and The Fountainhead  

 
How should we live our lives? Do you live for others or for yourself? What do you deem to be the ideal: selflessness, or selfishness? Why? Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead addresses these issues and her philosophy behind it called Objectivism. Her rebellious rhetoric is to convince us that the only true virtue is selfishness and that we should abide by its standards and live for ourselves.

Ayn Rand was from the Soviet Union, and her background helps us to understand her rhetoric about why she preached her philosophy. “Born in Russia, and a hater of the revolution, Ayn Rand dreamed of America as an Eden of individualism. When she got there - becoming first a Cecil B de Mille extra, later a novelist and popular philosopher - she expounded her belief in the sovereignty of the individual” (Romney 1). In America Rand could make something of herself and be known. The Individual is what is important, and she stresses this so much in her novel, using the main character, Howard Roark as perhaps a mirror image of herself. (Actually, it has been stated that Ayn Rand used the prominent architect Frank Lloyd Wright as a model for Howard Roark, which Rand denied (Bierut 2), but personally, I think that Howard Roark is a model of herself). She states throughout her novel that altruism is a false virtue and that selfishness is the key to humankind’s happiness. The Fountainhead depicts excellent rhetorical style for presenting Objectivism. Through her fictional novel about an idealist architect in a conformist world she portrays her philosophy cleanly and clearly. Rand causes the reader to question their own thoughts and actions about how they live.

First, I would like to give greater detail to the philosophy of Objectivism. In an interview with Dina Garmong, a philosophy TA at The University of Texas @ Austin and an Objectivist herself, we find the three key points in Objectivism: The first key point is the Objectivists view of the world. The Objectivist states that this is the only world we can know. It is irrelevant if there is a heaven, or a hell, or life elsewhere. We know what we do through our senses and reason. What we perceive with our senses we know to be real (Garmong). “Existence exists - and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceive and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists” (Rand qtd. by Peikoff 1)

The second point addresses the idea that thinking is the path to knowledge. The Objectivist rejects the idea, stated by Plato, that all we know is that we know nothing. Emotions, feelings, and premonitions are not concrete and therefore are rejected as sources of knowledge. Concrete evidence dictates certainty thus rationalizing knowledge (Garmong). The third point is the ethics of Objectivism: rational selfishness and the pursuit of our own happiness. We are the...

Find Another Essay On Objectivism and The Fountainhead

Altruism and Egotism Portrayed in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

1968 words - 8 pages In the world today, altruism is associated with the “common good” of man while egotism is associated with evil and non-consideration of the fellow man. In contrast to the world’s view, Ayn Rand provides and proves a new definition for egotism through her book, The Fountainhead. She defines egotism in the context of ethics. She states: “Man-every man-is an end in himself, not a means to the ends of others; he must live for his own sake, neither

Struggle Between Excellence and Mediocrity in The Fountainhead

1553 words - 6 pages Objectivism, A Brief Summary. Stein and Day, 1982. Rogers, C.R. (1980) A Way of Being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Rogers, C.R. (1961) On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Rand, Ayn. The Fountainhead. New York: Plume, 1994. The Ayn Rand Institute. "A Brief Biography of Ayn Rand" [Online] available www.aynrand.org/aynrand/biography.html, 1995 Walker, Jeff. The Ayn Rand Cult. Carus Publishing Company, 1999  

Analysis of Altruism And Egoism in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

1484 words - 6 pages The ultimate motive of both the altruist and egoist is personal gain. Separating the two ideologies is the method by which this is accomplished. For the altruist, addressing the needs of humanity is purportedly the sole purpose of existence. Egoists, on the other hand, refuse to act if an action does not directly benefit themselves. In The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand addresses the function of altruists and egoists within society through character

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

Peace on the Streets: Analysis of Altruism and Egoism in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

1502 words - 6 pages The ultimate motive of both the altruist and egoist is personal gain. Separating the two ideologies is the method by which this is accomplished. For the altruist, addressing the needs of humanity is purportedly the sole purpose of existence. Egoists, on the other hand, refuse to act if an action does not directly benefit themselves. In The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand addresses the function of altruists and egoists within society through character

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

Objective Objectivism

1810 words - 8 pages Objectivism is defined as “an ethical theory that moral good is objectively (based on facts rather than feelings or opinions) real or that moral precepts are objectively valid.” (Webster). Demonstrated by Ayn Rand in the book, The Fountainhead, objectivism seems to most, to be morally wrong, and socially impractical, despite seeming to be a stress-free way of life. In The Fountainhead, Howard Roark does not see relationships as necessary

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

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

1600 words - 6 pages Objectivism established during her childhood in Russia, Ayn Rand would develop and cultivate her ideas further in each novel, culminating in her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. We the Living, The Fountainhead, and Anthem share the theme of Atlas Shrugged, and The Fountainhead and Anthem would join the masterpiece as staples of the Objectivist and Libertarian ideologies (Smith 384). Nothing could pose a greater contrast when presented in

Heroism in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

1165 words - 5 pages , A.H. (1968) Toward a Psychology of Being. New York: Van Nostrand. Peikoff, Leonard. The Philosophy of Objectivism, A Brief Summary. Stein and Day, 1982. Rand, Ayn. The Fountainhead. New York: Plume, 1994. Rogers, C.R. (1980) A Way of Being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Walker, Jeff. The Ayn Rand Cult. Carus Publishing Company, 1999    

Objectivity in "The Fountainhead"

1964 words - 8 pages ). This list shows only six of ten fundamentals described by Branden, but the philosophy of Objectivism, just as any major philosophy, is far more complex. With these few concepts in mind, understanding Peter Keating and his role of indirectly promoting Objectivism is simple. In the first pages of The Fountainhead, Peter Keating reveals his anti-Objectivistic tendencies and weak personality. As Ayn Rand reveals on page 20, Keating

Similar Essays

Objectivism In Ayn Rand´S The Fountainhead

992 words - 4 pages Objectivism is defined as “an ethical theory that moral good is objectively (based on facts rather than feelings or opinions) real or that moral precepts are objectively valid.” (Webster). Demonstrated by Ayn Rand in the book, The Fountainhead, objectivism seems to most, to be morally wrong, and socially impractical, despite seeming to be a stress-free way of life. In The Fountainhead, Howard Roark does not see relationships as necessary, but

Fountainhead And The Open Boat Essay

1127 words - 5 pages Fountainhead and The open boat In today’s world there are many kinds of people that do things at their own free will. In the novel “The Fountainhead” it is shown that people made their own decisions to go where they wanted to go in their own free will. In the story “The Open Boat” men have shown to open to their own instincts and follow their own path for survival. Both stories show many forms of determinism, objectivism, naturalism

Independence, Egoism, And Achievement In The Fountainhead

973 words - 4 pages severed its association with subjectivism, with the arbitrary impulses of the iconoclast, with the dark realm of Dionysian passion. Conversely, by linking reason with independence, she gave it a romantic quality as a tool of creative freedom, not a constraint. Works Cited and Consulted Peikoff, Leonard. The Philosophy of Objectivism, A Brief Summary. Stein and Day, 1982. Rand, Ayn. The Fountainhead. New York: Plume, 1994. Walker, Jeff. The Ayn Rand Cult. Carus Publishing Company, 1999  

The Film And Novel Versions Of "The Fountainhead"

1314 words - 5 pages The Fountainhead, published in 1943, was Ayn Rand's first great success as a writer. The four part novel, often heralded as one of the greatest American novels, was released on film in theaters in 1949. Rand wrote the screenplay for the film, condensing it where it was necessary and altering the story line to fit a film format. In a way what she chose to edit is an important insight into what ought to be seen as the most crucial pieces to the