He becomes a blind follower of the power broker, Ellsworth Toohey, and in so doing reveals the mentality of the millions of "true believers" who blindly follow a Jim Jones, a Sun Myung Moon, or an Adolf Hitler. Ayn Rand shows that conformity, a widespread phenomenon in contemporary American society, is one of the underlying causes of collectivist dictatorship. In The Fountainhead , Rand also shows that nonconformity, often thought to be the opposite of blind obedience, is merely a variation on the same theme. In a variety of minor characters Lois Cook, Ike the Genius, Gus Webb , all devotees of Toohey, Rand demonstrates the essence of nonconformity: an unthinking rebellion against the values and convictions of others.
The nonconformist, too, places the beliefs of others first, before his own thinking; he merely reacts against them, instead of following them. It is no accident that Ayn Rand shows these rebels as followers of Toohey, because nonconformists, placing others first, always cluster into private enclaves that inevitably demand rigid obedience to their own set of rules. Nonconformists value freethinking no more than does the herd of conformists. The nonconformist characters of the novel are fictional examples of historical movements of the early twentieth century. They are predominantly writers and artists who rebel against grammar, coherent sentences, and representational art in the same way that the surrealists, expressionists, and Dadaists did in actual fact.
This band of real-life rebels, not surprisingly, centered in Weimar, Germany, in the s. Outwardly, some opposed Hitler. But at a deeper level, their blind rebelliousness against others and their slavish conformity to their own little subgroup fostered a herd mentality similar to that of the conformists. The nonconformists, too, were part of the culture that spawned the Nazis.
This is why, in The Fountainhead , when Toohey is chided for cultivating a circle of "rabid individualists," he merely laughs and responds: "Do you really think so?
The issue of conformity in the story relates to another real-life movement of the time. The Fountainhead takes place in America in the s and s. Roark and his mentor, Henry Cameron, are early designers of the modern style. Although the book is not historical fiction, and the lives of Cameron and Roark are not based on the lives of real-life individuals, their struggles parallel the battles waged by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright.
In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the architectural style that still dominated American building was Classical. American architects largely copied Greek and Roman designs or those of other historical periods such as the Renaissance. Louis Sullivan was one of the first to build in what became known as the modern style.
Generally held to be the father of modern architecture and, in particular, of the skyscraper, Sullivan waged a long battle for his ideas against conventional standards. Harriman also notes that Frank Lloyd Wright , the greatest of the modern designers, is famous for his "strikingly original designs. Although the events of Roark's life are not identical to the events of Wright's, in the broad sense Wright does serve as the model for Howard Roark. Cameron and Roark, in the novel, struggle against characters like the Dean of Stanton Institute, who believes that all the great ideas in architecture have been discovered already by the designers of the past, and that contemporary architects are simply to copy those ideas.
Sullivan and Wright, in real life, battled against similar instances of conformity. Though important similarities between Rand's fictional characters and Sullivan and Wright do exist, it is important to remember that Roark and Cameron are exemplars of innovativeness and independent thought; they are not fictionalized versions of Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan. In her previous novels, Ayn Rand had also glorified the heroism of the freethinking human mind, although in different forms.
Her first novel , We the Living , published in , tells the story of three individuals who dare to think for themselves in the Communist dictatorship of Soviet Russia.
Its heroine, Kira Arguonova, is similar to the author; she is an independently thinking young woman, fiercely opposed to the totalitarian state in which she exists. But Kira desires to be an engineer in a society in which neither her bourgeois background nor her freethinking mind is welcome. Despite being an outstanding student, she is expelled from engineering school. The story focuses on her relationships with two men — Leo Kovalensky, the aristocrat whom she loves, and Andrei Taganov, the Communist who loves her.
Leo is a brilliant young scholar, but his aristocratic family and individualistic views leave him no future in the Soviet Union. Andrei, an honest man who believes sincerely in the ideals of the Bolshevik Revolution, witnesses the harsh fate to which Kira is condemned, and must question the virtue of the Communist principles for which he has always stood. We the Living shows the fate of freethinking men and women in a totalitarian state. Her second book, the novella, Anthem, published in , also takes place in a collectivist dictatorship — but in an unspecified future.
The dominance of the group over the individual is so absolute in this society that it has even outlawed the word "I. With independent thought stifled, this society has lost all technological progress and reverted to a primitive condition.
The hero reinvents the electric light, but is condemned to death for the crime of thinking for himself. Further, contrary to the state's decree, he dares to love a woman of his own choosing. In both love and work, he thinks independently, refusing to obey, unwilling to surrender the things most precious to him. Ayn Rand shows in Anthem that all the values that make human life valuable and joyous come from the individual, not from society. In both We the Living and Anthem , the independent heroes are pitted against a collectivist dictatorship; in both books the theme is political, emphasizing the necessity of freedom for human progress and happiness.
But the theme in The Fountainhead is deeper and more complex. It is psychological and epistemological.
It concerns the way in which individuals choose to use their minds — whether they think and value independently or whether they allow their lives to be dominated, in one form or another, by the beliefs of others. The story of innovative architect Howard Roark, and his lifelong battle against a society committed to traditional forms of design, The Fountainhead glorifies the great original thinkers of history.
Ayn Rand's subsequent Atlas Shrugged , published in , carries further the same idea. It shows what happens when the thinkers go on strike — when the Howard Roark types, the inventors, scientists, and men of independent judgment — refuse to practice their professions in a world that expects them to comply. Ayn Rand's masterpiece, Atlas Shrugged shows the role of the mind in man's existence — not merely in the life of one rational individual, as in The Fountainhead , but in the life of an entire culture. All of her books defend man's mind, and uphold the need for an uncompromising independence of thought.
The history of The Fountainhead is like an example of its own theme. It was rejected by twelve publishers.
Not only is Dr. Mayhew's book the first compilation of scholarly essays on Ayn Rand's classic novel The Fountainhead, it also contains some brilliant work and. Free Essay: Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead presented an egoist character, Howard Roark, and portrayed him to what society needs, but unwilling to admit the.
Some thought that it was too intellectual, that there was no market for such a book among a reading public that was interested only in stories of physical action. Others rejected it because it glorified individualism and repudiated the collectivist ideals so popular among modern intellectuals. But Ayn Rand refused to alter her story or dilute her theme. Finally, the book was read by Archibald Ogden, an editor at Bobbs-Merrill.
Like an independent-minded Ayn Rand hero, Ogden loved the book and fought for it against dissenting thought in the company.
Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4.
Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 26, Caroline rated it it was amazing. When I finish a book, I'm always eager to learn what other people thought of it, so I usually spend some time reading reviews of it online. I also usually get frustrated that most reviews spend a lot of time summarizing the book, which I'm not interested in. After reading The Fountainhead, I got frustrated as usual, and then happened to find this book and decided to try it. It scratched that itch a lot better than reading reviews online!
I think I'm going to try looking for meta books more often When I finish a book, I'm always eager to learn what other people thought of it, so I usually spend some time reading reviews of it online. I think I'm going to try looking for meta books more often.
bitpranker.burnsforce.com/estudio-y-evaluacin-de-impacto-ambiental-en-ingeniera.php All the essays in this book seemed extremely well-researched and thoughtful. I especially liked the essays on the history of The Fountainhead because I learned a lot of objective facts from those. My favorite two described the major revisions Rand made to the Fountainhead, and the process of turning it into a movie. I liked seeing how different the final book was from both the initial draft and screenplays written by people other than Rand.
My main complaint about this book is that not a single essay had anything negative to say about The Fountainhead, or even anything neutral or less than glowing. It would have been nice to get a more balanced set of perspectives. Another minor complaint is that it included discussion of Atlas Shrugged and a significant spoiler for We the Living. I've already read We the Living, and there weren't really spoilers per se for Atlas Shrugged, but I prefer to know almost nothing about a book before I start reading it, and now I know things like who the main character is and how its theme compares to The Fountainhead's.
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