Fountainhead, Ayn Rand’s classic portrayal of her theory “Objectivism”
Fountainhead is a story of an extreme idealist Howard Roark, the hero, one who never compromises on his thoughts, his principles of life, and above all his work. The passion towards his work that is beyond the conventional standards and the way he tries to put forth his work in the society against all odds is what makes the novel a classic.
In his struggle he encounters people like Gail Wynand, the news paper tycoon; Ellsworth Toohey, who plays on his power to manipulate masses around; Dominique Francon, his true love;
The story has an interesting comparison of Howard Roark with a less than perfect Peter Keating. Peter Keating though the king in the world of architecture, recognition for him always seems to be hollow as he works on cluster of borrowed ideas.
Though certain elements of the story seem to be like hammering the reader with exaggerated Objectivism, there are certain true elements which make the reader ask his own self as to what is really applicable to him, what really matters him. She explained many true to the core questions with beautifully framed words…
“Look at everyone around us. You’ve wondered why they suffer, why they seek happiness and never find it. If any man stopped and asked himself whether he’s ever held a truly personal desire, he would find the answer. He’d see that all his wishes, his efforts, his dreams, his ambitions, are motivated by other men. He is not really struggling even for his material wealth, but for the second-hander’s delusion-prestige. A stamp of approval, not his own. He can find no joy in the struggle and no joy when he has succeeded. He can’t say about a single thing: ‘This is what I wanted because I wanted it, not because it made my neighbors gape at me’. Then he wonders why he’s unhappy”.
Ayn Rand no doubt has the nerve to put her ideas straight out of her heart but sometimes mixes so much of perfection into the characters that we get off hold feeling that this character can’t be real, can’t be human. Such is Dominique Francon, whom the reader finds it hard to understand and associate with.
I would accept much of her theory, though at my convenience, but would differ with many of those…… when she says…in her book…
“ Our greatest moments are personal, self motivated, not to be touched. The things which are sacred or precious to us are the things we withdraw from promiscuous sharing”.
It can’t be always true… we all experience that happiness is enjoyed the most when it is shared. The complete life cycle process is surrounded around people and can’t deny the fact that other person’s life and his reasons do come our way…sometimes worth by our side and sometimes not. But that doesn’t mean a self-sufficient ego is what matters and everything else is like living a life second-hand. Definitely not.
All said and done. Fountainhead is a fascinating novel with specially carved characters. A novel that opens up your thoughts and makes you think. I would highly recommend this book to all those who have passion for their self.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s