The Fountainhead Analysis

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The Fountainhead
“Independence is the recognition of the fact that yours is the responsibility of judgment and nothing can help you escape it — that no substitute can do your thinking, as no pinch-hitter can live your life — that the vilest form of self-abasement and self-destruction is the subordination of your mind to the mind of another, the acceptance of an authority over your brain, the acceptance of his assertions as facts, his say-so as truth, his edicts as middle-man between your consciousness and your existence.”
Originating in Ayn Rand’s For the New Intellectual, this objectivist quote is fully personified by the contrast of the characters of Peter Keating and Howard Roark from The Fountainhead. As a foil to Roark, Keating is …show more content…

Peter Keating is no different. He yearns to make it to the very top of the pyramid in the world of architecture, schmoozing and deceiving nearly everyone in order to get his way. However, in contrast, Roark reaches his own form of success by dedicating his life only to himself, no matter how he may struggle financially and …show more content…

A star student, Keating graduates at the top of his class and is immediately offered a position in an acclaimed architectural firm. However, many of his projects, both in school and at the firm, were truly created by Roark, as Keating lacks the same vision and simply tries to take the easy way out. Essentially, he cheats. He lies. He uses these same tactics, along with flattery, to make it to the top of Francon & Heyer, all but murdering Lucius Heyer and abandoning his fiancee in order to solicit a spot as Francon’s partner. In all decisions he makes, he abandons his own morals, simply because others do not agree; He is, in all aspects, a conformist. In terms of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, he is entirely selfless, relying completely on the opinion, assistance, and support of others, with total disregard for his own wishes. He never wanted to be an architect in the first place, but became one because his mother wanted him to. He does not live by his own judgement or form his own values. Although he is, at many points in the novel, very successful financially and socially while Roark is struggling, in the end, Keating loses nearly everything, including his looks, his firm, and his one true love. In the end, he is the true failure. His downfall in comparison to Roark’s massive success by the end of the novel only emphasizes the central philosophy that a man must be selfish, living by his own mind and his own

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