Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. At his second trial, Roark argues that individuals, not societies, propel history. He says that individual creators are the fountainhead of civilization.
All of the major intellectual themes that inform Rand's fiction and her subsequent philosophy are presented clearly in this novel. Having grown up in the totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union, holding an impassioned belief in political freedom and the rights of the individual, Ayn Rand wrote The Fountainhead as a tribute to the creative freethinker.
Its hero, Howard Roark, is an innovative architect, a man whose brilliant and radically new designs are not understood and are rejected by the majority of society.
Roark, like many inventors and creative thinkers of history, struggles to win acceptance for his ideas against the tradition-bound masses, who follow established norms and are fearful of change.
The theme, as Ayn Rand states it, is individualism versus collectivism, not in politics but in men's souls. The book is about the conflict between those who think for themselves and those who allow others to dominate their lives. According to Ayn Rand, the goal of her writing is the presentation of an ideal man.
Howard Roark is the first such figure in her novels. His independence, his commitment to his own rational thinking, and his integrity mark him as a distinctive Ayn Rand hero.
Rand described herself as a "man-worshiper," as one who revered man at his highest and best. She held man's creative mind as sacred, and consequently admired the great original thinkers of mankind — the artists, scientists, and inventors, such as Michelangelo, Newton, and Edison.
In Rand's fiction, she illustrates the heroic battles such great individuals have to go through, both to develop their new ideas and methods and to struggle against a conservative society that rejects them. Ayn Rand presents her heroes as ends in themselves, inviting her readers to simply witness and savor the sight of human greatness.
Which, incidentally, is the greatest value I could ever offer a reader. She points out that, as a benign secondary consequence, a reader witnessing the life of Howard Roark may be inspired to seek his own heroic achievements. Roark, as a freethinking individual, is opposed by sundry collectivists — some who believe that a person should conform to others, some who believe that a person should rebel against others, and some who believe that, politically, we should have a Fascist or Communist dictatorship in which the individual is utterly subordinate to the will of the people.
Regarding this aspect of the book, Rand sets her hero against various collectivist ideas that existed — and to some degree continue to exist — in the United States. The obvious example of collectivism in The Fountainhead is the political one. Ellsworth Toohey, the novel's villain, is a Marxist intellectual, preaching socialism to the masses.
He holds that an individual has no value in himself but exists solely to serve his brothers. As Ayn Rand wrote the novel, in the s, collectivism was rapidly engulfing the world.
First the Communists took over her native Russia, then the Fascists came to power in Italy, then Hitler and the National Socialists took political control of Germany.The Fountainhead serves as an excellent introduction to both Ayn Rand's writing and her philosophy of Objectivism.
All of the major intellectual themes that inform Rand's fiction and her subsequent philosophy are presented clearly in this novel. Independence, Egoism, and Achievement in The Fountainhead Essay. Independence, Egoism, and Achievement in The Fountainhead Ayn Rand said that the theme of The Fountainhead is "individualism versus collectivism, not in politics, but in man's soul.".
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Primacy of the Individual Howard Roark is the novel’s embodiment of the perfect man.
The theme of The Fountainhead, said Ayn Rand, is “individualism versus collectivism, not in politics, but in man’s soul.” How do the motives and actions of Roark, Keating and Toohey dramatize this theme? The Fountainhead Essay Contest The Ayn Rand Institute. The Fountainhead study guide contains a biography of Ayn Rand, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
About The Fountainhead The Fountainhead Summary.
The Fountainhead Essay. The Fountainhead is a novel about the ideals of four characters: Howard Roark, Peter Keating, Ellsworth Toohey, and Gail Wynand, all brought together to play different roles in the architecture industry.