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Fountainhead Essay

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Kaitlyn Dahlia Cruz


Fountainhead Essay

Those who are successful in their careers are alike in personality and in what they are willing to do for what is considered success. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand, is a philosophical novel portraying people struggling with their lives in the architectural and journalism industry. The characters who were successful in their career, usually by compromising their values, all seem to be unhappy with themselves. The antagonist, Howard Roark, is an extremely talented architect who designs buildings for their purpose and not for what the public wants to see. Roark is constantly trying to find work, but because he will never build according to what other people think will be popular,he does not get many contracts. People feel inferior to him because of his steadfast demeanor and so they begin to hate him. Many work to keep him from succeeding at all. Even though, Roark faced many obstacles and criticism, he continued to work the way he felt was right- drawing his buildings the way they were meant to be built, and never taking pity or money from his friends. Some viewed him as self-less, while Howard Roark viewed himself as selfish.

When Roark's business was first starting to fail, He began to rely on a contract for the Manhattan Bank Company. His rent for his apartment and office was overdue and his phone was to be cut off soon. If his drafts were accepted it would provide opportunities for his name to be known and attract more clients. A man named Weilder was interested in Roark's work but he had to run his drafts for the building by the company's board of directors. Roark waited months for the reply when he was finally called in to receive the good news. However, the company would only approve of the drafts if Roark would make a few minor changes to the building's facade. Some members of the board simply could not accept such a modern building. Roark refused to accept their offer regardless of how badly he needed the money. He believed that his design for the building was exactly how it should be and did not want to tamper with it. Weilder was highly disappointed and confused on why Roark couldn't make a simple change claiming him to be "fanatical and selfless".

Many people believed Roark to be "selfless". He would design a building for its function and didn't believe in traditional architecture. He saw buildings almost as people, to be unique and perfect in their own way. His refusal of the contract with Weilder shows that he is selflessly devoted to architecture and will not compromise his beliefs for anyone. The fact that Roark will not deviate from his principles is what amazes most people. Frequently, his friends have tried to give him money because his business is failing



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