The Fountainhead Study Guide

The Fountainhead Study Guide

Original title:
The Fountainhead

Most of us know the world bestseller “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand, but her literary success started from yet another book about the same idea: “The Fountainhead”. The unique approach of the author to the values of the individualism and freedom through devotion to one’s work makes this book one of the remarkable works of the modern literature.

This is the story about the architect whose ideas are too modern and individual to be understood by the mainstream companies. It can be read like an epic story with classical hero and villain, damsel in distress and the ultimate duel - but the values that are presented as heroic are very modern here. The book praises individuality, creativity and determination to reach the goal against all the odds. The characters can seem selfish from the traditional point of view (this is the reason of the negative reaction to the book from the side of some critics), but the trademark feature of all the books of Ayn Rand is denying self-sacrifice for the sake of a great idea. Her characters are neither zealots nor conformists. They choose their paths and follow them, developing and polishing their skills to perfection. They do what they do for their own enjoyment and are proud of themselves when they see that their creations are useful for the people.

The author claims that the ideas of Nietzsche influenced her personality and writing a lot - and, despite the main plotline of the “The Fountainhead” doesn’t fit his teachings fully, we still can see the traces of them, reworked and rethought, turned into the concept of “Objectivism” - the whole and complicated philosophy that praises a human being, any human being, as a hero whose deeds and delights are their achievements. Despite this philosophy raises many questions about its ethics, the example of it is beautifully portrayed in “The Fountainhead”. The main characters are still concentrated on themselves and their goals - but what really distinguishes them from villains is their ability to create something truly unique, be it relationships, art or scientific works.

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The Fountainhead Quotes with Page Number

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