Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,

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The Fountainhead Essay Contest

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The soul of an individualist- difference, implied as the lack or bending to the whim of society. American novelist Ayn Rand shares the biggest piece of objectivism in her controversial novel The Fountainhead. Without the perplexity of clicheness, Rand longed the idea of expressing freedom and attending to one’s true beliefs through a single character, Howard Roark. Howard Roark is a young man whose demand is to strive as a young architect in a modern day world that will submit to nothing greater than the standards of average. While the clashing novel is furthermore than impactful, it forces the readers to understand how the main character dares to think so differently and somehow find the greater outcome. The purpose of Howard Roark’s character was to present how the young man managed to break through a facade.

The readers right off the bat reap who Roark is as an individual in the opening scene of the book. In a world admitted by constant hate and change, you can do one of two things; jump and let yourself fall to society below you, or rebirth who you are at the edge of a granite cliff. If you knew you had just been expelled from an architecture school at the Stanton Institute of Technology, which would you choose? Howard Roark felt in his blood the need to innovate the shape of the world, the world that he feels to be too dull and lack creativity. Roark knows that he is a creator and he wants the ability to use his free will to do so; however, his will to aspire his complex sculptures are not such a free doing to his school teachings. Howard Roark is an individualist whose futuristic style is not accepted by the architectural school, but that doesn’t stop Mr. Roark from embracing himself to the best of his ability.

Roark is self actualized, so by being told by the Dean of college that Roark may receive the offer of returning to school once he has “matured” did not seem to faze him the slightest of bits. Howard Roark refused the offer given by the dean and left the office feeling no remorse. While the Dean was left offended, I feel like as though this was the rising action of who Roark was about to become, an individualist. He was not going to give up his sanity to pacify those around him. Roark is such a delicate being he almost represents a butterfly in order to become bigger than your wings, you venture off as a caterpillar. I take this statement as Roark withstanding the stages of life to peak the greatest of his full potential. Ayn Rand openly states Howard Roark as “a man as he should be.”

New York City, the big apple or the apple of an individualists’ eye? The setting of the Fountainhead takes place in New York City in the 1920’s, the city of dreams in which Roark wants to pursue his life as an architect. As a humble, modernist individual who was kicked out of stanton, Howard has extensive ambitions for himself and wants to be able to accomplish everything. I foresee Roark as someone who is not afraid to step out of his comfort zone. I mean Howard Roark took a flee to New York to emerge himself as a better known architect with little accusations of what he set himself up for, he should not be seen as anything less.

Howard Roark impressed to be an architect unlike those existing. What’s the catch? Unless there was a bargain offered, Roark would not design for any clients or acquaintances. There are numerous characters who account Roark into the better man, for example, Peter Keating. Keating is a manipulative backstabber who lives for others. He has the only concern of furthering his career even if this means stealing designs that are not of his own.  Ayn Rand scrutinizes Peter Keating as the exact opposite of Howard Roark Keating lives “the second-hand life.” I think Howard portrays an important life lesson in such a generous action Roark lives for himself. While Roark may preserve to himself “professionally,” this does not dictate him as antisocial, just anti-unprofessionalism.

Key to success? Commitment. The affluent difference between Roark and Keating is that Roark was not influenced by his social class or class at all for the sake. Roark achieved practical success from what he preached, being a man who used his brain. Embracing the individual part is something that Howard was quite capable of doing. The key to being a pure architect is by not setting yourself low and by not boosting your expectations higher than what you are capable of accomplishing.

In Roark’s days society was stuck in such an old fashion way of architecture and I feel as though Howard was the outbreak of a new beginning. Roark is like the selfish god of his religion. It is not a bad thing to be selfish. Howard wanted to depend on people who respected his will to get to the top without being dependent. He faced opposition but remained true to himself. Roark opposed from others because he is, always has been, and always will be himself. Howard refused to sacrifice himself in that he was “suppose” to do anything or return favors for someone else.

Howard Roark was a man of perfect integrity. Was Roark perfect? By no means Roark was not perfect; however, he remained loyal to his morals, portraying his integrity. The purpose of your existence is to have courage and confidence to be true to yourself. Aside from the thoughts of his professors, bosses, or whomever despised Roark’s ability, his character set an example to the readers. Howard’s soul lugged a sense that is lack in even today’s society, pureness to oneself. Howard gained a sense of overcoming achievements when he was able to defeat obstacles. I think this is an important life lesson that is undervalued, whether you are expelled from school, unable to find a stable job, blackmailed out of your own work, in order to be the “top notch dog.” we have to be willing to contract parts of life that can seem painful to reach the top.

 

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
The Fountainhead Essay Contest