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Objectivism and The Fountainhead

Objectivism and The Fountainhead

How should we live our lives? Do you live for others or for yourself? What do you deem to be the ideal: selflessness, or selfishness? Why? Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead addresses these issues and her philosophy behind it called Objectivism. Her rebellious rhetoric is to convince us that the only true virtue is selfishness and that we should abide by its standards and live for ourselves.

Ayn Rand was from the Soviet Union, and her background helps us to understand her rhetoric about why she preached her philosophy. “Born in Russia, and a hater of the revolution, Ayn Rand dreamed of America as an Eden of individualism. When she got there – becoming first a Cecil B de Mille extra, later a novelist and popular philosopher – she expounded her belief in the sovereignty of the individual” (Romney 1). In America Rand could make something of herself and be known. The Individual is what is important, and she stresses this so much in her novel, using the main character, Howard Roark as perhaps a mirror image of herself. (Actually, it has been stated that Ayn Rand used the prominent architect Frank Lloyd Wright as a model for Howard Roark, which Rand denied (Bierut 2), but personally, I think that Howard Roark is a model of herself). She states throughout her novel that altruism is a false virtue and that selfishness is the key to humankind’s happiness. The Fountainhead depicts excellent rhetorical style for presenting Objectivism. Through her fictional novel about an idealist architect in a conformist world she portrays her philosophy cleanly and clearly. Rand causes the reader to question their own thoughts and actions about how they live.

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…y is the first to identify the relationship between life and moral values” (Peikoff 5). Ayn Rand is the true rebel of her novel, and Howard Roark speaks her rhetoric. He symbolizes her cause and dictates living for oneself. Don’t be a second-hander. “A truly selfish man cannot be affected by the approval of others. He doesn’t need it” (Rand 634).

Works Cited

Beirut, Michael. “A textbook case: the book ‘The Fountainhead’ and its influence on architects.” Interiors July 1996: 88.

Berliner, Michael S., ed. Letters of Ayn Rand. By Ayn Rand. New York: Dutton, 1995.

Garmong, Dina. Personal interview. 2 Nov. 1999.

Peikoff, Leonard. The Philosophy of Objectivism, A Brief Summary. Stein and Day, 1982.

Rand, Ayn. The Fountainhead. New York: Plume, 1994.

Romney, Jonathan. “The Fountainhead (Movie Review).” New Statesman. 20 Nov. 1998: 36.

Comparing Dystopian Distress in Brave New World, Player Piano, and The Giver

Dystopian Distress in Brave New World, Player Piano, and The Giver

Novels of the same subject matter may have decidedly unique ways of expressing the authors’ ideas. Yet, dystopian narratives such as “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, “Player Piano” by Kurt Vonnegut, and “The Giver” by Lois Lowry share many similarities in how the novels end. Throughout the genre of dystopian literature, each story has common ambiguous patterns that leave the reader unsure as to specific details at the conclusion. Oftentimes, this effect is achieved by leaving gaps in information, or presenting two different possibilities by which the tale could close. Even more enigmatic is a complete lack of conclusion all together; that is, the book concludes so abruptly that the reader is left to infer from her own thoughts and opinions what really happened to the main characters and the rest of society.

One pattern commonly expressed in the end of dystopian novels is a situation in which foreshadowing throughout the novel gives tantalizing hints of what might be; usually, conclusion clues seem to imply a continual downfall of society. These stories portray a supposed utopian society in which one character, usually the protagonist, rebels against his commnuity and what it stands for, often times to bring about a specific change. One man or woman dares to be different.

Three such examples that incorporate strong hints of premonitory information are “Brave New World”, “Player Piano”, and “Anthem”. The novels often begin by introducing aspects of the corrupt society. For instance, in Aldous Huxley’s account of a futuristic society, the world is made up of cloned castes of individuals, their entire futures determined at the point of their labora…

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…three step patterns leading to societal downfall or gradual improvement, many dystopian novels achieve an ambiguous effect by their close. Each piece of literature leaves out one vital details that could determine exactly what happened, leaving the reader to infer what occurred based on his own thoughts and opinions. Oddly enough, this ironic way of ending continues with the overall themes of the books, showing that as one must make his own decision regarding interpretation of the novel’s conclusion, all of the world’s people must be left to choose their own fate.

Works Cited

Atwood, Margaret. “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Boston: Houghton, 1986.

Huxley, Aldous. “Brave New World”. New York: Harper

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