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Standing Alone Against the World in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead

Standing Alone Against the World in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead

Conformity is a basic human characteristic that man spends a life time either fighting or accepting, but few can escape. Parents, churches, schools, and communities teach that the path Peter Keating follows is the assured road to security and happiness. Humans crave companionship and are willing to sacrifice their values, beliefs, and very souls for the satisfaction of superficial love. Howard Roark demonstrates that true happiness comes from within, at the end of a wearisome road. He confirms this ideal through exhaustible determination struggling from burdensome beginnings to almost unattainable goals without relenting to pressures from society. This concept of non-conformity is exemplified throughout the novel. It is most clearly defined in Howard’s resolution to work for Henry Cameron, his rejection of the A.G.A., and the Cortlandt Housing project.

Howard Roark elucidates from the very beginning that he is going to work for Henry Cameron, a revolution considering Cameron’s present state, or lack thereof. Roark is laughed at for having such a fatuous goal but hardly notices the acrimonious criticism that follows him. Even Henry Cameron himself rebukes Howard Roarks efforts to study under him, and only relents to Howard’s wishes after he feels that he can no longer bear to reject such talent. The demonstration of drive and determination as well as defiance of basic rules of social structure make it difficult to not admire this aspiring architect. It is clear at this point that Howard Roark is going to get what he wants, and he has no concern for what anyone else thinks of it.

Roark establishes his own practice and has a conversatio…

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…y and non-conformity is highlighted in the exchange between Peter Keating and Howard Roark on the A.G.A, as Howard has no intent of entertaining any such invitation and Peter can think of nothing sweeter. Finally, Howard Roark reaches a pinnacle of non-conformity as he destroys the only hold society ever had on him, the Cortlandt Housing Project. Howard Roark is a standard that one can strive towards, realistically, however, it would be almost impossible to follow in his footsteps. Even in striving to reach his level one conforms to a set of idea, in a sense one conforms to non-conformity. This novel illustrates in an effective manner that happiness must be reached through holding fast to one’s own values. Perhaps defying society is not the path many would choose, but Ayn Rand certainly presents a challenge to all in her message of misery and happiness.

Invisible Man Essay: Inner, Outer, and Other Direction

Inner, Outer, and Other direction in Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison wrote his novel, Invisible Man, in an attempt to open our eyes. Ellison created his nameless character, the Invisible Man, in order to establish a medium for the message of the novel. It is the opinion of this student that if one chooses to further examine the protagonist character, then she or he can better understand the themes behind Ellison’s narrative. As one analyzes the novel, he or she soon recognizes a number of predominant character traits that can be associated with the Invisible Man. This student was fortunate enough to experience a lesson of that which the characteristics of inner, outer, and other direction were discussed. Once an understanding of concepts from the lesson was established, the assessment of Ellison’s work became less painful. The characteristics are simple. Inner simply represents an individual’s self-motivation for taking an action. Outer represents an individual’s attempt to please others in the actions the he or she takes, and other signifies an individuals attempts to emulate those around him. The protagonist in Invisible Man displays each characteristic during the course of the novel, but two dominate his mindset and eventually aid in formulating Ellison’s theme. This scholar will attempt to examine each characteristic in the following paragraphs, and it is hoped that the reader will attain a better understanding of the novel itself.

The inner character attribute is nearly non-existent in the Invisible Man. This, for the most part, can be contributed to ideologies that the character feels compelled to adopt during the span of the novel. Although the content of each ideology differs, there are a number of const…

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…imply reveal himself to society, combined with his persistence to act the part of another, prevents for true self identification. As with Bledsoe, Ellison’s protagonist remains lost and unfulfilled.

Ellison successfully creates a character capable of expressing inner, outer, and other direction, but often choosing only the latter two. The lack of inner direction renders the Invisible Man incapable of establishing himself. The ideologies and principles presented by others never reflected the narrator’s true beliefs, and throughout the novel, he struggled to contour his mind and heart to their demands. Ironically, the reader is faced with the dismal fact that despite the narrator’s abilities, he remains just the same as he was presented in the first chapter. He is a man without an identity.

Works Cited:

Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man New York: 1952.

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