Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Fountainhead - Read by Chad

This was my second time through The Fountainhead. Caitlin and I first read it together while on our honeymoon. Romantic, I know.
In The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand explains her theories of the glorification of man embodied in her main character, Howard Roark. According to Rand, true happiness can only be obtained by a strict adherence to one's purest desires. In other words, complete selfishness.
Howard Roark is an architect in the early 20th century who's genius could earn him a fortune if he could only forfeit his own desires to design buildings according to the ideas and desires of others. To do that, he would have to forgo his desires which he can not do. Instead, he lives a meager but happy life, designing the type of structures that satisfy his desires, regardless if the client(s) likes them or not. Some recognize his genius and support him. Other's recognize it, and try to extinguish it.
While I don't agree with all of Rand's ideas, there is something to be said for those who find happiness in doing that which they truly want to do, regardless if that thing brings them success (according to a worldly standard) or not. Happiness is success according to Rand. And one can never find happiness down someone else's path. That is, except for the Savior's path but I guess Rand had never heard about the Church.
In conclusion, this is one of my favorite books. I highly recommend it.


The Duke said...

I read Atlas Shrugged in high school and I would say that it was even less romantic. I've never read The Fountainhead but I'd guess that Rand left some of her more crazy ideas for the larger work.

Anne & Aaron said...
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Anne & Aaron said...

You don't know anything about Ayn Rand unless you've read Atlas Shrugged.

Amanda said...

I never read Atlas, but when I was in high school, you had to read books and take tests on them and each book had a point value and you needed I think 60 points. I wanted to get it done in one fell swoop, so I read the only 60 point book: The Fountainhead. Maybe I should re-read it as an adult because I thought it was a good story, but a little wacky.