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Monday, June 17, 2013

The Fountainhead Characters


I have always been a great fan of Ayn Rand. Her books – “Atlas Shrugged” and “Fountainhead” have been my favorites.

I have noticed that knowingly or unknowingly, I always end up comparing most people I come across in life to the characters of Fountainhead. And it’s amazing how I find so many people similar to Peter Keating. The kind of people who take credit for other’s hard work and who are more worried about seeking approval of others instead of developing their own mind  who will do anything to please others in order to gain wealth and prestige.

Occasionally, I come across the Ellsworth Toohey types. The type who lust for power and despise the achievements of others, dedicating their life in  degrading other people’s talents and ambitions.

There are hardly any Howard Roarks left. The kind who have strong character and who never deviate from their principles or compromise on what they feel is right.

I once thought I had glimpsed a Howard Roark but I guess I was wrong. I have still to meet a Howard Roark.

19 comments:

  1. Howard Roark, are either dead or living in void. I know exactly what someone has to go through to live like Roark.

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  2. Renu fountainhead is my favorite!!! Whenever I loose hope in humanity...when I see people who can't stand upto what they believe in...when youngsters go astray from their path n blindly follow the customs and traditions without questioning...loosing their individuality n creativity; I pick up this novel!!! N call this coincident or what, I m currently reading it :) :)

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  3. it is my most loved book too. I read it, when I was having a terrible time of my life. I had to do things against my parents and relatives( you can guess how painful they can be). I thought of him as my idol, and I think myself to be him.( I dont fully justify to his character, but I do atleast 50% of him). Well I am still waiting to be successful in my eyes, and in the eyes of my parents and relatives..

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  4. Wish I were a reader too :)
    Would have better known the characters being talked about .. :)

    Humankind with principles intact throughout lifetime are a rare sight ... :)
    Not even our unofficial father of the nation was ... the entire man of his principles and standing by them..

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  5. @ Raveer - Yes..to live life as a Howard Roark is tough..:)

    @ Aditi - You echo my sentiments..I too often read it when I'm feeling low :)

    @ Niranjan - Even a 50% of Roark is a great achievement..I'm sure one day the very people who opposed you will talk high of you :)

    @ Jack - Give the book a try some day..maybe you'll like it :)

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  6. @ Renu : Like in the novel, in reality also no one loves people like Howard roark and on top of that, to find a woman like Dominique is even next to impossible.

    Fountainhead clearly depicts what the world actually needs but the doubt reamins - Are we in general ready to accpet charaters like them? Are we in general stand by their side?
    Leaving Western society alone, I say that Indian soctiety would never ever accpet a man and woman like Roark and Dominique respectively.

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  7. Interesting! and it time to get my hands on Ayn Rand 's books :)

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  8. I too love this book. I don't know how many times I've read this book. My heart always goes to Howard Roar, who never knewhow to go along with crowds.

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  9. @ Rajveer - You're right, the society in general does not accept the Howards and Dominiques..but lets not forget that for all the Peter Keatings and Ellsworth Tooheys..there are others like Gail Waynand, Stephen Mallory and Henry Cameron...and there are people like us who TRY to be like Howard and Dominique :)

    @ Uma - I'm sure you'll like the two books I mentioned in the post :)

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  10. @ Arumugam - Yes Howard is a loner..I guess most people who are like him in character would be loners. I love this book too :)

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  11. TO be like Roark and Mallory is no less than a life in misery. Once i stood like Roark and I faced its consequences. Though I believe I did nothing worng but my that action has taken away what was my rightfully.
    I admire Roark and Mallory but this admiration brought a sadistic thought in me. I ask myself I hadn't been like this then i would have made something else with my life. Daily i work with people like Peter and Ellsworth and think that if they have got all the privileges of being what they are then when I will have mine. I hold my head high but alone....

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  12. I love Ayn Rand too and Fountainhead is one of my favourites..and even I keep doing such comparisons when I'm with friends who have read it :D
    And yes, I immediately have a sense of identification with people who have read and appreciated the Fountainhead :)

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  13. A crisp post that makes one think!

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  14. @ Rajveer - I would anyday be alone than be an Ellsworth :)

    @ Sudha - Welcome to the group :D Makes me happy to connect with like-minded people :)

    @ vanderloost - Thank you :)

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  15. Interesting post! Though I am yet to read the book completely. I have in bits and pieces read it. And from what I read, I found its difficult to find someone like Howard Roark. It is too high an expectation I suppose, considering the world we live in!

    My world, my thoughts, my musings...

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  16. @ Upasana - I agree with you Upasana, it is too high an expectation but my mind just does not give up the search..it looks for a Howard in every person I meet and in the process it goes through its share of disappointments and yet the search goes on...:)

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  18. Howard roark is one of my favourite characters, and is the ideal one but what I think is if we mix a bit of practicality of today's world then we may move a bit closer to finding one in the real world

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  19. Used to love both these books as a teenager and in my twenties. Haven't read it in a while and am wondering how I'll see the characters now. Remember their names but little else. Worth a re-visit, I think.

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