Untitled Essay, Research Paper
ISU Essay : Ayn Rand-The FountainheadImagine power as a form of free flowing energy, a source found within every one and for
each individual. Assume that to gain power, one has to tap this resevoir of immense
proportions and relish upon the rich harvest to their hearts desires. Consequently, when
there is such a dealing of concentrated materials, nature takes charge and similarly to
other physical abstracts, rendering this package lethal, with the potential for untold
destruction. In other words, power in the wrong hands or power without responsibility is
the most harzardous weapon mankind can possess.
To say that power is a medium out of control and pertaining to something with incredible
destruction, is rather quite true. Assuming that every one and anyone has the potential to
be entitle to a share of this universal medium. Then it would be justifiable to claim that
like any other unmoderated activities, raging amibition for power uncontroled could wreak
havoc and acts as a catalyst in the breakdown of a society. Similar to politics which
deals with the static physical component of society, there must be a more formidable
source of pervailance over the mystical realm of power. There fore, this form of guidance
can only exist from the mind, and as product of thought, thus the ideas within a
The Ideals warp between the covers of, The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand’s philosophical
revolution of Individualistic power, is her solution to society’s request for a cure.
She believe that the highest order of power stands above all alternatives as the power
belonging to an individual and her mission is to prove the greatness of individualist
power within the hero she christain the name Roark.
Rational thinkers, do not make decisions in a give or take scenario, but instead they
carefully distinguish between be extremes of the Black, the White, and the median Gray.
The Fountainhead, simulates the world as a whitches cauldron, filled with many evils,
among which only one true and worthy victor can pervail. Ayn Rand explores the many facets
of power within a structural community, relying upon her philosolophy as a test-bed and a
In essence the portfolio of The Fountainhead, contains, four major fronts of power, each
dominated by a type of relative character and characteristics. Manipulative Power entitle
itself to be crown the champion of false promises and deciet. The Power of Green or power
due to money is difficult to achieve and deserve honorable mentioning, yet it is a virtual
power built upon wealth. Worst of all evil in man’s search for power lies behind the
mask of a man built on betrayal, resorting to self-deprivation for prestige and the
selling of oneself to fame. The true power belongs to an individualist, who fights for
himself, lives for himself and is Rand’s answer to the plea of the people.
Subjecting to visualization, this could be interpret in the form of a compass rose with
its four extended arms representing each front of power, converging onto a center of
origin. This origin is the birth place of all men. Attaining power is a rather lenghthy,
delicate process and is likely prone to failure. Life’s goal is determining of one
direction and that single path can represent an arm of the rose. Simply it may seem not
too difficult to make the correct choice, yet many fail to do so.
Ironically, Ayn Rand play the role of a mischieve when she weave such a believable
character to represent the cold, uncompassionate, and power hungry Manipulator. She fool
the reader to believe that Ellsworth Toohey, a successful and very influential member of
society, is a worthy man, fighting for the cause of the human kind. His generosity and
sacreficial offerings are only cover-ups from his true nature, the impulsive liar who
strive on manipulating others for power.
Physically Toohey is described as a weak man, apparent only through the power of his mind.
According to Rand, a wholesome, powerful character has to unify both the mental and
physical hemispheres. Toohey is a man that could have been, yet upon his own choosing,
warp himself into something beyond rescue. Toohey is a very dangerous man. Dangerous
because he knows the weakness in other men and uses this porthole as a point of attack.
His aim, is the breakdown of
another’s soul and thus in this way he gain power over them. Toohey can be rank above
the most tyrant Monarchs and the worst dictators in history. His ambition is not only to
physically own people, but the possession of their very souls. In a confession to one of
his victim he says. ‘ If you learn how to rule one single man’s soul, you can
get the rest of mankind.’ Toohey understands that he is capable because there exist
people who wants his reasurance and the recognition from others that they have done
something right, something significant. Thus this gives him the power manipulate others
into thinking what he wants and believing what he permits. He plays with his victims like
puppets in a show, because to him, people can be like water, aimlessly following the shift
of a tide.
Similar to an engine over heated, Toohey is too power hungry, in turn his eminent
downfall. He knows quite well that he is incapable of acheiving true power, so his
conscience convulges and lash back at the world that he dispise. His destructive natural
corrupts and he vows vengence. ‘ I have no private purpose. I want power. I want my
world of the future. Let all sacrefice and none profit. Let all suffer and none enjoy. Let
progress stop.’ Like a fugitive who fear being caught, Toohey has to live in the
agony of having to guard himself from the retribution of the people. He knows that power
gain through manipulation of others does not have the integrity too oppose the yearning of
men for freedom. He can only accept defeat.
Ayn Rand is not materialistic, yet she promotes rank differences and wealth. Her
characters are in fact very influential personalities who are often leaders within a
society. Critics of Rand’s work often redicule her philosophy as unrealistic, liable
to things that occurs in fairy tales. However, Ayn Rand believes differently. In using
characters who are over achievers, she demonstrates the power of her philosophy and the
potential of those followers who strive to attain goals with the best of their abilities.
Symbolically, her characters represent the highest potential that exist within each
Green is a significant color that maintains two polarities. To many, this color glorify
the shear power of money and to others it resembles the pale sickness that originate from
greed. In fact, there is a coralation between these ‘similar opposites’.
According to the mechanics of time, one event leads to another in a chronological order.
The old phrase, ‘There no smoke without the fire,’ holds true when associated
with money and greed. It may seem trivial that Ayn Rand promotes such a character within
her novel, honoring greatness, then include in the package, a terrible flaw.
Ayn Rand mocks the world for its imperfection when she introduce
the character of Gail Wynand, a rugged newspaper tycoon who owns every thing within his
reach, but lacks the possession of his own soul. She artistically accept her own
imperfection in permiting this foul experiment to take place.
Wynand’s accomplishments are radical, unchallenge by any other character in the
novel. His power is very concrete and true to life, but only to the extent that public
permits. The readers of his newspaper pretends to fear him while he play the role of the
dictator who deny his dictatorship. The situation unveil a continuous loop of lies and
The Tycoon’s reign is the result of power he attain from shear wealth. Such power
comes with a price and he paid for by selling his soul to the puplic. On the contrary to
the purpose of a newspaper as an expression medium, the world of The Fountainhead
expresses zero tolerence for free speech. The paper exist for the collective and praise
everthing but heroic ventures into the new frontiers. Society encourages the conservative
while it condone aspiring changes.
Gail Wynand’s falter is due to carelessness in maintaining his integrity. His
business etiquette involve sacreficing himself and dedicating his whole life’s work
as a service to the people, for the people. He suppresses the outcries of his conscience,
acting only on the behalf of strengthening puplic relations and obtaining higher profits.
The man owns his fortune, but he did not own himself. The puplic mob lay claim to his
existence. His fortune is a mere donation from the public in return for the service that
he provides them.
Wynand suffers internal pain, a pain unbearable due to disappointment and a sour
appointment with reality. He dare challenges the public in a duel, wasting his efforts in
exercising a power that he never own. The sudden impact caught the victim off guard
because he never bother to ask and no one care to answer. In an effort to reclaim himself,
Wynand risked his fortune in a fight against the public for something which he believes
and lost. He is force to forfeit his newspaper empire, a life long dream of a man who
never was. In the end, he realizes too late that it is easier to move imilar to an engine
over heated, Toohey is too power hungry, in turn his eminent downfall. He knows quite well
that he is incapable of acheiving true power, so his conscience convulges and lash back at
the individual boulders, then to budge entire mountains.
To every situation there exist two extremes, presumably the black and the white. The
identity of the black is usually mark with a stamp of disapproval and render forbidden
deep within the abyss. In the world of The Fountainhead, Foul plays the dead man’s
hand. Ayn Rand is a towering diety who rules with an iron fist She refuses to tolerate
imperfection, despising power gain through self deprivation and unjust sacrefices. She
minics the qualities of a collective society in Peter Keating, a living mannequin,
susceptable only to the movements which others care to permit. Outspokenly, Ayn Rand
defends her opinions of a collective’s destructive nature by lowering the character
of Peter Keating to a point which is comparable to insects, slugs and parasites.
Keating is not a man, but a mass mob of the collective. When Rand refers to him, she
speaks of society as a whole. When Keating speaks of self, he voices the thoughts of a
million. He kills the meaning of the word ‘independence’.
He is very smart and cunning, but all of which he steals or borrows from others. His
apparition of progress is repetition and his view of success is the approval by some one
Keating is the master manipulator, who knowingly victimizes himself. He represents his own
sacreficial goat, offering to a god that has no face, but many faces. In sacrificing he
gains nothing except false prestige and a delusion of happiness. He follows the desires of
his mother and cast aside dreams of pursuing the proffesion he wants. In doing so, he
denies himself the gratification of doing what he wants to do and in turn sentencing
himself to a life of misery and frustration. The fool refuses to accept that, ’ Where
there’s sacrefice, there is some one collecting sacreficial offerings,’ and,
‘ Where there is service, there is some one being served.’ Ultimately, this ties
into slavery, and worst yet, its self slavery.
Keating flows through a transition of vanity, fame, lies, flatter, and eventually guilt.
He lacks the essential of self respect. A person without self respect lives in insecurity,
holding a bomb that has no control over its detonation switch. The fame that he dwell on
comes with a price and that is the man’s own dignity. He flushes his human qualities
in a trade with the devil and in the end suffers the consequences. He who decieves others,
decieves himself. Yet even deciet has its limits. A collective is not an entity, it is a
monster that consume without remorse. It destroys what is great and promotes a
relationship where the exchange is mutual exploitation. The society which mould keating
into existence abandons him, satisfied that it has done its toll. Then as it has aruptly
embraces him, his power vanishes. Keating realizes that he is left alone and slowly his
concience seeps in, destroying the empty shell that remains. This is true example of power
without responsibility.With respect to the Webster’s Dictionary, power is define as, ‘authority,’
and a form of ‘control’. Inevitably, authority suggest the notion of power aim
at a target, and often over group of people or individuals without ‘control’. In
turn, power is rather destructive, its nature is the encouragement of a society where
individuals strive to conquer one another. Generally, human kind have never learn cope
with this fact, thus locking itself in a cycle of voluntary decay.
Ayn Rand sums it up in a quote, " Life can be kept in existence only by a constant
process of self-sustaining actions." In her vision, she proposes progress as a
measurement of power and a solution to the ‘process of self-sustaining actions’,
as an individual who exist not to triumph over other men, but in the conquest of nature.
Nature is a formidable foe which trembles the heart of the weak, but to great men,
it’s dangers serve as an inspiration. Ayn Rand worships the greatness in men who
dares to break the Cycle and humbly honer them by creating the character of Howard Roark,
a symbolism of strenght and determination.
Roark is ‘self centered’, ‘self generated’, ‘self
sufficient’, ‘self motivated’ and is the ideal man. He represents a
powerful locomotive, pulling his only cargo of an ego and armor plating which protects it.
Power streams from this neural core, it surges in a fluxing shield that illuminates an ora
of remarkable enery, fuel that can only come from an individual.
The antagonist, Ellsworth Toohey once claims that, " A thinking man can’t be
ruled." This statement aim at an opponent that is superior to all and including
society. Roark thinks and this gives him the power to create. Creators are mile stones,
set far from the fuilthy reaches of the mass mob who deserves no place for contest.
Creators travels uncharted paths into a unique destiny, pursuing uncontrollable
possibilities. Society lack control over Roark, this hatred overwhelms them and they set
out to destroy him. The Leeches complicates themself in attacking something that is prone
to their touch. Roark is not an image of a man, but a hologram that is immune to outside
interference.gives him a freedom no other enjoy and that is true happiness.
At first, Roark’s character can be on the outrageous side, doom humorous and terribly
intiminating. However, he is the product of a radical thinker and thus is an incredible
concept of thought. Believing in his existence help to understand the philosophy behind
his character and like wise the character behind the philosophy.
Perhaps at the dawn of creation, all human beings can be considered paupers in terms of
knowledge, wisdom and undoubtedly, the power to make appropriate decisions. Simply put,
life’s a continuous search for a sturdy foundation, upon which will erect a
monumental shrine for those who succeeds, and for mindless others who fail to choose the
right path, it will be their final resting place, six feet under. Success is eminent for
those who search vigorously, but more importantly for those who knows where to seek the
guidance. There are few however, that surpass the stage of seeking, they go beyond to
collect their wisdom into a teaching, guidance in the form of a philosophy. Ayn Rand is
one among them.
Individualism is the philosophy which exemplify ‘self’, promotes greatness and
prolong longevity of the human race. It contains the power lock inside every individual.
Our responsibility as an enity on this planet, is to tap this incredible source of energy,
ustilizing this fuel to propell humanity into the depth of the future.
This is a lesson readers of Ayn Rand’s philosophy will never forget. We are supplied
with various paths to take in life. The true heroes will know which he is to take and
reamain above all others. Those who fail, will end up in the melting pot of society, their
flame of freedom extinguished.