The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

  1. Sparknotes does a great job summarizing but Howard Roark is the most principled man on earth and won’t do anything which goes against his beliefs – the beauty and purity of architecture cannot be tainted. Rand terms the philosophy of the book as objectivism – follow reason and not faith, work hard to achieve life of purpose and productiveness, earn genuine self esteem, pursue own happiness as highest aim, prosper by treating others as individuals and not trading them for value
Key Takeaways
  1. Howard Roark – hero, architect, absolute integrity, relies on himself alone
  2. Ellsworth Toohey – villain, lust for power but no talent
  3. Dominique Francon – extremely beautiful but cold, loves Roark, tries to destroy him before the world does, marries Peter Keating to punish herself
  4. Gail Wynand – media tycoon, becomes best friends with Roark
  5. Peter Keating – Roark’s classmate, becomes superficially successful by stealing Roark’s ideas, finishes his life in misery
  6. Henry Cameron – Roark’s mentor
What I got out of it
  1. Although unrealistic as you can’t do everything alone, I think the purity of Roark’s beliefs is incredible and something to live up to

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