The Ideal Man Defined in The Fountainhead

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The Ideal Man Defined in The Fountainhead Ayn Rand has based her novel, The Fountainhead on the projection of an ideal man. It is the portrayal of a moral ideal as an end in itself. She has placed 'man-worship' above all and has brought out the significance of the heroic in man. Man-worshippers are those who see man's highest potential and strive to actualize it. They are dedicated to the exaltation of man's self esteem and the sacredness of his happiness on earth. The Fountainhead has brought out the greatness of man - the capacity, the ability, the integrity and honesty in man - as an ideal to be achieved. It is based on the idea of romanticism which means that "it is concerned not with things as they are but with things as they might be and ought to be." The Fountainhead is the story of an architect, Howard Roark-, whose genius and integrity were as unyielding as granite and of his desperate battle waged against the conventional standards of society. It is a tale of hatred and denunciation unleashed by the society against a great innovator; of a man who has great conviction in himself; of a person who believes that man's first right on earth is the right of the ego and that man's first duty is the duty to himself, a man who redefines egoism. An egoist, in the absolute sense, is not the man who sacrifices others to self. He is the man who stands above the need of using others in any manner. Roark doesn't function through others. He needs no other men. His primary goal is to achieve perfection. He is a man with uncompromising values and integrity. In order to make her philosophy clearer, Ayn Rand has simultaneously given an account of people like Peter Keating and Ellsworth M. Toohey. Peter Keating - a man who cheats and lies but preserves a respectable front. He knows himself to be dishonest but others think he is honest and he derives his self-respect from that. His aim in life is greatness - in other people's eyes. Other people dictated his conviction which he did not hold but he was satisfied that others believed he held them. Others were his prime concern. He didn't want to be great but to be thought great. He borrowed from others to make an impression on others.
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