In reading the fiction works of Ayn Rand, one becomes quickly aware of her use of characterization to display a set of mores that apply to a group in today's society she is describing. In Anthem, for instance, even the names hold significance toward the point of the story. The name Liberty 5-3000, a gross smear of the philosophy of her world, becomes The Golden One, and then Gaea in the eyes of the protagonist. This use of a name, a face, to convey the message of a group becomes a common thread through all four of Miss Rand's novels. The Fountainhead is no exception. Though the names don't have quite the amount of significance, the characters presented are a startling appraisal of the personalities to be found in this country's artistic culture.
Howard Roark is the protagonist of the story; he is the John Galt of this book. Throughout the course of the book, his character is balanced by a number of others. Henry Cameron is by far the saddest. While Howard represents a person that owns the trait of honesty, Henry Cameron represents the man that has sold out his beliefs. While Howard recognizes the necessity to create for the sake of the creation, Henry Cameron is the shadow of all those who felt that they could no longer create for 'the establishment.'
"It's no use wasting what you've got on an ideal that you'll never reach, that they'll never let you reach. It's no use, taking that marvelous thing that you have and making a torture rack for yourself out of it." .... "Accept them, Roark. Compromise."
These were words from a man that was not Henry Cameron, but a shell of a man left for dead at the side of the road by an establishment t...
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"This, in every hour and every issue, is your basic moral choice: thinking or non-thinking, existence or nonexistence, A or non-A, entity or zero."
"Then I shall build a barrier ... around my home ... a barrier my brothers will never be able to cross. For they have nothing to fight me with, save the brute force of their numbers. I have my mind."
The power of Ego is the division point between the men of the writings of Ayn Rand; the mind is the tool that built her worlds, and is the only tool that will prevent mankind from facing the same battle that Howard Roark, John Galt, and Prometheus faced.
These men will triumph.
Rand, Ayn: Anthem. New York, N.Y.: Penguin Group, 1946.
Rand, Ayn: Atlas Shrugged. New York, N.Y.: Penguin Group, 1957.
Rand, Ayn: The Fountainhead. New York, N.Y.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1943.
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