The Fountainhead Essays

The Fountainhead Essays-24
Thus Cameron and Roark remain the novel's real nonconformist heroes.

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In The Fountainhead, Ellsworth Toohey preaches this doctrine.

Time after time, he utilizes his Banner column "One Small Voice,?

The character Henry Cameron, who was inspired by the brilliant real life early twentieth-century architectural innovator Louis Sullivan, fought a battle against the status quo as one of the original designers of the skyscraper, buildings that soar above people to demonstrate man's accomplishments.

Cameron suffers defeat after defeat yet never gives in to the social hierarchy that wants him to modify his designs.

Similarly, Howard Roark, who suggests the famous architectural innovator Frank Lloyd Wright, goes against the grain by refusing to design the same old outworn Greek, Roman and Renaissance designs and creates instead buildings and homes that blend with or enhance their natural backgrounds.

Both Sullivan and Wright struggle against and battle a society that never succeeds in forcing them to conform.

With the social thawing towards modernism, he copies the works of Henry Cameron, believing them to be original when they are hardly functional, disfigured monstrosities.

Like Cook, he also blindly follows Toohey yet believes himself to be an original thinker.

This is why he so much wants him imprisoned so he will be pushed and prodded into obeying authority every day of his existence. He realizes that it is impossible for him ever to reach the level of creator like Roark-he doesn't have the ability-so, by controlling men like Roark, he in essence believes he is better than they.

In her character, Toohey, Rand presents a chilling portrait of a totalitarian dictator.


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