Study Guide

The Fountainhead Essay

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Perkins teaches American literature and film and has published several essays on American and British authors. In the following essay, Perkins examines Rand's expression of her objectivist philosophy in The Fountainhead.

Ayn Rand presents Howard Roark, the main character in her influential novel, The Fountain-head, in an innovative way. Readers expect a main character to be fully rounded yet to develop in some way during the course of the story. Heroes, when faced with a conflict, usually reveal new aspects of their character that were previously unknown to them and to the readers. Often the thrust of the narrative involves the process of the main characters gaining valuable insight into their inner selves.

In The Fountainhead Rand rejects this traditional form of character development by presenting a hero who at the beginning of the novel is fully realized. Howard Roark knows exactly who he is when he is...

(read more from the Critical Essay #1 section)

This section contains 1,233 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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