Study Guide

The Fountainhead Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 84 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Fountainhead.
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Rand believed that "reason is man's only proper judge of values and his only proper guide to action." She called her philosophy "objectivism" because she wanted to promote a sense of objective reality based on the power to reason. In the novel, Roark exhibits reason as he determines what nourishes his ego and thus sustains his life. The main quality that accomplishes these ends is his individualism. Throughout the novel, he continually refuses to allow others to alter his vision or to dictate the terms of his success.

Rand suggested that those who choose not to think rationally and look to others for guidance become second-handers as they refuse to take responsibility for their own lives. Peter Keating is the prime example of this type of individual. His insecurity prompts his lapses in reason as he tries to pass off Roark's work as his own. His inability to...

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This section contains 358 words
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The Fountainhead from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.