The Fountainhead critique

Essay by camkarCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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The Fountainhead

Success is an achievement of something desired, planned or attempted and in some cases this does not come easy. But is it easier to become successful while having morals at the same time? In the beginning of the novel, "The Fountainhead," Ayn Rand shows through her characters that one can not achieve practical success and be moral at the same time. However, by the end of the novel, Rand has contradicted this belief and shows through her characters achievements that practical success without morality is only temporary. Her characters in the novel such as Peter Keating and Howard Roark portray Rand's view that practical success can not be achieved without morality.

Peter Keating is a prime example of a character who achieves only temporary success because Keating does not have morals. He starts his career off as a prominent but dishonest architect who is successful by following what society accepts instead of pursuing his own ideas.

Keating is not original and does not have enough skill and pride to sketch his own designs, so when he is told to enter the Cosmo-Slotnick competition by his employer he secretly begs a former knowledgeable colleague, Howard Roark, to come up with a design that Keating could put his name on to make himself look superior. He takes credit for Roark's designs and because of this Keating becomes successful. By doing this, Rand shows just how immoral this character is. He is incapable of being an individual or standing out and is a weak man who follows what others want, whether it is his mother choosing his profession and his wife or society choosing his designs. After taking over the business previously owned by his employer, Keating fails to sustain his position as a leading architect. He trades his wife for...