Brutally Honest Review Of 'The Fountainhead' By Ayn Rand
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Brutally Honest Review Of 'The Fountainhead' By Ayn Rand

There's a reason she's Rand Paul's favorite author

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Brutally Honest Review Of 'The Fountainhead' By Ayn Rand
Good Reads

Upon judging the cover of Ayn Rand's most highly-acclaimed novel, one typically wouldn't be filled with enthusiasm, or even desire to read this dictionary -sized novel. Written in 1943, "The Fountainhead" introduced new views on Rand's philosophy, Objectivism. Having been previously warned of this somewhat insane, entirely selfish philosophy, I entered the book with an indisputable bias. However, when reading the first chapter of the book, I began to feel a connection with the characters. It was as if I was a fly on the wall, watching their every move, even hearing their internal thoughts. Rand's frequent use of imagery gave the novel a movie-like experience, giving myself, the non-reader, something that was truly hard to put down.

The most critically-acclaimed, and, therefore, fundamental aspect of "The Fountainhead" is the co-existence of both philosophy and an entertaining non-fiction story. The book tells the tale of two young architects, Howard Roark and Peter Keating, the latter being the new graduate from the top of his class, and the former having been kicked out one year before completion. From this point, the story illustrates the competition of these two men, asking which man achieves real success from a philosophical point of view.

The two most prevalent philosophical ideas within the book, altruism and selfishness, provoke thoughts that the twenty-first century has deemed evil or unprecedented. While the novel still remains a highly-entertaining-fiction read, an obvious shift follows most expository excerpts, leading to a somewhat awkward preaching of philosophical ideals. The proposal of whether or not Rand effectively combines Objectivism within the plot could not be refuted effectively, however with previous knowledge of Rand's personal ideals, the book remained enticing, albeit cult-like.

The novel, or rather the philosophy behind it, encourages selfishness, not in the primitive, survivalist manner, but in a murderous, conscienceless, frightening one. In a primary example, one of the main characters, ironically the protagonist, rapes a woman during the plot progression. The woman immediately realizes that she has fallen in love with the rapist, because of his eternal devotion to his ego, and therefore, his dismissal of thought, emotion, or respect for any other being. While I thoroughly enjoyed the book, there was a surfeit of implications that would leave anyone with a conscience very uncomfortable.

While "The Fountainhead" easily ranks in my top five of favorite books ever read, the thought of it being recognized a revolutionary piece of philosophy remains highly disturbing.

Through imagery, complex and interesting plot progression, and intricate use of literary devices, Rand creates an undeniably entertaining, thought-provoking experience. Although the entertainment and overall enjoyment of the book as a non-fiction piece takes precedent, readers should enjoy it solely in this manner in efforts to maintain sanity.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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