Online Discussion: The Fountainhead

Here’s an optional online discussion to examine if you’d like. Simply post your response in the Comments Section. Responses will not appear right away, as Mr. Lang needs to approve all comments. Be sure to add your full name and whether you are in Mr. Lang’s first or third-hour class. No anonymous remarks, please. Also, feel free to check back periodically to respond to others’ comments:

Which character from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead is the most admirable, and why?


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About James E. Lang

I'm a high school journalism and English teacher at Floyd Central High School in Southern Indiana. My interests include reading, writing, literacy, politics, the media, issues of faith, and IU basketball...basically, I'll blog about anything and everything. I'm an independent thinker. I respect all viewpoints and opinions and value reasonable discourse and learning about others. I have been a proud public school educator all of my life. The purpose of my blog is to support scholastic journalism, promote literacy and civic engagement, and explore the social, political, and policy issues impacting education.

5 responses to “Online Discussion: The Fountainhead”

  1. Dylan Young says :

    I feel that Roark, above all other characters, is easily the most admirable. No matter what he has to go through he never strays from his personal ideals, and I also really enjoyed the symbolism comparing him to the granite.

  2. Clara Burton says :

    Howard Roark is the most admirable character in the book. He is independent of others meaning he takes responsibility for himself and his actions, he doesn’t destroy others for his own gain and he does not look for other’s approval and let it dictate his decisions and values. Roark sticks to his values all throughout the book, his ideas are his own, his actions are based upon his aim to achieve the greatest and highest. He is kind to his fellow men, he respects their individual self as a separate free thinking entity with hopes and dreams, instead of just another robot in an assembly line. He tries to empower them and explain to them his reasoning for having integrity to himself when he destroys the government housing project. He helps Keating with his buildings although he regrets it later proving true the old saying that if you catch a man a fish you quench his hunger for a day, if you teach a man to fish you quench his hunger for a lifetime. Man has to make himself happy he cannot be happy through others, in other words he cannot be a second-hander. Catherine destroys herself trying for the impossible feat of making others happy. Roark is not a second-hander, he has confidence and he does not fear the best and the highest nor does he let other’s get in the way of his right to himself.

  3. thefcbagpiper says :

    Howard Roark is most definitely the most admirable character. However, I find it ironic that I say that considering some people view him as complete corruption to society. He does exactly opposite of what is expected of him, instead of fitting in with society and pleasing others, he does what he wants to do. Does he construct Keating’s buildings because he is considered with helping Keating’s reputation or just Keating alone? No. It is simply the fact that he is an egotist and wants to see his work erected. Rorark lives for the soul purpose of his own happiness. Notice, he does not ever get concerned with the lack of money he has at the begging of the book, months without commissions are no concern to him. All because material things do not matter to him. Rorark could care less how much money he has, as long as his buildings are being constructed in the precise way that he desires. In my opinion , he is wiser than the wealthy man that will die, leaving behind millions of dollars to go to waste. He will die, knowing that he has accomplished the thing he has most yearned for. He will have the eternal feeling of accomplishment, opposed to the temporarily feeling of wealth. Many people want this, but very few no how to achieve it, such as Rorark.

  4. James E. Lang says :

    Clara: Reading your comments makes me wonder how you will all compare Howard Roark to Winston Smith in 1984.

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