Study Guide

The Fountainhead Philosophical Views: Individualism

By Ayn Rand

Philosophical Views: Individualism

Rand's philosophy of "I Am A Beautiful, Unique Snowflake" (or Objectivism, if you want to sound stuffy about it) goes a little something like this:

  • Earn a lot of money. (Okay, sure, we like money!)
  • Go against the crowd. (Okay, yeah, being a sheep ain't great.)
  • Get your selfishness on. (Okay, but within reason, right?)
  • Have lots of sex (Okay, yes, can do!)... even if it ain't necessarily consensual (Um... wait. Hold up. That's not sexy.)
  • Don't care about people's feelings. (Umm, wait, what?)
  • Go ahead and blow things up in order to preserve your individual and artistic integrity. (Whoa, whoa, whoa.)

The Fountainhead's main man/Objectivist mouthpiece Roark does all these things. So you can base your allegiance to Objectivism on where you think Roark falls on the "dirtbag to superhero" spectrum.

Questions About Philosophical Views: Individualism

  1. How does Howard Roark embody Rand's view of individualism?
  2. What does Toohey think about individualism and why does he think the way he does?
  3. When they meet again after many years, Katie tells Keating to let go of his ego. Is ego viewed as positive or negative in The Fountainhead?
  4. How do the opening scene and concluding scene of The Fountainhead parallel each other and promote the book's theme of individualism?

Chew on This

Dominique has her fair share of issues, but ultimately she's a bold individual who stands on par with Roark himself.

Dominique isn't a brave individual; instead she's someone who acts out of fear and ends up conforming to society even as she supposedly revolts against it.