The Fountainhead Essay
From the beginning of the story Howard Roark is portrayed as a character whose ideas are so unique that they are incompatible with those of his teachers, acquaintances, and society as a whole. He has created his own model of what he believes is right and refuses to be influenced by any outside sources. Roark’s philosophy would bring him success in an ideal world, but the society in which he lives is inherently intolerable of such a radical attitude. It is for this reason that Roark has to choose between adhering to his personal beliefs and extinguishing the fire within his soul in order to achieve financial success. As the novel progresses, the author will introduce two characters who have chosen the latter option and conformed to society’s expectations, as opposed to Roark, who braved the consequences of rejecting society and believing in his own choices.
Howard Roark attended the Stanton Institute of Technology to study architecture, something he was always passionate about. In his architectural classes he was taught to imitate the designs and techniques of the ancient Greek and Roman monuments in order to capture the essence of the grandeur. Roark listened to his teachers but refused to buy into any of what they said; he believed it was unnecessary and foolish to emulate what had been done thousands of years ago. He wanted to create his own contemporary architectural style that did not contain any trace of the past, and the drawings he turned in reflected this unique ideology. It was not long before he was expelled from the institute for disobeying his teachers and thereby failing his classes. Although several members of the administration were able to recognize and even admire his creative genius, it was in his destiny to break free from the monotony created by society and its institutions. Roark had no problem with being expelled, and he set out to find an architect whose mind was just as...