Characterization of Howard Roark in The Fountainhead
Egoism is the ethical philosophy that focuses on self-interest as the base of morality. In the novel The Fountainhead, the character of Roark displays great honesty towards himself and the people who he encounters in his life. Roark is also a man who has a strong desire toward his work as an architect and accomplishing whatever he can to achieve personal success. This character is extremely independent and sees his opinion as the only one worth listening to. In part one of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, the character of Howard Roark is characterized to be egotistic by revealing him as having integrity, being passionate and being independent. The character, Roark, has an unusual, egotistic personality and is portrayed throughout part one of the book as being honest, passionate and self-governing. Roark shows integrity all throughout the book not only towards himself, but others too. Roark believes that “what can be done with one substance must never be done with another” (Rand 24) and he lives by this rule every day. He is ridiculed by his teachers, the people in society and his friend, Peter Keating, all because he refuses to change his beliefs and personality in order to conform to the standards of society. Even though Roark is mocked and looked down on for being a modernist, he stays true to himself and does not change in order to satisfy the world around him. Howard is a man who never hides from the truth and is not afraid of the standards of society. As well as being honest, Howard Roark is also incredibly passionate. Roark’s passion in the novel is found in architecture and being the type of architect he wants. He is so fanatical about architecture that he does not want anyone to “ask [him] to do any designing” (Rand 96) unless he is able to have complete control over the design. Throughout Roark’s career as an architect, he turns down several commissions all because he is not able to design in his...
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