I finished reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I enjoyed reading the book, Ayn Rand is a brilliant writer and very thoughtful. Her narration might not be as flowery as it can get, how ever it is decent enough to make a very good read. I simply am amazed by her skill when it comes to describing persons state of mind or internal thought. The book in a way is less about characters and more about the under lying ideas of Individualism and Objectivism, while popular impression about the book is that it is about characters. Ayn Rand no doubt is a great mind and a profound thinker, how ever i find her brand of philosophy stipulated by severe short comings. The problem with The Fountainhead is that it tries to champion the cause of her philosophy with the help of a story. As we all know stories can always be twisted and turned to tailor our needs. I would have been in perfect harmony with the author, if the plot took its shape because obviousness of the philosophy and not vice versa. A story should never be made to suit the philosophy to justify itself.
Most of her her characters are simply not humans, they are all predictable programmed robots with an agenda. Humans never are never consistent with their thoughts, principles or philosophy. The Protagonist Howard Roark, was glorified to epic proportions, a man whom Ayn Rand promotes as a perfect human soul on Earth. He is arrogant, bold, stubborn, egotist to its extreme, whose soul purpose is life is Architecture. Little does Ayn Rand realise that human life simply is more than achieveing excellence in profession, there is simply more to life. Objectivism lays so much emphasis on the individual that if practiced in extreme forms would lead to doom. Look what Hitler did, I think he was supreme form of individualism. The book usually over states or exaggerates the reason behind human logic, thus giving an impression that humans are dirty creatures and people who simply are not creative or talented are worth not living. Eventually its Howard Roark’s talent which bailed him out, not his set of beliefs or his priciples as Ayn rand would like us to believe. The court room argument in the climax is as ridiculous as it can get, show me a court of justice where anyone can get away with it, i would hang myself. Howard Roark could afford to be what all he was because he was supremely talented and gifted beyond mediocrity, what should the lesser mortals on the earth do?
Howard Roark’s grit and determination are inspiring and is bound to give some solace for those who dont belive so much in themselves. One more funny aspect with Ayn Rand is that she tries to establish strangest possible relationship between a man and a women. Whats more queer in the book is that the heroine submitting herself to rape and her deriving pleasure from it, and yet maintaining it to be a sexual assault. The book to me was helpful, but it did raise more questions than it answers. Objectivism has its limitations, it simply is not as practical as it is touted to be.
Can you miss this book because it is flawed? No, Its definitely worth giving a tought. My final say is A Flawed book by a Brilliant, but flawed writer.