“Man’s ego is the fountainhead of human progress” : The first thing that came to my mind on reading the quote was “HOW?” And Ayan Rand has answered the question lucidly in the novel interlaced with passion and ambition. The novel depicts the story of Howard Roark, a young architect who worships his work and his constant struggle against the society to work on his own terms. The novel also explores his turbulent love affair with the female protagonist Dominique who is unable to bear the criticism of Roark’s work. Believing the values she admires cannot survive in a world filled with mediocrity, she turns away from them to protect herself from getting hurt. While she attacks Roark’s work in public through her newspaper column, she continues having an affair with him.
Through the struggles of Howard Roark, the author stresses on the importance of individualism, an idea that every human has an inalienable right to act on his own judgement and to pursue the values of his choosing. Another quote that resonated with me is: “To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul – would you understand why that’s much harder?” It makes an individual realise how often one compromises on one’s core belief system to adhere to the conventional standards set by the society.
Overall, The Fountainhead provides excellent food for thought and is a must read for every bibliophile.