The Fountainhead

Comparison of Howard Roark and Peter Keating 12th Grade

The relationship between Roark and Keating dominates the first two parts of The Fountainhead. Rand uses the comparison between Roark and Keating to express two polar opposites. Roark is Rand’s hero, the epitome of everything Rand attributes to be good. He abides by ideals of honesty, integrity and hard work in a world that is wrought with personal and social corruption. Despite situations of joblessness and penury he is always guided by his individual opinion and makes extremely difficult choices with stolid courage. Peter on the other hand represents everything that Rand finds to be hollow or worthless. He is portrayed as a man motivated by the praise and approval of others. With no sense of personal integrity, his only means of self-identification is success, which he achieves primarily through manipulation, sycophancy and hypocrisy. The extreme contrast between these two characters acts as a foundation stone for the beginning of the novel and Rand uses it to develop Roark’s character as that of an extremely objective and individualistic man guided by the desire to actualize himself through his work. This becomes clear at the very end when Roark is asked by Guy to make the biggest and best building New York might ever see, “a...

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