The Fountainhead

Integrity in The Fountainhead 12th Grade

Integrity is a quality frequently sought after but rarely achieved; once achieved; it is even more rarely maintained. It is an elusive gem with the potential to inspire and transform a person. Unfortunately, it is often compromised – a valuable payment for something of lesser value- whether it be wealth, prestige, or social standing. This odd yet common exchange is demonstrated in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, and is explored in the context of architecture. First, the concept of integrity is portrayed through Henry Cameron in the sense that he maintains his integrity yet is destroyed by society due to his uncontainable passion. Second, Peter Keating and partner Guy Francon willingly substitute not only their own integrity, but that of their buildings in exchange for wealth and popularity in society. Finally, Howard Roark defies and overcomes the seemingly destructive and menacing society all whilst maintaining his most precious possession: his honour. As is demonstrated throughout the novel, society despises passion, devotion, and individuality, and will often stop at nothing to destroy any hint of it. However, Cameron and Roark share an understanding necessary for true greatness: it is not only commendable, but desirable to be...

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