The Fountainhead

Rand's Role Model, and Ours?: The Positive and Negative Sides Howard Roark in 'The Fountainhead' 11th Grade

Humans have not yet achieved perfection in regard to performance, appearance, or character. The definition of perfection is subjective. To determine author Ayn Rand’s view of perfection, one would need only to observe the character of Howard Roark in The Fountainhead. Howard Roark is the ideal human being. His convictions and bold actions make him a “fountainhead” to society, hence the the title. Regarded by Rand and readers across the world both as a role model and hero, Roark is portrayed as a moral person when set against subordinate characters throughout the novel; unlike most characters of the novel, he harbors such traits as determination, patience, and self-confidence. However, when one deviates from Rand’s perspective, Roark also harbors negative traits such as selfishness and arrogance.

Roark’s traits in the novel are represented by his unique appearance. Rand portrays the architect’s personality through his physical features and movement. He is so completely and utterly himself that his personality can be seen through his body. From his “body of long straight lines and angles” to his hair which is the “color of ripe orange rind,” each physical aspect holds meaning and significance. His body is lanky and muscled,...

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