Altruism and Egotism Portrayed in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

2004 Words 9 Pages
In the world today, altruism is associated with the “common good” of man while egotism is associated with evil and non-consideration of the fellow man. In contrast to the world’s view, Ayn Rand provides and proves a new definition for egotism through her book, The Fountainhead. She defines egotism in the context of ethics. She states: “Man-every man-is an end in himself, not a means to the ends of others; he must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; he must work for his rational self-interest, with the achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of his life.” Howard Roark, the protagonist in the book is a selfish and egoistical man whose actions reflect his own …show more content…
The ego is strengthened as the only source of survival by this theory; and the man who strengthens this theory is Howard Roark. Selfishness is not defined as the lack of care for others rather; it is defined as letting others decide for themselves. A selfish man is defined as a man who holds his “truth above all things and against all men” (678). Being selfish is the only way to stand alone as a means of breeding success and strength. Heroism is closely associated with egoism because heroism entails independence likewise egoism.
A hero an undeterred individual who comes out triumphantly despite obstacles faced (699). In a time when conventionality was the name of the game in architecture, no one dared to come up with a new from of art. With the common flow of ideas in one particular direction, Howard Roark rowed against the tide. He came up with a modernistic view of architecture, risking the label of criminal rather than of “a great man,” which he truly deserved (25). He rated the Parthenon as rotten even though all have said the Parthenon was a great masterpiece. He voiced and practiced a modernistic style that would combine Renaissance, Gothic and any other architectural style possible. Doing this made him vilified by the public and fellow architects spearheaded by the A.G.A. This confusing yet true idea Howard Roark came up with made every one in the field of architecture call him an egoist. He was called an egoist because he
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