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The Characters of Anthem, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged

Good Essays
The Triumphant Characters of Anthem, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged

In reading the fiction works of Ayn Rand, one becomes quickly aware of her use of characterization to display a set of mores that apply to a group in today's society she is describing. In Anthem, for instance, even the names hold significance toward the point of the story. The name Liberty 5-3000, a gross smear of the philosophy of her world, becomes The Golden One, and then Gaea in the eyes of the protagonist. This use of a name, a face, to convey the message of a group becomes a common thread through all four of Miss Rand's novels. The Fountainhead is no exception. Though the names don't have quite the amount of significance, the characters presented are
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"Why are you saying this to me? That's not what you want to say. That's not what you did."

"That's why I'm saying it! Because that's what I did!"

Though Miss Rand's true thoughts about these two characters are known only to her, it comes across to the reader that Henry had everything - except that total honesty to oneself that is required of an artist of skill. He tried to save Roark from what he saw as a certain fate: his own.

To an observant reader, Peter Keating and Ellsworth Toohey have the most interesting interplay in the book. A fine example of this can be found on page 60 where Peter says to Katie:

"You see, Katie, you don't know me. I'm the kind that uses people. I don't want to use you."

This is a sad commentary on the political system if there ever was one. The question 'who is using who' constantly comes to mind when lines of this sort between characters of this sort show up in Miss Rand's pages. Peter spends the part of his life covered by this story as a tool of the likes of Toohey, and he still has the audacity to think that he is in power.

At this point in the book, however, little does the reader realize Toohey's power with people. The scene where Peter tells Toohey that he 'sold' Dominique shows a very clear picture of a broken man facing Toohey, his 'breaker':

"You're the only friend I've got. I ... I'm not even friendly with myself, but you are. With me, I mean, aren't you, Ellsworth?"

"But of course. Which
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