A Feminist Critical Reading Of The Fountainhead English Literature Essay

Ayn Rand was born on the 2nd of February, 1905 in Soviet Russia. She was born as Alisa Zinov yevna Rosenbaum. She died on the 6th of March, 1982. She was a novelist, philosopher, dramatist and film writer. She was passionately into political relations and even more so after the beginning of the Russian revolution. When the Bolshevik party came into power in Russia, they nationalized a major ball of her male parent ‘s assets which reduced her male parent ‘s fiscal assets well. Since so Rand stanchly believed in Capitalism and the influence of this belief has been seen in most of her books including The Fountainhead.

Ayn Rand graduated from the Petrograd University with the highest awards in History and Philosophy. She moved to Chicago in 1925 to go a film writer and had her dramas staged on Broadway in 1935-36. Her first book, We the Living was written in 1933 and it was published by Macmillan Publishers in the United States of America in 1936. She began working on The Fountainhead in 1938. It was published by Bobbs-Merill in 1943. Atlas Shrugged, her other major work, was published in 1957.

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Ayn Rand was a portion of the modern period of composing. That period was a clip of great sexual repression for adult females. Despite all of that, the characters in her books were brave, bold and fearless. They defied convention and stuck to what they thought was right and moral. The doctrine propagated throughout all of Ayn Rand ‘s books is of “ Objectivism ” . Briefly, it says that any individual, system or societal construction that blocks a individual ‘s freedom or endowment is evil. The Fountainhead was the first incarnation of Objectivism.

This book entreaties to me because Ayn Rand is a radical female writer who has gone against convention of her clip. She has shown a batch of bravery and more so, steel to take the sort of base that she has taken. The female characters in her books, like Dominique Francon ( The Fountainhead ) and Dagny Taggart ( Atlas Shrugged ) were highly powerful, resourceful and symbolic for freedom for womankind. The characters that she built so hold stood the trial of clip and their value systems and personalities are relevant and entreaty to audiences of today ‘s times every bit good. The character of Dominique Francon is built in a mode that reflects an independent and powerful adult female, and even yet, some of her actions seem to be driven wholly by dependence. The intimate scene between Howard Roark and Dominique Francon is frequently termed by women’s rightists as colza. That impression is a affair of great argument throughout readers and critics.

Ayn Rand has paid minute attending in building the female characters of her book. Even the minor characters have been constructed with the secret plan of the narrative in head apart from asseverating her positions about adult females and life of adult females. Her adult females maintain one steady stance throughout the book. Their characters do non fluctuate or alter. They are stable in their ain ways. The more powerful adult females characters are shown to be individualistic and 1s who stand apart from the crowd. Where as, the less powerful characters are shown to be collectivized and conforming to tradition, general belief and the sorts who would non oppose the province of things.

Mrs. Louisa Keating is shown to be a self sufficient adult female who has raised her lone kid based on whatever small income she could roll up. She has worked really hard in her life but it has ne’er had any sort of way. She has one boy, Peter Keating. He is the whole and psyche of her life. All of her aspiration is directed into doing him a success, at any cost. She propels him into taking up architecture with elusive use. Peter Keating has been conditioned into introjecting Mrs. Keating ‘s thought procedure as his ain ideas. So when she said that all right art is non meant for him and that architecture is a more respectable and safe field, he accepted that point of position and convinced himself that it was his ain. He internally mocked himself at of all time holding considered all right art as a calling option. Another case is where she moves in with Peter Keating into his New York flat. Even though Keating is disbelieving about that, he does n’t reason. Simply because he knows that he will lose the statement to her use. She did n’t O.K. of Keating ‘s relationship with Catherine. Although she did n’t advert Catherine by name, she talked to no terminal of work forces who have had their callings ruined because of falling in love with the incorrect miss. She felt no guilt for such atrociousnesss as she considered them to be indispensable for her boy ‘s good being. Here, Rand applies another stereotype which says that adult females are meddlesome by nature. Even with such power, Mrs. Keating is shown to be of a collectivized outlook. She is shown to be the sort who relies on other people, which is being a stereotyped feminine quality, is shown to be weak.

Catherine Halsey is Peter Keating ‘s fiancee in the narrative. She is shown to hold a individual minded attack to life. She has merely one purpose in life: to acquire married to and settle down with Peter Keating. She is a really simple miss, with simple value systems and in privation of a simple life. She is neither individualistic and neither leftist. She is like clay, which could be molded as needful. Her uncle and celebrated author, Ellsworth Monkton Toohey manipulates her into the collectivized civilization with his gift of lucid yet convoluted address. She readily accepts this transition to make full the nothingness left by Peter Keating and his treachery of her. She is profoundly hurt by the bend of events. Ellsworth Toohey takes advantage of the state of affairs to do her into a little reproduction of himself. In this mode, Rand shows that adult females are delicate and can be easy manipulated. While speaking to Keating, Catherine says, “ aˆ¦.. and here I am, assisting him, me, merely nobodyaˆ¦. ” . This line clearly points to her low ego regard. Hence she is manipulated easy by her uncle Toohey.

Dominique Francon, is projected as a character in complete contrast to all the other female characters in the book. She is shown to be strong, ferociously independent and highly individualistic. She understands human potency and respects it to the highest grade. She is at one degree really cold and rational and at another degree perfectly baffled about her love life. Even with her female supporter, Rand throws in the stereotype that adult females lose their caput when they fall in love. Domique ‘s strength of spirit and the way towards which it is channelized make her a perverse unusual adult female. She believes that Howard Roark should non win at life because the universe does n’t merit person like him. But how she is allowed to judge that is non justified anyplace in the book. She makes a batch of judgements during the book which are taken to be facts without any grounds or backup. She is a really forceful adult female whose words have a great impact on the multitudes. And yet, she does n’t contend for what is right because she is hopeless about Howard Roark ‘s triumph.

The chief characters of the book, i.e. Howard Roark and Dominique Francon have been given no sentimental qualities. They are cold and precise, about like machines. Their logical thinking is really individualistic and certain. Howard Roark has been given the quality of non being able to understand human emotion. He is really good with work but really bad at interpersonal relationships. Dominique Francon on the other manus is afraid of losing her freedom and hence corsets off from any sort of fond regard. Sentimentalism is seen to be a really feminine quality and hence is manifested merely in the weaker characters or adversaries of the book. Peter Keating, Catherine Halsey and Mrs. Keating, all have minutes of sentimentalism.

“ The huffy adult female in the Attic: The adult females authors and the nineteenth century literary imaginativeness ” by Gilbert and Gubar was a survey which said that, “ Women authors need particularly to pacify a leery and mostly hostile counter patriarchal civilization. ” Techniques of privacy and equivocation dressed ore on the “ madwoman ” . This lunacy or defeat that Dominique expresses towards the universe is concealed by Ayn Rand in her ain life. Dominique ‘s withdrawal from the universe for the interest of freedom is mirrored in Rand ‘s ain troubled relationship with Nathaniel Branden.

There are many socio-economic concepts in the book that comply with the patriarchal construction of society. All the major concerns are owned by males. Francon & A ; Heyer, The Banner, Wynand industries, Henry Cameron ‘s architectural house and Howard Roark ‘s house are all owned by males. When speaking of Guy Francon, the book says, “ His apparels displayed an creative person ‘s infinite attending to inside informations. He wished, as he descended the stairss, that this were a co-educational school ” . The thought procedure of Guy Francon reflects the thought procedure of Ayn Rand in her sorrow about instruction non being made freely available to misss. Howard Roark is shown as supreme in the book. Dominique Francon is shown merely as a foil to his creativeness. It is because she appreciates him so greatly do we recognize his endowment.

The most problematic subject from a feminist point of position in the whole book would be the intimate scene between Howard Roark, a building worker and Dominique Francon, inheritor to the Francon & A ; Heyer house. It takes topographic point in chapter 2 of portion 2 of the book. The minute Roark lays eyes on Dominique, he looks at her as if he owns her. He enters her house, catch her approximately and has sex with her like “ a maestro taking black, disdainful ownership ” of a slave and so leaves without a word.

Because Dominique had highly high psychological defences erected, she had lost all capacity to experience emotion. She could experience merely indifference. Any sort of gesture, friendly or demonic which managed to make out to her was perceived as a menace. Therefore, although she wanted to, she could non associate to anyone. Howard Roark reached out to her in a manner no 1 else had. He understood her to be precisely who she is. Any less of a gesture than violent sex would hold met with cold indifference from Dominique. Roark did precisely what was needed to agitate her out of her shell. For the first clip, she felt the pleasant uncomfortableness that exhilaration provides.

Ayn Rand, in the book says, “ She fought like an animate being. But she made no sound. She did non desire to name for aid ” . Besides, “ aˆ¦the maestro taking black, disdainful ownership of a slave was the sort of ecstasy she wanted. These 2 quotation marks together explain why the incident can non be called colza but merely an act of consensual sex, albeit violent.

The Fountainhead is jubilance to feminism. It talks really honestly of natural emotion that every adult female feels. It does off with a batch of stereotypes merely to hold the freedom to analyze the man-woman relationship without restraints. We can reason with assurance that Rand has successfully managed to convey out new possibilities. It is a really interesting book to read from a feministic point of position.



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