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The Fountainhead Essay Contest Information

The Fountainhead Essay Contest Submission


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Howard Roark was Ayn Rand's first complete presentation of a moral ideal. Judging from The Fountainhead, what is it about Roark's character and his approach to life that Rand regards as ideal for a human being? Why does she think this? Which, if any, aspects of Roark's character or approach to life do you think are worthy of emulating morally? Which, if any, should not be emulated? Explain.

Ayn Rand is often criticized for creating "unrealistic" heroes. Why might someone regard Howard Roark as "unrealistic"? What do you think of this criticism? Is Roark an "unrealistic" character, a "realistic" one, or neither? In explaining your answer, consider what Rand has to say in her essay "The Goal of My Writing."

In his courtroom speech, Howard Roark explains the nature, motivation and importance of those who create values (such as new artworks, technological inventions and innovations, and advances in theoretical knowledge). Why does he think that value-creation and what it requires of the creators is crucially important from a moral perspective? In your answer, consider what a character from another Ayn Rand novel, Atlas Shrugged, has to say about the process of value-creation, in the speech "The Nature of an Artist."

 
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