The Fountainhead facts for kids
The theme of Rand's fictional story is the belief that selfishness can be ethically good for people in a workplace. Altruism can actually make a person a servant or slave to other people. This novel has many themes that support philosophies of objectivism, and capitalism. There are themes that are against the idea of communism. The use of architecture and skyscrapers in this novel show that humans are able to do great things. Rand's belief in the novel is that a person should only work at something they love doing.
Howard Roark is a gifted architect who is expelled from college for trying to have original ideas and think for himself. He does not want to compromise in order to obey authority. He does not care what people think about him.
Peter Keating is planning to get rich by just doing what was popular, instead of being original like Roark. He says and thinks that because of that, he will be more successful than Roark. In the end, Keating admits that he is a failure and he was being used by others.
Ellsworth Toohey is the antagonist (or the bad guy) of the story. He tries to stop Roark from being successful by controlling people who are weaker or timid. He believes in collectivism (when people join a group and they lose their own identity). He only helps people who he thinks are not very smart and not very talented. Dominique believes he is trying to control the Wynand newspapers.
Gail Wynand is the owner of a newspaper that appeals to the opinion of the public. He thinks he is a failure because he made his newspaper company just to be popular and so he can become rich.
Henry Cameron is Roark's mentor. He invented skyscrapers and designed modern buildings that most architects hated, because they weren't traditional enough. Cameron thinks that Wynand is his enemy, because he writes a newspaper that has different ideals. Wynand understands that he is unhappy and becomes friends with Roark because he respects him. Cameron becomes an alcoholic and dies early in the story.
Dominique Francon is a woman who is afraid of having great things such as love because society can destroy those great things. She marries Peter Keating first, then Gail Wynand. Roark changes her view of life and he also marries her.
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In writing the character of Howard Roark, Rand was inspired by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Patricia Neal played Dominique Francon in the film adaptation.
Rand's descriptions of Roark's buildings were inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, such as Fallingwater.
Gary Cooper played Howard Roark in the film adaptation.
The Fountainhead Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.