Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead”
Imagine power as a form of free-flowing energy, a source found within every individual. To gain power, one has to tap this reservoir of immense proportions and relish the rich harvest to their heart’s desires. Consequently, when there is such a concentration of materials, nature takes charge and renders this package lethal, with the potential for untold destruction.
In other words, power in the wrong hands or power without responsibility is the most hazardous weapon mankind can possess. To say that power is a medium out of control and pertaining to something with incredible destruction is quite true. Assuming that everyone has the potential to be entitled to a share of this universal medium, it would be justifiable to claim that uncontrolled raging ambition for power could wreak havoc and act as a catalyst in the breakdown of a society.
Similar to politics, which deals with the static physical component of society, there must be a more formidable source of pervasiveness over the mystical realm of power. Therefore, this form of guidance can only exist from the mind, and as a product of thought, thus the ideas within a philosophy. The ideals warped between the covers of The Fountainhead,” Ayn Rand’s philosophical revolution of individualistic power, is her solution to society’s request for a cure. She believes that the highest order of power stands above all alternatives as the power belonging to an individual, and her mission is to prove the greatness of individualist power within the hero she christened the name Roark. Rational thinkers do not make decisions in a give-or-take scenario, but instead, they carefully distinguish between the extremes of the black, the white, and the median gray. “The Fountainhead” simulates the world as a witch’s cauldron, filled with many evils, among which only one true and worthy victor can prevail.
Ayn Rand explores the many facets of power within a structured community, relying upon her philosophy as a test-bed and a believable standard. In essence, the portfolio of The Fountainhead contains four major fronts of power, each dominated by a type of relative character and characteristics. Manipulative Power is crowned the champion of false promises and deceit. The Power of Green, or power due to money, is difficult to achieve and deserves honorable mention, yet it is a virtual power built upon wealth. The worst evil in man’s search for power lies behind the mask of a man built on betrayal, resorting to self-deprivation for prestige and selling oneself to fame. The true power belongs to an individualist who fights for himself, lives for himself, and is Rand’s answer to the plea of the people.
Subject to visualization, this could be interpreted in the form of a compass rose with its four extended arms representing each front of power converging onto a center of origin. This origin is the birthplace of all men. Attaining power is a rather lengthy and delicate process that is likely prone to failure. Life’s goal is determining one direction, and that single path can represent an arm of the rose. Simply put, it may not seem too difficult to make the correct choice, yet many fail to do so.
Ironically, Ayn Rand played the role of a mischievous writer when she wove such unbelievable characters to represent the cold, uncompassionate, and power-hungry manipulator. She fooled the reader into believing that Ellsworth Toohey, a successful and influential member of society, was a worthy man fighting for the cause of humanity. However, his generosity and sacrificial offerings were only cover-ups for his true nature as an impulsive liar who strives to manipulate others for power. Physically, Toohey is described as a weak man, apparent only through the power of his mind.
According to Rand, a wholesome, powerful character has to unify both the mental and physical hemispheres. Toohey is a man who could have been wholesome, but he chose to warp himself into something beyond rescue. He is a very dangerous man because he knows the weaknesses in other men and uses them as a point of attack. His aim is to break down another’s soul and gain power over them. Toohey can be ranked above the most tyrannical monarchs and the worst dictators in history.
His ambition is not only to own people physically, but to possess them.