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Some quotes from The Fountainhead that are insane September 21, 2006

Posted by sdpurtill in Books.

UPDATE: I’ve moved my blog over to 31fps.com, so check that for my current updates.

I am on the home stretch of reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. It’s been the most amazing book I’ve ever read in my life. About halfway through the book, I realized how many enlightening quotes the book was filled with, so I tried something new: I put a bunch of post-its inside the cover, and everytime I found a quote I liked, I’d slap a post-it on it. And that’s how I’ve come up with these quotes…

I will try to give the context for each quote, but reading the book is by far the best way to grasp the full meaning.

Gail Wynand, one of the richest man in NYC, talking to Dominique (his wife) about love

“Why have you been staring at me ever since we met? Because I’m not the Gail Wynand you’d heard about. You see, I love you. And love is exception-making. If you were in love you’d want to be broken, trampled, ordered, dominated, because that’s the impossible, in the inconceivable for you in your relations with people. That would be the one gift, the great exception you’d want to offer the man you loved. But it wouldn’t be easy for you.”

Alvah Scarret is one of the heads of Gail Wynand’s huge newspaper, The Banner, and his response to Wynand after Wynand fires one of the paper’s top writers

Scarret protested in panic: “Gail, you can’t fire Sally! Not Sally!
“When I can’t fire anyone I wish on my paper, I’ll close it and blow up the God-damn building,” said Wynand calmly.

Peter Keating is basically the opposite of the hero, Howard Roark. He speaks of him here.

“I often think that he’s the only one of us who’s achieved immortality. I don’t mean in the sense of fame and I don’t mean that he won’t die some day. But he’s living it. I think he is what the conception really means. You know how people long to be eternal. But they die with every day that passes. When you meet them, they’re not what you met last. In any given hour, they kill some part of themselves. They change, they deny, they contradict–and they call it growth. At the end there’s nothing left, nothing unrevered or unbetrayed; as if there had never been any entity, only a succession of adjectives fading in and out on an unformed mass. How do they expect a permanence which they have never held for a single moment? But Howard–one can imagine him existing forever.”

Dominique talking to Wynand on his yacht

[Dominique] “I used to travel a great deal. I always felt just like that [hating to be at a destination]. I’ve been told it’s because I’m a hater of mankind.”
“You’re not foolish enough to believe that, are you?”
“I don’t know.”
“Surely you’ve seen through that particular stupidity. I mean the one that claims the pig is the symbol of love for humanity–the creature that accepts anything. As a matter of fact, the person who loves everybody and feels at home everywhere is the true hater of mankind. He expects nothing of men, so no form of depravity can outrage him.”
“You mean the person whosays that there’s some good in the worst of us?”
“I mean the person whohas the filthy insolence to claim that he loves equally the man who made that statue of you and the manwho makes a Mickey Mouse balloonto sell on street corners. I mean the person who loves the men who prefer the Mickey Mouse to you statue–and there are many of that kind. I mean the person who loves Joan of Arc and the salesgirls in dress shops on Broadway–with equal fervor. I mean the person who loves your beauty and the women he sees in a subway–the kind that can’t cross their knees and show flesh hanging publicly over their garters–with the same sense of exaltation. I mean the person who loves the clean, steady, unfrightened eyes of man looking through a telescope and the white stare of an imbecile–equally. I mean quite a large, generous, magnanimous company. Is it you who hate mankind, Mrs. Keating?”

Wynand talking to Dominique about love, again

“Or that love is pity.”
“Oh, keep still. It’s bad enough to hear things like that. To hear them from you is revolting–even as a joke.”
“What’s your answer?”
“That love is reverence, and worship, and glory, and the upward glance. Not a bandage for dirty sores. BUt they don’t know it. Those who speak of love most promiscuously are the ones who’ve never felt it. They make some sort of feeble stew out of sympathy, compassion, contempt and general indifference, and they call it love. Once you’ve felt what it means to love as you and I know it–the total passion for the total height–you’re incapable of anything less.”

Peter Keating sitting by the fire realizing he isn’t happy

He thought of how convincingly he could describe this scene to friends and make them envy the fullness of his contentment. Why oculdn’t he convince himself? He had everything he’d ever wanted. He had wanted superiority–and for the last year he had been the undisputed leader of his profession. He had wanted fame–and he had five thick albums of clippings. He had wanted wealth–and he had enough to insure luxury for the rest of his life. He had everything anyone ever wanted. How many people struggled and suffered to achieve what he had achieved? How many dreamed and bled and died for this, without reaching it? “Peter Keating is the luckiest fellow on earth.” How often had he heard that?

And I saved the best for last (if you had the endurance to read this far…). It’s a scene where Dominique is speaking to Howard Roark

“Roark, before I met you, I had always been afraid of seeing someone like you, because I knew that I’d also have to see what I saw on the witness stand and I’d have to do what I did in that courtroom. I hated doing it, because it was an insult to you to defend you–and it was an insult to myself that you had to be defended… Roark, I can accept anything, except what seems to be the easiest for most people: their halway, the almost, the just-about, the in-between. They have their justifications. I don’t know. I don’t care to inquire. I know that it is the one thing not given me to understand. When I think of what you are, I can’t accept any reality except a world of your kind. Or at least a world in which you have a fighting chance and a fight on your own terms. That does not exist. And I can’t live life torn between that which exists–and you. It would mean to struggle against things and men who don’t deserve to be your opponents. Your fight, using their methods–and that’s too horrible a desecration. It would mean doing for you what I dod for Peter Keating: lie, flatter, evade, compromise, pander to every ineptitude–in order to beg of them a chance for you, beg them to let you live, to let you function, to beg them, Roark, not to laugh at them, but to tremble because they hold the power to hurt you. Am I too weak because I can’t do this? I don’t know which is the greater strength: to accept all this for you–or to love you so much that the rest is beyond acceptance. I don’t know. I love you too much.”

Have you read it ? What’s your favorite quote(s) ? And out of all these, which one made you think the most ?



1. Landeros - September 22, 2006

First off let me say that I am really impressed with how much you have taken from this book. Wrapping myself around the idea that man’s ego is the fountainhead of human progress is something that would be impossible for me to do at your age. The quote that sticks out to me is the one where Dominique is talking to Wynand on his yacht. There is some great dialogue about the generalization of love and mankind in there. I linked my blog so you can check it out.

Howard Roark - July 26, 2013

This thread is almost a decade old. That says something, doesn’t it?

To me, and of course there are so many great ones, The Fountainhead is summed up in one short line. On his death bed, Henry Cameron says to Howard, “Don’t be afraid.”

This line speaks to me in so many ways and plays on the theme of fear that is so prevalent in the story and in life. It is the absence of fear that permits Howard to continue in spite of all that attempts to stop him. It is this absence of fear that separates Howard from us all.

In my opinion, people often misunderstand the point of this story. Rand is not saying that we should be heartless egotists and not care about anything but ourselves. It is through Howard’s work and ideals that he truly cares for mankind. Rand is showing that we should shun fear, refuse to listen to naysayers, and stay true to ourselves. I have a strong feeling that those touched by this book feel the same. I know that those who have achieved greatness and/or happiness feel the same.

2. Katlyn Revere - October 8, 2006

hey. i’ve read the fountainhead a few months ago and i have to say that it is probably one of the best books i’ve ever read… there are SO many great quotes in that book its impossible to list them all.

i thot it was amazing how each character had such a unique way of looking at life and a different approach to dealing with the people and the society around them. Wynand, Dominique, and Howard all expressed there hatred of the society in different ways: Dominique mocked it, Wynand set out to destroy it, and Howard simply ignored it. Then there was keating who destroyed himself from the very beginning by relying on others in order to achieve success and therefore happiness. he got the success and yet in the end he still found himself constantly feeling envious of Howard- a man who compared to him had nothing.

as for toohey, he was also a parasite, but unlike keating he wasnt stupid. he knew exactly what he was doing and he enjoyed doing it. he enjoyed destroying greatness. he enjoyed the power he knew he had to manipulate anyone – or almost anyone. which reminds me of some of my favorite quotes in the book:

1- when legendary architect Henry Cameron warns Howard Roark of the “monster” he will be forced to face, he says:- “It’s a challenge in the face of something so vast and so dark, that all the pain on earth -and do you know how much suffering there is on earth? – all the pain comes from that thing you are going to face. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know why it should be unleashed against you. I know only that it will be… You’re on your way into hell, Howard.”

2- pg. 331, speaking to Howard Roark:- “That a great many men are poor fools who can’t see the best – that’s nothing. One can’t get angry at that. But do you understand about the men who see it and don’t want it?”

3- Toohey speaking to Dominique: “That’s the trouble with victims – they don’t even know they’re victims, which is as it should be, but it does become monotonous and take half the fun away. You’re such a rare treat – a victim who can appreciate the artistry of its own execution…”

4- When Toohey urges Roark to say what he thinks of him, Toohey presses the issue, saying: “Mr. Roark, we’re alone here. Why don’t you tell me what you think of me? In any words you wish. No one will hear us.” and Roark replies, “But I don’t think of you.”

5- “Most people,” Roark says,”build as they live — as a matter of routine and senseless accident. But a few understand that building is a great symbol. We live in our minds, and existence is the attempt to bring that life into physical reality, to state it in gesture and form.”

6- Last but definitely not least is part of Dominique’s speech in court, she says: “I am proving your case for you. I am proving why you must go with Ellsworth Toohey, as you will anyway. The Stoddard Temple must be destroyed. Not to save men from it, but to save it from men. What’s the difference, however? Mr. Stoddard wins… Let us destroy, but don’t let us pretend that we are committing an act of virtue. Let us say that we are moles and we object to mountain peaks… I realize fully that at this moment I am as futile as Howard Roark. This is my Stoddard Temple – my first and my last.”

those arent even a small fraction of the great quotes there are in that book – i didnt add any of the philosophical quotes in there, mostly just the quotes relating to the story and its characters. thats one of the things i loved most about the book, tho, that philosophy aside, it was still a great story and very well told.

one of the moments in the book that stands out most in my mind, though, and that really touched me was the part i think at the very beginning of part 4 where there’s this kid who wants to be an architect or artist or something, i dont remember, but anyway he’s riding his bike through the forest looking for some sort of inspiration, and then he comes across some hills where Roark had just completed one of his latest works, and he’s so astounded by what he sees, and he asks Roark, who’s standing there, who made those great buildings, and Roark says that it was him… then the boy smiles and thanks him and rides off into the sunset knowing that that one moment, that one sight, had now filled him with enough strength and inspiration to last him the rest of his life… and you just like know at that moment that that boy was going to grow up to have to face a life time of hardship, to go thru the same hell howard had to go through, but you still smile because for some reason deep down, you just know he’s gonna be ok, and that in the end, he’s going to beat the world… that one memory alone inpired me and made me love the book more than ever…

3. Sara Cauvin - November 27, 2006

He was a very young man. He had just graduated from college — in this spring of the year 1935 — and he wanted to decide whether life was worth living. He did not know that this was the question in his mind. He did not think of dying. He thought only that he wished to find joy and reason and meaning in life — and that none had been offered to him anywhere.

He had not liked the things taught to him in college. He had been taught a great deal about social responsibility, about a life of service and self-sacrifice. Everybody had said it was beautiful and inspiring. Only he had not felt inspired. He had felt nothing at all.

I belive that is the beggning of the quote you are refering to. I a well have read The Fountainhead and am a huge fan of Objectivism. There are many small quotes which stand out to me, but I feel the most important scene is the one on the yauht. Gail and Roark are out to sea together and Roark givs a small speech to Gail, about secondhanders. Here is the famous quote of ‘I would die for you, but I would never live for you’. Simply amazing.

Nzinga - November 21, 2010

no it’s not that part. it’s the part where the boy sees Monadnock Valley. And he says to himself Show me your achievement and the knowledge will give me the courage for mine.

4. Brent Pearse - December 5, 2006

I came across this blog searching for Fountainhead quotes. It reminded me of a quote I loved, actually it is the opening sentence. “Howard Roark laughed.” What a way to open one of the greatest books ever written. I think it shows everything Howard represents in the simplest of terms.

5. Prameela - April 10, 2007

I am a big time fan of this book. have read it so many times but everytime it throws up something new for me to appreciate.
My favourite quote to this day remains when Roark says – To say I Love one must first know how to say ‘I’ …..It has me bowled everytime i read it

6. Sandy - April 18, 2007

“But I don’t think of you.”


simran - June 23, 2011


Ronald Ivan Streeter - November 10, 2011

Damn straight

Surjit S Sidhu - October 18, 2016

that is the best virtue of Ayn Rand’s pesonality.We waste our lives just in agony of thoughts hurled on us by our opponents

7. laurel - April 19, 2007

hey thanks 🙂 i was looking for a specific quote for an essay i was writing, and have already brought the book back to the library (overdue)…

reading all this stuff makes me realize i do want to read the second half of the book and remember how (surprisingly) good that book was. i just sort of got stuck at the part where dominique was married to keating

8. Camille - April 24, 2007

“There is nothing and he creates nothingness.”
-Gordon L. Prescott
(Part II, Ellsworth M. Toohey)

9. Owen - April 29, 2007

This is funny, because I did the same thing with The Fountainhead. My copy has those little flag post-it’s practically every 20 pages.

10. Kurt - May 9, 2007

When Wynand is defending his papers (and I’m paraphrasing because the book isn’t in front of me):

“It is not up to me to provide people with self-respect which they do not have.”

11. christine - May 16, 2007

i stumbled across this page somehow…i am nearly finished with it for the first time and i can say very naturally that this is one of the most incredible books i have ever read, though i’ve encountered few people who regard it with anything other than indifference or contempt. (i’m a senior in highschool). strange to think of the same thing occuring in a different time and place, as i write this nearly a year after you posted.

12. christine - May 16, 2007

and my favorite part- i read the exchange between dominique and roark at the building site in clayton, and was left with the sensation, simply because of what each of them and their actions represent, that it was the most intensely passionate love scene i have ever encountered

Catz - February 9, 2011

I know… I simply felt adrenaline gush through me… 🙂 So subtle and yet so steamy!

13. gerardo - May 24, 2007

the fountaihead is without a doubt the best book i have ever read because of the plot development. i love this book and encourage everyone to read it

14. Erica - June 11, 2007

I was always a big fan of this quote at the end of chapter 5, ““He walked to a window and stood looking up at the sky. His head thrown back, he felt the pull of his throat muscles and he wondered whether the peculiar solemnity of looking at the sky comes, not from what one contemplates, but from that uplift of one’s head””

15. khuram imtiaz - June 17, 2007

My copy of the book has green highlighter marks all over it. its an amazing book, by and amazing author.

16. Dr Ashwini Vanarse - July 4, 2007

Ayn Rand is just great…i am her die hard fan …i am stunned with her way of thinking,just too inspiring…Atlas shrugged is my Bible,and she a god for me………

shreyas - November 16, 2010

You could never be her fan, cause she never encouraged “fans” , if Atlas Shrugged is your Bible and she is your God, you are completely deceived. It does not suffice the idea of objectivism. You have chosen to become a part of the flock ! You would never really want to be a fan if you wanted to be one 🙂

Peace !
Read the Bhagavad Geetha – It sums up 700 pages and much more in one Line 🙂

Molly - July 6, 2011

marry me?

ruchi - July 14, 2011

i share the same opinion with u .

17. thorn - July 6, 2007

Nice page.

Minor correction, though. The quote listed above which begins, ““I often think that he’s the only one of us who’s achieved immortality.” was not spoken by Keating, but by Steven Mallory.


18. Lauren - July 11, 2007

Gail is driving to the house, and thinks to himself:

“No, he thought, I regret nothing. There have been things I missed, but I ask no questions, because I have loved it, such as it has been, even the moments of emptiness, even the unanswered- and that I loved it, THAT is the unanswered in my life. But I loved it.”

Still blown away by the intensity of this quote…

Also, the last interaction between Peter and Katie was so moving and heartwrenching… Greatest book of all time!

Kim - October 10, 2010

That’s my favorite quote too!

19. Vanessa - July 16, 2007

hey i don’t know you, but i’m glad you’re reading ayn rand! it’s a fabulous book, yes? much too underrated!

20. Jesse Creem - July 17, 2007

“a house can have integrity, just like a person,” said Roark, “and just as seldom.”

21. Gautam - July 22, 2007

I dont have the book in front of me.. But I simply loved the ending speach.. The whole idea of individualism vs collectivism.. and the idea of selflessness vs selfishness..

Ella - April 6, 2011

I’m almost done with the book and LOVED that part. I think it’s the speech between Gail and Roark on his yacht!!! What a great book!!

22. Gautam - July 22, 2007

Some of my favorite incidents..

1. When Roark is summoned by the dean.. And dean asks him to offer an apology.. And Roark refuses.. I dont remember the words, but tells the dean something on the lines that he can not teach anything more to him..

2. When Peter Keating wins the Kosmo-Slotnick building competition based on Roark’s drawings.. And offers a meagre sum to Roark for helping him.. And Roark returns it saying its a bribe from him so that Perer does not tell anyone Roark designed that building..

3. When Peter comes to Roark again for the final building for the poor people, after having lost all in life.. And he asks Roark to design it.. And asks what price Roark will take.. the whole incident is amazing.. so apt ..

4. Roark’s final speech in the courtroom.. about the idea of selflessness and all..

23. Lauren Travis - August 21, 2007

Ethical egoism vs. collectivism… god i love philosophy.

24. Lauren Travis - August 21, 2007

Does anyone know any other books, of another author that could be equally as inspiring and enjoyment to read? I’m so sick of wasting my time with mediocre, I need more greatness. I need another great author.

travis - November 20, 2010

try george orwell, or Yevgeny Zamyatin

25. self(ish/less) - September 5, 2007

[…] more spectacular quotes, check out Sam’s page. digg_url = […]

26. R. Sharp - September 24, 2007

Lauren. Read Franny & Zooey, the Dark Tower series (it may seem beneath you in name, but not in content), maybe Conrad’s H.O.D., and most things by christopher hitchens.

Equally inspiring as this book? I’ve not read one, though great authors are everywhere.

27. suvine.com - October 15, 2007



shreyas - November 16, 2010

You could never be her fan, cause she never encouraged “fans” and you are completely deceived. It does not suffice the idea of objectivism. You have chosen to become a part of the flock ! You would never really want to be a fan if you wanted to be one

Peace !
Read the Bhagavad Geetha – It sums up 700 pages and much more of Ayn Rand in one Line

manjari - March 17, 2011

Yes bhagwat geeta is unbeatable. But its hard to understand for layman like us. Thats why easy understanding gets more popular.

28. Arpitha - October 25, 2007

I am not sure whether anyone has already pointed to this. But the third quote you have put , about Change was not talked by Peter Keating , but Steven Mallory, the Sculptor. Please change it!

29. Foo Hack » Required reading for web developers: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand - October 29, 2007

[…] are a lot of sites out there that have more quotes from the book. This entry was written by Isaac and […]

30. Simone - November 15, 2007

“That’s the sort of thing I want you to understand, To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I ask you to keep your soul, would you understand why that is much harder.” -Pg.577 The Fountainhead

31. The Fountainhead « Realm Of Randomness - December 10, 2007

[…] More memorable quotes from the fountainhead are available here and here. […]

32. Hector Espinoza - December 12, 2007

Wynand talking to Dominique about love, again

“Or that love is pity.”
“Oh, keep still. It’s bad enough to hear things like that. To hear them from you is revolting–even as a joke.”
“What’s your answer?”…

Can anybody tell me what page this quote is from? It would mean a great deal to me. Thank you.

Sudhanshu Rathod - December 28, 2012

pg 444.

33. Erin Wheatley - January 30, 2008

I’m suprised this one wasn’t listed.

“Every form of happiness is private. Our greatest memories are personal, self-motivated, not to be touched. The things which are sacred or precious to us are the things we withdraw from promiscuous sharing.”


“I take the only desire one can really permit oneself. Freedom. To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.”

Those are definately my favorite.
The Fountainhead is an amazing book. I’m now reading Atlas Shrugged which is great so far.

34. Kristin - March 7, 2008

This was originally posted a long time ago, but i stumbled upon this page and just had to add one of my favorite quotes. I have it tacked up on the corkboard next to my desk at work to always remind me the essence of what Objectivism is, and how much i despise the thinking of people like Peter Keating. I don’t have the book in front of me, so i apologize for no page number.

“Peter Keating had never felt the need to formulate abstract convictions. But he had a working substitute. ‘A thing is not high if one can reach it; it is not great if one can reason about it; it is not deep if one can see its bottom’ – this had always been his credo, unstated and unquestioned. This spared him any attempt to reach, reason, or see; and it cast a nice reflection of scorn on those who made the attempt.”

Brilliant summary of Philistinism

35. kate - April 7, 2008

i’m about halfway through the fountanhead right now, and i totally agree that it is one of the best books i have ever read, by far.

it makes me happy to know so many other people enjoy the book. i had never even heard of it until i ran across it in borders one day.

36. Rafael - April 7, 2008

For all of those who have read The Fountainhead, I suggest you read Atlas Shrugged as well. It’s just as amazing, maybe even more amazing, than The Fountainhead. It’s really well written and has eye-opening passages. One of my favorite parts is this speech about money that one of the characters give, it’s fantastic. I never thought of money the way Ayn Rand talks about it. I also like Roarke’s speech at the end of The Fountainhead.

Ellen - January 6, 2011

Francisco D’Anconia gives the money speech in Atlas Shrugged and it, the speech, is quite amazing:

(a portion of the speech)
“When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears not all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor–your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money, Is this what you consider evil?”

37. HelloWorld - April 22, 2008

“and now, to cure a world perishing from selflessness, we are asked to destroy the self.”
-howard roark

38. camanae - May 14, 2008

You have been the one encounter in my life that can never be repeated.

39. Tricia Barackman - June 13, 2008

My favorite scene is the one in the court room and that narley speech Roark gives!!! Classic!

40. Arpan - June 24, 2008

I love a quote that doesn’t show the ignorance but reflects a deep understanding about the path to eternal satisfaction. I like “But I don’t think of you”

41. Priyanka Bajaj - June 24, 2008

hey guys…im half-way through the fountainhead…i just love the way ayn rand has delved deep into then human mind and unravelled those truths that we are aware of only sub-consciously…and the sarcasm is just too good…

this book has some really powerful quotes… here are a few il always remeber..

Howard Roark to Dominique: ” To say ‘I Love You’, one must first know how to say the ‘I’…”

Ellsworth toohey (this is damn cheesy!!): “Genius is an exaggeration of dimension. so is elephantiasis. Both may be a disease”

Gail Wynanad to Ellsworth Toohey: ” My dear Mr. Toohey, don’t confuse me with my readers”

Dominique to Peter Keating, twenty months after their marriage, when they sit together in their bedroom: ” Your’e beginning to see, arent u Peter? Shall i make it clearer? you never wanted me to be real. u never wanted anyone to be. but u didnt want me to show it. you wanted act to help your act-a beautiful, complicated act, all twists, trimminga and words. all words. u didnt liek what i said about vincent knowlton. u liked it when i said the same thing under cover of virtuous sentiments. you didint want me to believe. you only wanted me to convince you that i believed. my real soul, Peter? It’s real only when its independent-you’ve discovered that, havnet you? it’s real olny when it chooses curtains and desserts-you’re right about that-curtains, desserts and religions, Peter, and the shape of buildings. but uve never wanted that. You wanted a mirror. people want nothing but mirrors around them. to reflect them while they’re reflecting too. you know, like the senseless infinity you get from two mirrors facing each other across a narrow passage. usually in the more vulgar kind of hotels. Relections of reflections and echoes of echoes. no beginning and no end. no center and no purpose. i gave you what u wanted. i became what you are, what your friends are, what most of humanity is so busy being-only without the trimmings. i didnt go around spouting book reviews to hide my emptiness of judgement-i had no judgement. i didnt borrwo designs to hide my creative impotence-i created nothing. i didint say that equality is a noble conception and unity the chief goal of mankind-i just agreed with everyody. u call it death, Peter? that kind of death-ive imposed it on you and on everyone around us. but you-you havent done that. people are comfortable with you, they like you, they enjoy your presence. youve spared them the blank death. because you’ve imposed it-on yourself.”

42. Kunal - July 5, 2008

nice work by everyone of u………
i liked most of the quotes stated here……but this is the one i liked the best….
my favorite:

(Dean) “My dear fellow, who will let you?”

(Roark) “That’s not the point. The point is,WHO WILL STOP ME?”

i wrote the part in caps cos thats wat i liked abt this quote!

43. Arnav - July 5, 2008

I read the fountainhead wayyy back when i was like 19 – the freshman year of college. For all those who liked it I recommend the first book of Ayn Rand – The Anthem. I found it better than the fountainhead overall. 🙂

44. Aurieliana - July 22, 2008

I purchased The Fountainhead for all of my family and friends last Yule. Once I read it, I realized that few gifts would have the impact this book would.

My favourite quote is listed partially above, however in order to gain the full impact, it needs to be understood in context. When I was diagnosed with late-stage cancer at the beginning of this year, I had this quote (verbatim, in it’s entirety) printed, framed and placed above my bed:

“No, he thought, I regret nothing. There have been things I missed, but I ask no questions, because I have loved it, such as it has been, even the moments of emptiness, even the unanswered–and that I loved it, *that* is the unanswered in my life. But I loved it.
“If it were true, that old legend about appearing before a supreme judge and naming one’s record, I would offer, with all my pride, not any act I committed, but one thing I have never done on this earth: that I never sought an outside sanction. I would stand and say: I am Gail Wynand, the man who has committed every crime except the foremost one: that of ascribing futility to the wonderful fact of existence and seeking justification beyond myself. This is my pride: that now, thinking of the end, I do not cry like all the men of my age: but what was the use and the meaning? *I* was the use and meaning, I, Gail Wynand. That I lived and that I acted.”

(from Part Four, chapter 5; pgs 549 – 550 in The Fountainhead [Centennial Edition])

Julie Krauss - September 23, 2011

Thank you, Aureliana–I have been searching for “I was the use and meaning” quote for years. I thought it was Roark. Close, but no cigar!

I hope with all my heart that you have outlived your cancer and are now in good health.

But since you found the words you quote above so deeply meaningful, I know that your life has been filled with meaning for you–just as it should be.

45. Gary - July 22, 2008

I am trying for find a quote from The Fountainhead. I read the book 40 years ago and would like to recapture a quote by Dominique, I think, where she says that after reading a good book she incinerates it because she cannot stand the thought of sharing such great literature with such a mundane world. Any chance someone might point me to the exact quote. Thanks, Gary

46. Trang - July 26, 2008

“Every lonliness is a pinnacle.”
Toohey to Dominique.

47. sudha - July 28, 2008

gr8 book I’ve ever read! never will grow too old to revolt; possessing the immortal radiance of everlasting youthfulness!Absolutely quintessential book!

48. hannah - July 31, 2008

the quote goes like this
“i never pick up any book i’ve read and enjoyed again.” then she goes on to say that she once found a statue in a museum…
“i think i was in love with it alvah.”
“really? where is is? i should like to see something that you enjoy for once.” (alvah scarret)
“its broken”
“broken? a museum piece?!”
“i threw it down an elevator shaft…”
forgive me if its not perfect, that was all from memory, but i think its correct. (i’ve only read the book about 15 times!)

my favorite quote, above all, has been referenced here already. the one about the young man and his encounter with howard roark. that scene just knocks me out.

49. hannah - July 31, 2008

oh…and peter keating talking to dominique
“dominique, where is your ‘I’?”
“where is yours peter?”

50. Rudranil - August 20, 2008

Clash of egos, greatness in character unearthed.

I remember one quote
“Every loneliness is a pinnacle”

51. Jim F - October 7, 2008

I read The Fountainhead over thirty years ago and Atlas Shrugged as well. Only now, after more than thirty years, am I finding the answers to my questions. I’ve read them and re-read them and others by Ayn Rand. If only Congress, the Senate and the candidates had read or would read, so many things would not have happened and would not be happening.

Some of the quotes came out in a conversation many years ago, and now, at last, I know what they mean. To the person that said them, wherever she may be now, “thank you” and we will never meet again.

52. chrissie - October 26, 2008

I read the FOuntainhead for school and it thought it was a really good book. now im writing a paper on it and i came across this page while i was looking for quote ideas. i was wondering if you know what page the last quote you have on your page is from ( the quote where domonique was speaking to roark)

53. Nausheen - October 30, 2008

How can anyone forget this one?
Roark to Dominque
“You’d rather not hear it now? But I want you to hear it. We never need to say anything to each other when we’re together. This is for the time when we won’t be together. I love you, Dominique. As selfishly as the fact that I exist. As selfishly as my lungs breathe air. I breathe for my own necessity, for the fuel of my body, for my survival. I’ve given you, not my sacrifice or my pity, but my
ego and my naked need. This is the only way you can wish to be loved. This is the only way I can want you to love me. If you married me now, I would become your whole existence. But I would not want you then. You would not want yourself and so you would not love me long. To say ’I love you’ one must know first how to say the ’I.’ The kind of surrender I could have from you now would
give me nothing but an empty hulk. If I demanded it, I’d destroy you. That’s why I won’t stop you. I’ll let you go to your husband. I don’t know how I’ll live through tonight, but I will. I want you whole, as I am, as you’ll remain in the battle you’ve chosen. A battle is never selfless.”

alok mehta - February 18, 2012

Nausheen….these have been the most tragic lines of romanticism(not to forget my fav 2..always). Sp. the last lines…”don’t know how I’ll live through tonight, but I will”. Thanx for the quote

54. Jeff Goggins - November 7, 2008

Part 3 – Gail Wynand , Ch. 3

Wynand to Dominique

“…Those who speak of love most promiscuously are the ones who’ve never felt it. They make some sort of feeble stew out of sympathy, compassion, contempt and general indifference, and they call it love. Once you’ve felt what it means to love as you and I know it–the total passion for the total height–you’re incapable of anything less”

55. Markus - November 20, 2008

I,m looking for a quote in “The Fountainhead” I can´t find.
I believe it´s Wynand talking to Dominique about how he does not feel small looking at the scyscrapers in NYC but that he would defend them with he´s body if anything threatened them.


56. Sara Cauvin - November 25, 2008

I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline. Particularly when one can’t see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? And then people tell me about pilgrimages to some dank pesthole in a jungle where they go to do homage to a crumbling temple, to a leering stone monster with a pot belly, created by some leprous savage. Is it beauty and genius they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window – no, I don’t feel how small I am – but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.

I’m assuming that is the quote you were referring to.

57. Mia - November 30, 2008

This is for the time we wont be together: I Love you. As selfish as the fact that I exist. As selfish as my lungs breathe air. I breathe for my own necessity , for the fuel of my body, for my survival. I’ve given you, not my sacrifice or my pity, but my ego and my naked need. This is the only way you can wish to be loved. This is the only way I can want you to love me. If you come to me now I would become your whole existence. But I would not want you then. You would not want yourself — and so you would not love me long. To say ‘ I love you’ one must know first how to say ‘I.’ The kind of surrender I would have from you now would give me nothing but an empty hulk. If I demanded it. I’d destroy you.

58. Brian - December 18, 2008

Howard Roark Laughed.

59. Ashu - January 7, 2009

And now the Masterpiece:

Thousands of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light. He was considered an evildoer who had dealt with a demon mankind dreaded. But thereafter men had fire to keep them warm, to cook their food, to light their caves. He had left them a gift they had not conceived and he had lifted dardness off the earth. Centuries later, the first man invented the wheel. He was probably torn on the rack he had taught his brothers to build. He was considered a transgressor who ventured into forbidden terrritory. But thereafter, men could travel past any horizon. He had left them a gift they had not conceived and he had opened the roads of the world.
“That man, the unsubmissive and first, stands in the opening chapter of every legend mankind has recorded about its beginning. Prometheus was chained to a rock and torn by vultures—because he had stolen the fire of the gods. Adam was condemned to suffer—because he had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Whatever the legend, somewhere in the shadows of its memory mankind knew that its glory began with one and that that one paid for his courage.
“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received—hatred. The great creators—the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors—stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.
“No creator was prompted by a desire to serve his brothers, for his brothers rejected the gift he offered and that gift destroyed the slothful routine of their lives. His truth was his only motive. His own truth, and his own work to achieve it in his own way. A symphony, a book, an engine, a philosophy, an airplane or a building—that was his goal and his life. Not those who heard, read, operated, believed, flew or inhabited the thing he had created. The creation, not its users. The creation, not the benefits others derived from it. The creation which gave form to his truth. He held his truth above all things and against all men.
“His vision, his strength, his courage came from his own spirit. A man’s spirit, however, is his self. That entity which is his consciousness. To think, to feel, to judge, to act are functions of the ego.
“The creators were not selfless. It is the whole secret of their power—that it was self-sufficient, self-motivated, self-generated. A first cause, a fount of energy, a life force, a Prime Mover. The creator served nothing and no one. He lived for himself.
“And only by living for himself was he able to achieve the things which are the glory of mankind. Such is the nature of achievement.
“Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. Man has no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons, and to make weapons—a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man—the function of his reasoning mind.
“But the mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. There is no such thing as a collective thought. An agreement reached by a group of men is only a compromise or an average drawn upon many individual thoughts. It is a secondary consequence. The primary act—the process of reason—must be performed by each man alone. We can divide a meal among many men. We cannot digest it in a collective stomach. No man can use his lungs to breathe for another man. No man can use his brain to think for another. All the functions of body and spirit are private. They cannot be shared or transferred.
“We inherit the products of the thought of other men. We inherit the wheel. We make a cart. The cart becomes an automobile. The automobile becomes an airplane. But all through the process what we receive from others is only the end product of their thinking. The moving force is the creative faculty which takes this product as material, uses it and originates the next step. This creative faculty cannot be given or received, shared or borrowed. It belongs to single, individual men. That which it creates is the property of the creator. Men learn from one another. But all learning is only the exchange of material. No man can give another the capacity to think. Yet that capacity is our only means of survival.
“Nothing is given to man on earth. Everything he needs has to be produced. And here man faces his basic alternative: he can survive in only one of two ways—by the independent work of his own mind or as a parasite fed by the minds of others. The creator originates. The parasite borrows. The creator faces nature alone. The parasite faces nature through an intermediary.
“The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature. The parasite’s concern is the conquest of men.
“The creator lives for his work. He needs no other men. His primary goal is within himself. The parasite lives second-hand. He needs others. Others become his prime motive.
“The basic need of the creator is independence. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion. It cannot be curbed, sacrificed or subordinated to any consideration whatsoever. It demands total independence in function and in motive. To a creator, all relations with men are secondary.
“The basic need of the second-hander is to secure his ties with men in order to be fed. He places relations first. He declares that man exists in order to serve others. He preaches altruism.
“Altruism is the doctrine which demands that man live for others and place others above self.
“No man can live for another. He cannot share his spirit just as he cannot share his body. But the second-hander has used altruism as a weapon of expoloitation and reversed the base of mankind’s moral principles. Men have been taught every precept that destroys the creator. Men have been taught dependence as a virtue.
“The man who attemps to live for others is a dependent. He is a parasite in motive and makes parasites of those he serves. The relationship produces nothing but mutual corruption. It is impossible in concept. The nearest approach to it in reality—the man who lives to serve others—is the slave. If physical slavery is repulsive, how much more repulsive is the concept of servility of the spirit? The conquered slave has a vestige of honor. He has the merit of having resisted and of considering his condition evil. But the man who enslaves himself voluntarily in the name of love is the basest of creatures. He degrades the dignity of man and he degrades the conception of love. But this is the essence of altruism.
“Men have been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet one cannot give that which has not been created. Creation comes before distribution—or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary. Yet we are taught to admire the second-hander who dispenses gifts he has not produced above the man who made the gifts possible. We praise an act of charity. We shrug at an act of achievement.
“Men have been taught that their first concern is to relieve the sufferings of others. But suffering is a disease. Should one come upon it, one tries to give relief and assistance. To make that the highest test of virtue is to make suffering the most important part of life. Then man must wish to see others suffer—in order that he may be virtuous. Such is the nature of altruism. The creator is not concerned with disease, but with life. Yet the work of the creators has eliminated one form of disease after another, in man’s body and spirit, and brought more relief from suffering than any altruist could ever conceive.
“Men have been taught that it is a virtue to agree with others. But the creator is the man who disagrees. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But the creator is the man who goes against the current. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But the creator is the man who stands alone.
“Men have been taught that the ego is the synonym of evil, and selflessness the ideal of virtue. But the creator is the egotist in the absolute sense, and the selfless man is the one who does not think, feel, judge or act. These are functions of the self.
“Here the basic reversal is most deadly. The issue has been perverted and man has been left no alternative—and no freedom. As poles of good and evil, he was offered two conceptions: egotism and altruism. Egotism was held to mean the sacrifice of others to self. Altruism—the sacrifice of self to others. This tied man irrevocably to other men and left him nothing but a choice of pain: his own pain borne for the sake of others or pain inflicted upon others for the sake of self. When it was added that man must find joy in self-immolation, the trap was closed. Man was forced to accept masochism as his ideal—under the threat that sadism was his only alternative. This was the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind.
“This was the device by which dependence and suffering were perpetuated as fundamentals of life.
“The choice is not self-sacrifice or domination. The choice is independence or dependence. The code of the creator or the code of the second-hander. This is the basic issue. It rests upon the alternative of life or death. The code of the creator is built on the needs of the reasoning mind which allows man to survive. The code of the second-hander is built on the needs of a mind incapable of survival. All that which proceeds from man’s independent ego is good. All that which proceeds from man’s dependence upon men is evil.
“The egotist is the absolute sense is not the man who sacrifices others. He is the man who stands above the need of using others in any manner. He does not function through them. He is not concerned with them in any primary matter. Not in his aim, not in his motive, not in his thinking, not in his desires, not in the source of his energy. He does not exist for any other man—and he asks no other man to exist for him. This is the only form of brotherhood and mutual respect possible between men.
“Degrees of ability vary, but the basic principle remains the same: the degree of a man’s independence, initiative and personal love for his work determines his talent as a worker and his worth as a man. Independence is the only gauge of human virtue and value. What a man is and makes of himself; not what he has or hasn’t done for others. There is no substitute for personal dignity. There is no standard of personal dignity except independence.
“In all proper relationships there is no sacrifice of anyone to anyone. An architect needs clients, but he does not subordinate his work to their wishes. They need him, but they do not order a house just to give him a commission. Men exchange their work by free, mutual consent to mutual advantage when their personal interests agree and they both desire the exchange. If they do not desire it, they are not forced to deal with each other. They seek further. This is the only possible form of relationship between equals. Anything else is a relation of slave to master, or victim to executioner.
“No work is ever done collectively, by a majority decision. Every creative job is achieved under the guidance of a single individual thought. An architect requires a great many men to erect his building. But he does not ask them to vote on his design. They work together by free agreement and each is free in his proper function. An architect uses steel, glass, concrete, produced by others. But the materials remain just so much steel, glass and concrete until he touches them. What he does with them is his individual product and his individual property. This is the only pattern for proper co-operation among men.
“The first right on earth is the right of the ego. Man’s first duty is to himself. His moral law is never to place his prime goal within the persons of others. His moral obligation is to do what he wishes, provided his wish does not depend primarily upon other men. This includes the whole sphere of his creative faculty, his thinking, his work. But it does not include the sphere of the gangster, the altruist and the dictator.
“A man thinks and works alone. A man cannot rob, exploit or rule—alone. Robbery, exploitation and ruling presuppose victims. They imply dependence. They are the province of the second-hander.
“Rulers of men are not egotists. They create nothing. They exist entirely through the persons of others. Their goal is in their subjects, in the activity of enslaving. They are as dependent as the beggar, the social worker and the bandit. The form of dependence does not matter.
“But men were taught to regard second-handers—tyrants, emperors, dictators—as exponents of egotism. By this fraud they were made to destroy the ego, themselves and others. The purpose of the fraud was to destroy the creators. Or to harness them. Which is a synonym.
“From the beginning of history, the two antagonists have stood face to face: the creator and the second-hander. When the first creator invented the wheel, the first second-hander responded. He invented altruism.
“The creator—denied, opposed, persecuted, exploited—went on, moved forward and carried all humanity along on his energy. The second-hander contributed nothing to the process except the impediments. The contest has another name: the individual against the collective.
“The ‘common good’ of a collective—a race, a class, a state—was the claim and justification of every tyranny ever established over men. Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive. Has any act of selfishness ever equaled the carnage perpetrated by disciples of altruism? Does the fault lie in men’s hypocrisy or in the nature of the principle? The most dreadful butchers were the most sincere. They believed in the perfect society reached through the guillotine and the firing squad. Nobody questioned their right to murder since they were murdering for an altruistic purpose. It was accepted that man must be sacrificed for other men. Actors change, but the course of the tragedy remains the same. A humanitarian who starts with declarations of love for mankind and ends with a sea of blood. It goes on and will go on so long as men believe that an action is good if it is unselfish. That permits the altruist to act and forces his victims to bear it. The leaders of collectivist movements ask nothing for themselves. But observe the results.
“The only good which men can do to one another and the only statement of their proper relationship is—Hands off!
“Now observe the results of a society built on the principle of individualism. This, our country. The noblest country in the history of men. The country of greatest achievement, greatest prosperity, greatest freedom. This country was not based on selfless service, sacrifice, renunciation or any precept of altruism. It was based on a man’s right to the pursuit of happiness. His own happiness. Not anyone else’s. A private, personal, selfish motive. Look at the results. Look into your own conscience.
“It is an ancient conflict. Men have come close to the truth, but it was destroyed each time and one civilization fell after another. Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
“Now, in our age, collectivism, the rule of the second-hander and second-rater, the ancient monster, has broken loose and is running amuck. It has brought men to a level of intellectual indecency never equaled on earth. It has reached a scale of horror without precedent. It has poisoned every mind. It has swallowed most of Europe. It is engulfing our country.
“I am an architect. I know what is to come by the principle on which it is built. We are approaching a world in which I cannot permit myself to live.
“Now you know why I dynamited Cortlandt.
“I designed Cortlandt. I gave it to you. I destroyed it.
“I destroyed it because I did not choose to let it exist. It was a double monster. In form and in implication. I had to blast both. The form was mutilated by two second-handers who assumed the right to improve upon that which they had not made and could not equal. They were permitted to do it by the general implication that the altruistic purpose of the building superseded all rights and that I had no claim to stand against it.
“I agreed to design Cortlandt for the purpose of seeing it erected as I dedigned it and for no other reason. That was the price I set for my work. I was not paid.
“I do not blame Peter Keating. He was helpless. He had a contract with his employers. It was ignored. He had a promise that the structure he offered would be built as designed. The promise was broken. The love of a man for the integrity of his work and his right to preserve it are now considered a vague intangible and an inessential. You have heard the prosecutor say that. Why was the building disfigured? For no reason. Such acts never have any reason, unless it’s the vanity of some second-handers who feel they have a right to anyone’s property, spiritual or material. Who permitted them to do it? No particular man among the dozens in authority. No one cared to permit it or to stop it. No one was responsible. No one can be held to account. Such is the nature of all collective action.
“I did not receive the payment I asked. But the owners of Cortlandt got what they needed from me. They wanted a scheme devised to build a structure as cheaply as possible. They found no one else who could do it to their satisfaction. I could and did. They took the benefit of my work and made me contribute it as a gift. But I am not an altruist. I do not contribute gifts of this nature.
“It is said that I have destroyed the home of the destitute. It is forgotten that but for me the destitute could not have had this particular home. Those who were concerned with the poor had to come to me, who have never been concerned, in order to help the poor. It is believed that the poverty of the future tenants gave them the right to my work. That their need constituted a claim on my life. That it was my duty to contribute anything demanded of me. This is the second-hander’s credo now swallowing the world.
“I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy. Nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim, how large their number or how great their need.
“I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others.
“It had to be said. The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing.
“I wished to come here and say that the integrity of a man’s creative work is of greater importance than any charitable endeavor. Those of you who do not understand this are the men who’re destroying the world.
“I wished to come here and state my terms. I do not care to exist on any others.
“I recognize no obligations toward men except one: to respect their freedom and to take no part in a slave society. To my country, I wish to give the ten years which I will spend in jail if my country exists no longer. I will spend them in memory and in gratitude for what my country has been. It will be my act of loyalty, my refusal to live or work in what has taken its place.
“My act of loyalty to every creator who ever lived and was made to suffer by the force responsible for the Cortlandt I dynamited. To every tortured hour of loneliness, denial, frustration, abuse he was made to spend—and to the battles he won. To every creator whose name is known—and to every creator who lived, struggled and perished unrecognized before he could achieve. To every creator who was destroyed in body or in spirit. To Henry Cameron. To Steven Mallory. To a man who doesn’t want to be named, but who is sitting in this courtroom and knows that I am speaking of him.

60. Chris Jones - February 22, 2009

NO NO NO! Beware Ayn Rand, she is Nietzhe without compassion! Her appeal is to the lonely impotent adolescent inside us, wishing that we could live lives of justified selfishness. Read the history of Ayn Rand’s great affair to see how she acted (like a cult leader) in real life. For a quote read the rape scene: no, guys, women don’t want to be taken forcibly to sort them out, you’re just dreaming!

61. Newsatan - March 5, 2009

The total passion for the total height.

62. DFV the Scribe - April 1, 2009

How about Keating’s statement begging Rourke to design the Cortlandt Homes project for him:

“I need a prestige I don’t deserve for an achievement I didn’t accomplish to save a name I haven’t earned the right to bear.”

63. Rachel - April 8, 2009

Hands down, my favorite is when Howard Roark and Gail Wynand are talking on Gail’s boat. Roark says:

“Gail, if this boat were sinking, I’d give my life to save you. Not
because it’s any kind of duty. Only because I like you, for reasons
and standards of my own. I could die for you. But I couldn’t and
wouldn’t live for you.”

64. Phil - April 13, 2009

“Peter Keating had never felt the need to formulate abstract convictions. But he had a working substitute. ‘A thing is not high if one can reach it; it is not great if one can reason about it; it is not deep if one can see its bottom.’ – this had always been his credo, unstated and unquestioned. This spared him any attempt to reach, reason, or see; and it cast a nice reflection of scorn on those who made the attempt.”

“A building is alive, like a man. Its integrity is to follow its own truth, its one single theme, and to serve its own single purpose.”

65. Kira - April 20, 2009

I adored the fountainhead, and the book was really eye-opening and inspiring. Roark’s soliloquies are SO amazing
But it IS important not to get too caught up in Objectivism, otherwise you start feeling that every person you meet is a lesser being and your friends start thinking you’re crazy.
A great follow-up book to read after Fountainhead, Anthem, and Atlas Shrugged is Old School by Tobias Wolff, it really helped me understand why although Fountainhead and Objectivism is truly thought provoking and fascinating, it isn’t the philosophy to end all philosophies: Ayn Rand was an incredibly twisted woman and Objectivism is merely one facet on the diamond of self discovery.

66. Hands And Dreams - April 23, 2009

I don’t know about “a twisted woman,” and I don’t know about “cult leader.” I do know that truth is truth no matter who speaks it. I also agree with the “one facet on the diamond to self-discovery.” Very well put. As long as you don’t take anything as dogma (there is such a thing as a Fountainhead-thumper), you’ll do fine.

One of my favorite quotes comes from the most evil bastard in the book:

“Have you noticed that the imbecile always smiles? Man’s first frown is the first touch of God on his forehead. The touch of thought. But we’ll have neither God nor thought. Only voting by smiles.” – Ellsworth M. Toohey, Part IV, Chapter XIV

67. crazynerd - May 21, 2009

“and of course, a quest for self-respect is proof of its lack.”
– Wynand to Dominique

I’d add a bunch more on here, but i have an essay due tomorrow which takes precedence.

I must say, ayone i know who’s read The Fountainhead either LOVED IT or HATED IT. i personally LOVE IT and will probably read it once a year for the rest of my life. every time I read it I learn something new about either myself or the world.

68. Archi - June 2, 2009

” Ones does not stress total ignorance, if…one were in total ignorance of it”
” Men may differ in their virtues,if any, but they are alike in their vices”
” I thought you are my chain to this world, You have become my defense instead!!!”

69. ajas - June 9, 2009

i’m only fifteen…i was given The Fountainhead as a gift. i’m still reading it and i find that i can’t put it down. i’m amazed at how beautiful the story is played out. i was told not to read it b/c Ayn Rand was a philisophical writer, that it would bore me. when in fact it has done the complete opposite so far. i have absolutely loved it and it has inspired me a great deal to read of such interesting charcaters with views that blow my mind.

70. Satyajit - June 16, 2009


The exact opposite of this views and how people applaud them

71. Chitra Agarwal - July 8, 2009

You Know what, though I am really glad to read about the quotes all of you have liked and the fact that they were all the ones which I liked too, but sometimes, just sometimes in my course of reading the book, I too felt like Dominique- about not liking the fact that so many people have read this book, that the eyes of so many have seen the same lines. Though now I don’t feel any such thing (I am on part four- Howard Roark).
Anyway there was this one line which caught me off guard:
” Until you stop hating all this, stop being afraid of it, learn not to notice it.”
this was when Dominique meets Roark in Clayton and is about to leave.

72. Neel - July 15, 2009

My personal favourite:
“But to be beaten by the man who has always stood as the particular example of mediocrity in his eyes, to start by the side of this mediocrity and to watch it shoot up, while he struggles and gets nothing but a boot in his face, to see the mediocrity snatch from him, one after another, the chances he’d give his life for, to see the mediocrity worshipped, to miss the place he wants and to see the mediocrity enshrined upon it, to lose, to be sacrificed, to be ignored, to be beaten, beaten, beaten–not by a greater genius, not by a god, but by a Peter Keating–well, my little amateur, do you think the Spanish Inquisition ever thought of a torture to equal this?”

If you haven’t already done it …. read Atlas Shrugged …. equally outstanding

73. Ashu - July 17, 2009

“What do you want?” snapped Cameron. “I should like to work for you,” said Roark quietly. The voice said: “I should like to work for you.” The tone of the voice said: “I’m going to work for you.”
“Are you?” said Cameron, not realizing that he answered the unpronounced sentence.

74. Taylor - July 19, 2009

I’m not sure if anyone’s told you yet, but the quote you had cited as Peter Keating talking about Howard Roark achieving immortality was actually Steve Mallory talking to Dominique. I’ve read the book three times, and every time I read that quote (it may be my favorite) I always have to think about it for a while or else I probably wouldn’t have remembered. Anyway, I love the quotes you picked, they really showed the spirit of the book and the writing ability of Ayn Rand. I’m one of two people I know who actually love the book, so I’m glad that people still can appreciate a book like this.

75. Bhupendra Pali - July 27, 2009

“I often think that he’s the only one of us who’s achieved immortality. I don’t mean in the sense of fame and I don’t mean that he won’t die some day. But he’s living it. I think he is what the conception really means. You know how people long to be eternal. But they die with every day that passes. When you meet them, they’re not what you met last. In any given hour, they kill some part of themselves. They change, they deny, they contradict–and they call it growth. At the end there’s nothing left, nothing unrevered or unbetrayed; as if there had never been any entity, only a succession of adjectives fading in and out on an unformed mass. How do they expect a permanence which they have never held for a single moment? But Howard–one can imagine him existing forever.”

– Steven Mellory & not Peter Keating.

76. Becca - August 2, 2009

I’ve just finished reading The Fountainhead, and find myself obsessed with Howard Roark. As an artist, I was trained that classical-influenced photo-realistic painting/drawing is the only “acceptable” form of art. I however am not that type of artist, and Howard Roark has given me the courage to be what I am. I’m expecting, and I’m naming my son Roark.

77. Mace - August 13, 2009

Ellesworth Toohey had a really good quote I can’t really remember when or where he said it but it goes something like this:

“…had it all wrong…Divide and Conquer…Unite and rule”

Toohey makes a really good point. Can’t someone help me with this quote. I can’t find many Toohey quotes anywhere.

78. Ashu - August 31, 2009

Here it comes Mace:

“My dear Peter, people go by so many erroneous assumptions. For instance, that old one–divide and conquer. Well, it has its applications. But it remained for our century to discover a much more potent formula. Unite and rule.”

79. katie - November 9, 2009

“If I found a job, a project, an idea or a person I wanted – I’d have to depend on the whole world. Everything has strings leading to everything else. We’re all so tied together. We’re all in a net, the net is waiting, and we’re pushed into it by a single desire. You want a thing and it’s precious to you. Do you know who is standing ready to tear it out of your hands? You can’t know, it may be so involved and so far away, but someone is ready, and you’re afraid of them all. And you cringe and you crawl and you beg and you accept them – just so they’ll let you keep it. And look at whom you come to accept.”

I don’t know who you are, but I found your post looking for my favorite fountainhead quote of all time. This book changed my life and allowed me to find my soul.. I cannot even begin to explain what this book means to me. Finding this site makes me want to re-read the book for the 5th time…. and it puts me in the state I always end up being in after thinking about Howard Roark… there are so very few of these Roark characters left in the world… I’m just grateful to find a site like this, with other people understanding the true greatness of this book and what it does to your soul.. thank you….

80. HATER - November 21, 2009


81. Mad scientist - November 24, 2009

I just finished this book an hour ago, and though I do not see Objectivism as something I would like to dedicate myself to, I feel that it makes many good points. I will certainly integrate some portions of this book into my life, simply because I already live some of them, and others because I see where I have been hypocritical, 2nd-handed, and dependent. Excellent book.

82. Dave - November 26, 2009

Hi. I am looking for the conversation between Roark and Wynand. Roark bends a branch and says:”This is the measure of a man.” Wynand replies:”His strength?” Roark says:”No, His work.” Well, its something like that…

83. Dave - November 26, 2009

Found it…“Look, Gail,” Roark got up, reached out, tore a thick branch off a tree, held it in both hands, one flat closed at each end; then, his wrists and knuckles tensed against the resistance, he bent the branch slowly into an arc. “Now I can make what I want of it: a bow, a spear, a cane, a railing. That’s the meaning of life.”

“Your strength?”

“Your work.”’

84. Erin - November 26, 2009

I too feel like this is one of the greatest works i have ever read. The other being Atlas Shrugged. For all those who say that they hate Ayn Rand and her work, it is because you refuse to think. It is because you refuse to acknowledge. Look at the greatness of her characters. They are not great because of others. Greatness from others is not true greatness, only greatness from the self. Every time I am doubting in life and i read a quote or a page, I can feel myself coming back; my convictions. I only tell those who i think are like me, those who i know will understand, to read this amazing work because i know that it will give them the confidence to discover who they truly are in the world. The world is full of second handers and it is those second handers who do not understand. I refuse to allow myself to be a second hander. I refuse to allow those second handers to question my choices, thoughts and convictions. As the quote from Atlas Shrugged says “I am, therefore I’ll think.”

85. Jonathan Krueger - November 30, 2009

i am 24 years old and i have just finished “the fountainhead” a few days ago. many of the truths outlined in this book have definitely changed my life. My initial reaction upon finishing it was quickly, and deservingly adjusted by a quote from Miss Rand in the opening pages of Atlas Shrugged. My thought being, although i believe in Roarkian principles with all me being, i do not believe this man exists. Rand stated ( i paraphrase) ” let no man reply in such a manner, the fact that this book has been published is proof that they do exist.” i want to be a roark SO badly, not for anyone else, but myself. Let any other youth join me in a call to our current generation, as well as those to come, in stating with the way we live our lives that WE ARE NOT BORN TO BE SECOND-HANDERS!

86. condottiero - December 13, 2009

thanks for sharing this quotes! I dedicated my life to Ayn Rand’s ideas and I am always happy to read people who comments on her work!

87. Nairobi - December 15, 2009

the third quote you have is not by Peter Keating, yes Peter is completley the opposite of what Howard represents in this book but he does not say this quote. The quote is actually said by Steven Mallory to Dominique in the last visit she makes to him before going off to marry Gail Wyand.

88. Amey - December 22, 2009

A thing is not high if one can reach it; it is not great if one can reason about it; it is not deep if one can see its bottom…

89. rachel - January 14, 2010

“We must learn to adapt the beauty of the past to the needs of the present.”

The Dean says this to Roark in the very first chapter of the book, before Roark goes on to say that he will take pleasure in doing what he wants to do in his own method. But I really liked this quote–I’m an aspiring writer and it really made me think about a bunch of things–the world in general, writing, living, ect. It just had some kind of impact on me.

I’m only four chapters in and love it. 🙂

90. heather - February 23, 2010

I love that this thread has been going on for so long. I think it proves how powerful and truthful this piece of literature really is, regardless of whether or not you agree with it.
I read this book over 6 years ago and I still hold this quote with me:

“Katie, why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world, to do what we want…As I wanted to marry you. Not as I want to sleep with some woman or get drunk. Those things are not even desires- they are things people do to escape from desires- because it’s such a big responsibility, to really want something.”

91. anand gsk - March 1, 2010

i have read it ..no…felt it. page after page i sailed through tranquility .what a read.
let me say a few interesting aspects here.
i am from andhra pradesh in india and many a popular novels in telugu language got the stolen essence of this masterpiece.may be it served as a bible to modern day fiction writers.
and more than the quotes its the identifiable feel of charecters with pinpoint detailing makes all the difference.
why not the likes of cameron or speilberg give us a chance to experience the extravaganza on a visual platform???

nageswara rao - July 3, 2011


92. Mace - March 1, 2010

@anand gsk

I think everybody in this forum here wishes that. The original film by WB didn’t do justice to the characters. I think we can all agree, Howard Roark needs to be a redhead with long hair. That’s his signature look.

ruchi - July 14, 2011

i agree.. i was thinking the same….specially dominique and roark ….nt justified in the film as they r in the bk.

93. Chance Sampson - March 8, 2010

Warning: You will only get pissed off if you read this without a receptive mind.

I hate this book.

My first point is this:
If everyone lived as Howard did, with his ideals, civilization would come to a halt. Not everyone is as smart as howard, or had the same upbringing, so to look down on them for not being able to think for themselves is not cool; to look down on them as less than a man, as less than a decent human, because they cant understand the concepts involved is a terrible thing to do. And they would never be taught to understand because everyone else would be too busy living for themselves, not caring about the needs or thoughts of others.

If everyone in the world all of a sudden had the understanding of Howard Roark, we would have all kinds meaningless killing and suffering. think about it, they wouldnt all be noble architects. They would have different interests perhaps including, destruction, swimming, writing, raping, WHATever was their niche, and they would persue that niche with relentless devotion as howard persued his.

I realize that my choice of words is poor, and that my illustration is retarded, but if you care to understand the concept behind my poor wording then good for you because you care about your own life!

My second point is this:
Ayn Rand has only seen a small portion of humanity, and she creates a hypothesis of the meaning of life for all men in a based on what she has experienced. Slightly close minded perhaps? maybe not intentionally, but for one that does not believe in a higher power it’s perfectly reasonable to conclude that what your logic can conclude is absolute truth. It might as well be your own personal absolute truth anyway, because that is all that you have to go on.

My third point is this:
Even from a completely non-christian aspect, consider the origin of life and why we are in existance. If you truely believe that we beat the trillion to one odds of forming from nothing with no intelligent design, then you go ahead and believe that your own mighty logic determines the meaning of your life. If you honestly and scrupulously investigate the origin of life, which is pretty darn important, and find that there was most likely an intelligent desginer (like richard dawkins claims, author of The God Delusion) then you should realize that you are not alive to simply become food for worms. You would realize that you have a meaning in life that is greater than your tiny little shred of what you might believe to be enlightnement. I’m not saying that you need to believe in a God/gods/savior/WHATever, I’m simply saying that logically it’s only reasonable to conclude that we are here becase of something else, and that we obviously have a purpose in being here, alive with our incredibly advanced bodies and minds. Investiagte it if you care about your life and dont want to waste it because you didnt do something as simple as think for yourself with all of the resources that you have been given. Ayn Rand didnt have the resources that we have today when she formed these beliefes.

I guess what I’m getting at is that you should think for yourselves. I am a christian, and I love my God because I experience him and know what he did, but I didnt get that way by just believing what other people say. You have to look into EVERYTHING, dont discard something because it has a bad steriotype, whether it be atheism or christainity; this is your life we are talking about, the substance behind you existance. It should be the most important thing in the world to you, way more important than stigma’s that the world has created in it’s own ignorance and stupidity (not necessarily Rand).

I hate this book because it is misleading and it’s freakin long 😛

email me if you’d like to comment on this, because I will probably never return to this post.

94. disappointed - March 11, 2010

does no one else find it almost hypocritical that Ms. Rand published this masterpiece? i loved the book, but upon it’s completion I realized that I didn’t want anyone else to ever get to enjoy it (much like Dominique). Why publish something so beautiful so many who are second-handers can read it? Why stab her own philosophy in the back?

Raiza - November 5, 2011

Because it wasn’t written for them. She wrote it first for herself, and then for those who would understand and love it as she did. Not for any prospect of virtue, nor for self immolation, but for the simple fact that Howard Roark deserved to live.

95. Mace - March 11, 2010

Well, “disappointed” her husband said the same thing. He figured it was like “casting pearls before swine.” Haha.

96. Archiey - March 11, 2010

Wow .. this is such a pleasure. Talk about Ayn Rand and her books, especially The Fountain Head – it’s like talking about something so profoundly meaningful and something thats beyond the expression of words and languages. I’ve read Fountain Head more than the number of times that I can keep a track of! Everytime I’m sad I switch to this book, it simply throws me some hint to find happyness in that silly period. When I am happy, it just increases my happyness exponentially.
And I personally feel that the entire book, every word of it can be used as a quote when it comes to our lives..
I love the part where Roark says that he cannot tolerate “incompetence…”

Offlate .. I’ve been hooked on Atlas Shrugged, its equally amazing. The character John Galt – ROCKS !
Guess nobody can ever do justice to the books and characters the way Ayn did. Anyother book, after hers would just be less than mediocre… I could never bring myself to like anything else even remotely close to the extent that I love her books.

Kudos to this lady … Lon live her books and her fans 🙂

97. abzee - March 18, 2010

words are not enough..

98. Nirveda - March 24, 2010

Absolutely amazing post and responses in here. May I ask if anyone has come across a work that is as thought provoking and intelligent as Ayn Rand’s?

99. Alex - March 28, 2010

“A great building is not the private invention of some genius or other. It is merely a condensation of the spirit of a people.”

“Men differ in their virtues, if any, but they are alike in their vices.”

Most of all:
“No happy person can be quite so impervious to pain.”

Also, the yacht convo between Dominique and Wynand is cool and all, but my favorite part is when Dominique asks Wynand if he feels small while at sea, to which he replies that he instead feels large for man’s ability to conquer the ocean. After reading this passage, I looked out the window of my flight and saw the plane’s clearly-defined shadow crawling over a city’s buildings. The ensuing chills made me put the book down for several minutes while I soaked in the sensation and reflected on my realization of Rand’s true message.

100. Missing the point? - March 28, 2010

Its all so ironic the fact that one even shares their ideas goes against Rand’s idea of invidualism because by sharing your ideas you are spreading what you believe and not allowing one to determine their own ideas. (i.e.) myself
Maybe next time I will. :/
Thats a thinker.

101. Derek Powell - April 15, 2010

I honestly love this novel. Ayn Rand has truly created a masterpeice. I was assigned this book for my AP Lang. & Comp. class and as soon as Roark’s character began developing and Rand’s philosophy unveiling itself, I couldn’t put it down. Although I’m not a huge fan of her philosophy, I think she illustrated her overall theme in the most spectacular form possible: through her characters. Although I don’t necessarily have any quotes to add, (seeing as how I came to this site to find quotes in the first place) I just felt like it was my obligation to leave something behind before I copy, paste and move on.

102. Anamika - April 26, 2010

Does anyone remember the passage where the men discuss women’s liberation? There’s a line that goes something like, Why would women fight for a right which we men consider a duty. If you know the lines please do email me.

103. steven - May 11, 2010

“howard (roark), everything you’ve done in your life is wrong according to the stated ideals of mankind. And here you are. And somehow it seems a huge joke on the whole world

104. Denise - May 13, 2010

Wow, I am shocked at how many people love this book. I just finished reading it and it was without a doubt the worst book that I have ever read! Really I love books, but this is one book that I wouldn’t mind seeing incinerated, truely I would love to see someone go all Fahrenheit 451 on every copy of The Fountainhead ever written! Can you not see that its promoting selfishness, Howard Roark is an egotistical ass, my favorite quote of the book- “It had to be said: the world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrifice.”- in other words the world is getting worse because of people giving way too much, those gosh darn nice people, we just need to get rid of them!

105. Mace - May 14, 2010


Leading a life of selfishness is the most meaningful one. Of course, being selfish out of rationality. Howard achieved that and I could see why you would not like the book. Everything you’ve been taught today in the government schools has been about putting others before you, caring what others think, and achieving someone elses standards. Howard is a self made man and you despise him for it. He needed no help from anyone because he could do it himself. He had the ability, the brains, to complete any task given to him. If you call Roarks interest in architecture a selfish one, you are correct. Just as you buy a book at your local bookstore to read, you are commiting an act of selfishness for your love of reading. Please, Denise, to recieve the message intended from this novel, read it carefully and pay close attention to the characters and their motives.

106. Leileni - May 16, 2010

Denise – it’s the mindset of [burning books], that is being thwartwed IN Farenheit 451. Ironic?

107. Leileni - May 16, 2010

The notion that YOU think a persons life isn’t their own, smacks of the collectivism Rand speaks against.

Find an identity.

108. EK - May 20, 2010

* There’s so much nonsense about human inconstancy and the transience of all emotions. I’ve always thought that a feeling which changes never existed in the first place. – Gail Wynand

* It would be kinder to acknowledge people’s existence by hating them. – Peter Keating

* Hands do perspire when held too long. – Ellsworth Toohey

109. anna - May 21, 2010

does anyone know the line where the narrator writes about the color green and how the green color of trees is so different than any other green colored object because of the life the tree possesses? Very obscure quote but I am just trying to find exactly where it talks about that.

110. ruthanng - June 2, 2010

It is incredibly difficult to accept anyone over the age of sixteen still likes Rand. Nearly everyone I know outgrew her nonsense at about that age. The ones that were fans of her ideas eventually grew to appreciate that her prose is just horrendous and finally gave her up because of that fact alone. Honestly folks, find a better writer to defend these adolescent solipsistic ideas.

111. All it takes is hard work.... - June 2, 2010

@ Ruthanng Says the person that types like he or she doesn’t know how to structure proper sentences. Please, save your incoherent comments. Ayn Rand just happens to be an advocate of reason and logic. She also wrote one of the most influential novels of all time, right next to the Bible, a feat most public figureheads would drivel over.

112. Steams - June 2, 2010

(From Dissapointed:
“does no one else find it almost hypocritical that Ms. Rand published this masterpiece? i loved the book, but upon it’s completion I realized that I didn’t want anyone else to ever get to enjoy it (much like Dominique). Why publish something so beautiful so many who are second-handers can read it? Why stab her own philosophy in the back?”

From Missing the point:
“Its all so ironic the fact that one even shares their ideas goes against Rand’s idea of invidualism because by sharing your ideas you are spreading what you believe and not allowing one to determine their own ideas. (i.e.) myself
Maybe next time I will. :/
Thats a thinker.”)

For this to be true you would also have to say that it was foolish for Roark to build a Skyscraper. I think you guys need to go back and read the book again.

113. Steven Tilotta - June 6, 2010

‘I would die for you but I wont live for you.’

114. KT - July 10, 2010

First I read “Atlas Shrugged,” and then “We the Living,” and then “The Fountainhead” and then other works. Life was never looked at the same way. My 20-year old and my husband loved “Atlas Shrugged;” now the 23-year old is reading it. It is very inspiring to read while all about you people are turning into socialists, working as little as possible, and settling for mediocracy. How did Ayn Rand see all of this . . . so early? Each character in her book “Atlas Shrugged” has a person in the current administration who you can easily peg. I don’t like her atheist viewpoint but her work ethic and her writing and her diaries are amazing. It is a shame she did not recognize that God made us to be creative beings!

115. AP - July 17, 2010

“Do you always have to have a purpose? Do you always have to be so damn serious? Can’t you ever do things without reason, just like everybody else? You’re so serious, so old. Everything’s important with you. Everything’s great, significant in some way, every minute, even when you keep still. Can’t you ever be comfortable–and unimportant?”

“The only cardinal evil on earth is that of placing your prime concern within other men. I’ve always demanded a certain quality in the people I liked. I’ve always recognized it at once–and it’s the only quality I respect in men. I chose my friends by that. Now I know what it is. A self-sufficient ego. Nothing else matters.”

“To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul – would you understand why that’s much harder?”

As far as people saying that Rand is a bad person for promoting egotism and demonizing self-sacrifice, they are using the contemporary definitions of egotism and sacrifice, which have been twisted by the masters to convince the servants to… well, serve. The problem is that when everyone is so concerned about serving society, serving everyone else, and those same people and that same society is so concerned with serving everyone else as well, everyone lives in a constant state of servitude. As Rand put it, they live not in themselves, not even in other people, but in their connections with other people. If this is not the “cardinal evil” described by Roark, then I don’t know what is.

As for “sharing” The Fountainhead, Roark clearly says that does NOT “share” his work with others. They simply feel their own “yes” when they look at it. This is the “yes” that you feel at the end of the day when looking at the work you’ve completed and simply feeling happy. Or the “yes” that you feel when looking at your favorite piece of art or reading your favorite book. It’s different for everyone. That feeling is yours alone and you share it with no one.

116. Britany - August 9, 2010

Sparknotes sucks and only has five quotes, so this was really helpful. I’m doing my summer a.p. work and it is way too time consuming to look for quotes when I only have three hours until I have to turn it in, so thank you.

p.s. the third quote is said by Steven Mallory.

117. Karen - August 13, 2010

I very much like the part where Toohey Is confessing (in a way) everything to Keating, about all the power he’s gotten by simply preaching unselfishness and how Keating simply accepts it.

118. Some quotes from The Fountainhead that are insane (via 31fps) « THE SKEPTIKAL OBSERVER - September 5, 2010

[…] UPDATE: I've moved my blog over to 31fps.com, so check that for my current updates. I am on the home stretch of reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. It's been the most amazing book I've ever read in my life. About halfway through the book, I realized how many enlightening quotes the book was filled with, so I tried something new: I put a bunch of post-its inside the cover, and everytime I found a quote I liked, I'd slap a post-it on it. And that … Read More […]

119. M.M - September 9, 2010

i recently read this book and i must say it was so encapturing that i couldn’t seem to put it down the moment i turned the first page. Must say, one of the richest pieces of litreture i’ve ever read. And i agree with of the bloggers that there’s so much to absorb, so many thought provoking quotations/ideas that one can’t remember them all. Besides the random quotations, one thing i just can’t seem to forget is Roark’s courtroon speech. Absolutely mesmerizing! I just downloaded it to read every now and then:)…Will definitely read the book again inshAllah.

120. Ravi - November 26, 2010

I liked the elegance with which sex between Roark and Dominique is described. I never came across such a description.

I read it over and over.

121. Evan - December 15, 2010

I read The Fountain in the late 90s. I finished Atlas Shrugged on Independence Day, 1999, my daughter was one week old and sitting on my lap when I finished it.

This year i listened to The Fountainhead again and I am almost done with Atlas Shrugged now.

They are the two greatest novels every written. Atlas is so appropriate to read now…you can see him shrugging all around us.

122. Beebop - December 24, 2010

Be sure to outgrow Rand. If you stay too long, you become an asshole.

Ilsa - May 26, 2011

Beebop, I had to laugh when I read your comment b/c it does seem that most Rand-lovers in their 30s or so seem to be asses.

I started reading her in college and still love her, but I am not a fanatic, not a “Fountainhead beater”, and do not view her as god. People my age who claim to love Rand tend to distort her views and only cling to the parts about not being forced to give to charity. Rather than learn from all of Rand’s inspiring words about living by logic and pursuing their own happiness and abilities, they have grown up to be mediocre, bitter pseudo-liberaterians who rail against the gov’t trying to steal their money in the form of taxes.

123. Nick - January 9, 2011

How would Ayn Rand feel about a bunch of people regurgitating her thoughts? Guess it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re doing it for selfish reasons.

124. lalalala - March 3, 2011

I think the conversation between Roark and Wynad in the yacht was unjustly excluded. Same for the scene where the boy wandered around the valley where Roark built the first summer resorts (I forgot the name… I haven’t read it since like 7th grade. I’m going to re-read it again to write my senior paper on it. I absolutely adore Fountain head, but really Atlas Shrugged blew my mind away even more). Can you please email me the page numbers for the quotes involving love, especially the one you proclaimed to be the best. You gave me inspiration!

125. Danny - March 6, 2011

“I Do”

126. Pamela - March 11, 2011

classic book.i just cant get enough of it. my favourite quote is wher Gail describes love. i’ve reach that toatl height and passion and i know what he means…people just dont get it

127. Ashish- I am Peter and Roark rolled into one - March 22, 2011

How can everyone forget the best ever part of FountainHead.. its before the book evin begins.. Ayn Rand’s introduction to the book –>

It does not matter that only a few in each generation will grasp and achieve the full reality of man’s proper stature—and the rest will betray it. It is those few that move the world and give life its meaning—and it is those few that I have always sought to address. The rest are no concern of mine; it is not me or ‘The Fountainhead’ that they will betray: it is their own souls.

128. R Garcia - April 1, 2011

Didn’t start to read Rand until my late 30s, but was CAPTIVATED by her work after readint it.
It helped me to order my ideas which so far had been loose concepts and seamlessly structure them into a self description of my beliefs.
After reading the Fountainhead, moved on to Atlas Shrugged which clearly lays out the objectivist principle : “Think not what your country can do for you, think what you can do for YOURSELF” , this quote being Rand’s version of Kennedy’s speech. Being an architect myself, I do empathize with Roark’s motivation triggered by personal achievement rather than mainstream follower.

My favorite quotes are “I would die for you but I would never live for you” (FH) and “I swear by my life, and by my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor have another man live for the sake of mine” (AS), both quotes reflecting the same concept by which I live and would die for.

129. Megan - May 3, 2011

I’m trying to find this part from the fountainhead that’s like,
“You need to learn how to deal with people”
“I can’t”
And then they go on about why they can’t deal with people. Can anyone tell me exactly what that said?

130. hari om - July 13, 2011

my favourite quote is………..

“i want to be great.Not to b thought as great”
” i want to b build, not to b thought as builder.”

131. Hank - July 21, 2011

There’s a passage I;m trying to find where Roark describes (to Keating, I think) the weakness of re-designing with the same classical elements. Something along the lines of “Slap a dome, an arch, and the peak of the Parthenon and it will be perceived as beautiful, when it’s actually an abomination of a design…”


132. Manoj Mehta - July 23, 2011

As an educator I am seeking the source, the instilled values, the tutelage that yields students to balance the objectivist thinking with other philosophies.

133. Avneet K. - July 25, 2011

I’m surprised the antagonist of the book, Ellsworth Toohey was not mentioned among the quotes, his character is brilliantly fashioned with true hatred for the true potentiality of mankind…a lust to exert his power through others.
“Don’t set out to raise all shrines-you’ll frighten men.Enshrine mediocrity- and the shrines are razed”

134. manshaa - August 9, 2011

“I often think that he’s the only one of us who’s achieved immortality. I don’t mean in the sense…” these words are said by Steve Mallory and not Peter Keating as far as I remember 🙂

135. Paul - August 16, 2011

just flicked through the book today – have read it several times.

So many quotes to choose from but this caught my eye as one I think about often in contexts outside the one in the book:

“Don’t bother to examine a folly – ask yourself only what it accomplishes”
Ellsworth Toohey

136. Sulphurdunn - September 24, 2011

The best description of this work would be to call it “A Sociopath’s Handbook.” It is nothing but a glorification of soulless ego and rabid greed. Neither its sheltered, pampered and spoiled author nor any of her disciples has ever stood at the summit of any mountain or ever will.

137. Debojyoti - October 5, 2011

What’s your take on these parting lines told by Dominique to Gail Wynand in response to his indifference to Dominique’s confession of adultery : ” God damn you!..If you can take it like this,you had no right to become what you became!”

138. Raiza - November 5, 2011

“Anything may be betrayed, anyone may be forgiven, but not those who lack the courage of their own greatness.

Alva Scaret can be forgiven, he had nothing to betray. Mitchell Laten can be forgive. But not I.

I was not born to be a second-hander.”

-Gail Wynand

139. breoniebre - November 10, 2011

can anyone find the excert about ” how can you respect a man only to find out he relaxes at the vaudeville show, what of a great artist that sleeps with all the whores he paints”
i’m looking for the direct quote and i can’t find it!!!!
please help

140. Post-College Knowledge | Life As I see It - December 9, 2011

[…] Rand Wikiquotes page, the Ayn Rand Wikipedia page, and my two personal favorites, a reader selected “Some quotes from The Fountainhead that are insane” and the Ayn Rand sex quotes page. Enjoy! Posted by admin on Aug 15, 2011 in Uncategorized | 3 […]

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143. Charlene - February 29, 2012

I’m so glad to find someone else that likes the book just as much as I did when I read it and was able to put some of these amazing quotes out there! I just finished reading this book as well and it has really opened up my eyes and made me think in new ways. I am going to try for the essay on the book but even though I know the context of the book it was so amazing that I feel I could never give justice to this book or its ideals.

144. Gregory - March 14, 2012

Favorite quote:

“The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.”

145. Mira - March 21, 2012

Such a nice blog…I have been reading this book for a few months and have met a woman who works at the coffee shop who read it recently, and she is the only one I know with whom to discuss it. It is the best book I have ever read as well… one part I’ve loved, even though I pour through all the pages and every sentence like I am savoring rich chocolate or fine wine, is when Roark asks Mallory to make the sculpture of Dominique and the whole conversation. It was so moving I cried!

146. sandhya - May 28, 2012

It’s…I-don’t-know-how-to-explain feeling…I never thought I would fall in love with characters as real people. It’s passion to see them alive….as real people. It’s vicious – the book….i dn’t give the credit to Ayn….I give credit to her moment of conceiving the characters. I dnt want to think it’s Rand…..it’s all characters she created – Roark n Dominique

147. Kliman - June 6, 2012

Has anyone noticed that whenever the lovely flow of these comments and quotes is interrupted by a criticism of Rand, her ideas and her readers, that criticism is given little consideration, as though it were a boulder in a stream that the current merely flows over. This, to me, is Randian in the extreme.

“But I don`t think of you…”

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152. Ankita - October 2, 2013

Refreshing… But I think that piece on Howard roark’s being immortal was said by Steven Mallory.

153. bob - March 3, 2014

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the

world.” This quote is at the philosophical center of Ayn Rand’s novel, “The

Fountainhead”. Rand’s philosophy, formally known as objectivism, asserts that the only

way for man to find truth and meaning in life is by realizing oneself through a

completely individual and natural process. A person must look into one’s own mind, not

the minds of others, to find purpose and eventually succeed in life. It is this philosophy

that makes the novel so seductive that people such as Paul Ryan base their entire belief

system off of it. Rand uses the central character of the novel, Howard Roark to

demonstrate this philosophy. Roark is the most alluring character in the novel because he

is portrayed as perfect, while everyone else in the novel perverts the world in some way.

Rand wanted the reader to love Roark and treasure his every sentence and action as holy.

Roark, from the beginning of the novel to the end, demonstrates absolute integrity,

striving for absolute perfection. He is a man that compromises none of his ideas for those

of others and he is willing to forsake his well-being to uphold his values. However, I

believe that Rand meant Roark to represent more than just her ideology. I believe she

wanted Roark to act as a Christ figure in the novel, demonstrating the perfection and

purity man can achieve. Knowing that Christ represents the pinnacle of human

excellence, Rand wanted Roark to fully resemble him. Through this, Rand could argue

that in order to become like Roark and therefore Christ like, one would have to follow

her ideology. Clearly, Roark is Rand’s attempt at a Christ figure in the novel, yet Rand

fails to fully realize the true traits of Christ in Roark, preventing Roark from completely

resembling Christ, which creates a major flaw in his character.

Christ figures often display traits such as fighting for justice and mankind, healing

others and allowing forgiveness. Roark clearly demonstrates all of these traits throughout

the novel. Roark fights for the advancement of mankind and the strength of individuality,

which is justice to him. He fights for this through his integrity and unwillingness to

compromise his beliefs. During Roark’s trial, he explains to the jury that, “Civilization is

the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by

the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men” (Rand

715). Roark is truly fighting for the advancement and betterment of mankind. He knows

that in order for society to progress, man must be truly independent and free thinking.

The savage depends on others, while the great man depends on himself. Roark is trying

to help mankind as he sees fit, setting man free from the bonds that constrict

individuality. Roark further explains during the trial how great men, “fought, suffered

and paid. But won” (Rand 710). Roark understands that sacrifice and hardship are

required for the betterment of mankind and he is willing to do so. He knows that justice

will be truly served when man is truly free. Not only does Roark fight for mankind and

justice, but Roark also seems to have healing powers, like Christ, in the sense that he is

able to help people realize themselves and better themselves. Roark is able to help

characters such as Mallory and Keating realize who they truly are. Roark does not do this

through his actions towards them, but by his lack of actions towards them and his focus

on his one true goal, complete independence. When Austin Heller first meets Roark, he

says, “You know, there’s a thing that stumps me. You’re the coldest man I know. And I

can’t understand why–knowing that you’re actually a fiend in your quiet sort of way–

why I always feel, when I see you, that you’re the most life-giving person I’ve ever met”

(Rand 158). Roark has a paradoxical personality that actually causes hatred and

admiration of him. The presence of his cold, yet innocent personality actually causes

people to realize things about themselves and, in a sense, heal themselves. After Mallory,

a sculptor, has gone into severe depression, Roark comes to his house to give him the

opportunity to once again work. As the night goes on, their interaction is

described, “Then he sat for hours, listening, while Mallory spoke of his work, of the

thoughts behind his work, of the thoughts that shaped his life, spoke gluttonously, like a

drowning man flung out to shore, getting drunk on huge, clean snatches of air” (Rand

339). Mallory is weak before he talks to Roark and he is ready to throw his life away.

However, Roark’s unique and sincere personality causes Mallory to confess all his

troubles, healing him in the process. Mallory is described as a drowning man, desperately

ridding himself of his troubles by explaining them to Roark, which is compared to

breathing. After this interaction, Mallory becomes a new man, born again in a sense.

Roark had no intention of healing Mallory though, it was his unique presence that forced

Mallory to confess, rather than anything Roark said. Roark also heals Peter Keating, a

much more important character. Keating had gone from being successful to being a

nobody, all through the manipulation of Ellsworth M. Toohey. Keating doesn’t

comprehend why he failed until Roark’s actions and personality help him understand

why. When Keating sees Roark for the last time, Keating confesses by saying, “Howard,

I’m a parasite. I’ve been a parasite all my life” (Rand 601). This is a very important

moment in Keating’s development because he now realizes that the problem has been that

he has been truly dependent his entire life. He realizes this by seeing how Roark is

independent. Before this Keating would never admit Roark was better than him; in fact,

he believed that he was destined to succeed. By realizing this through Roark’s personality

and actions Keating is, in a sense, cleansed. Clearly Roark heals multiple characters

throughout the novel, even if the healing is not intentional. Finally, Roark demonstrates

forgiveness through his acceptance of Keating’s betrayal. Roark had told Keating that he

would only build Cordlant for him if Keating promised that he would not change any of

Roark’s plans. However, Keating decides to cross Roark and alter Roark’s plans so that

the public would approve. Roark, who initially felt betrayed, understands why Keating

did this and tries to help Keating as a person. Roark explains to Keating, “To sell your

soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If

I asked you to keep your soul–would you understand why that’s much harder?” (Rand

603). Keating promises he will do anything for Roark in order to repay him, but Roark

wants him to understand that giving up his individuality is easy and is therefore the

reason Roark will not accept fame or money for the building. Roark wants Keating to

keep everything, as this truly tests Keating’s individuality, eventually making him a better


Christ figures are often martyrs, meaning that they often sacrifice themselves for

a cause that they truly believe in. Roark is a clear martyr because by blowing up Cordlant

and therefore ending his career and well-being, he upholds the values that he is fighting

for. Cordlant disgusted Roark because he knew that it could have been so much more.

Cordlant went against Roark’s philosophy because it was his idea that had been altered;

Roark simply couldn’t let Cordlant exist in its current state. This drives Roark to blow up

Cordlant, which leads to his ultimate demise. After this act he is put on trial and is

eventually convicted by a jury, never to build again. If Roark had let Cordlant exist, then

all of his values and efforts would have been compromised. Roark knows that by

compromising ones work one becomes no better than a second hander, a parasite to

society. Clearly Roark performs the ultimate act of martyrdom for what he truly believes.

Finally, Christ figures are susceptible to betrayal by putting too much faith in

mankind. Near the end of the novel Roark is asked to construct a temple of the human

spirit, molding all religions into one great monument that embellishes the strength of

man’s spirit. Not only does this give Roark religious significance by comparing this

impossible task to the impossible task faced by Christ, but it also sets in motion Roark’s

greatest betrayal. Toohey, who is Roark’s ideological opposite, recommends that Roark

build the temple because Toohey knows that the task is impossible and that whatever is

built the public will disapprove. Roark carefully crafts the building in a humble way, not

making man seem too great. The temple is described as, “scaled to human height in such

a manner that it did not dwarf man, but stood as a setting that made his figure the only

absolute, the gauge of perfection by which all dimensions were to be judged” (Rand 349).

Roark crafted the temple perfectly, allowing it to blend into nature and demonstrate the

beauty that man kind has to offer. However, and as Toohey anticipated, when the public

saw it there was immediate outcry and it was destroyed. Roark had spent countless nights

perfecting every small angle and measurement of the temple. Roark had recruited

Mallory to build a lone statue in the center of it and Roark even watched it everyday as it

was built. This was a great betrayal to Roark because it halted his career and destroyed

something that he truly loved, his work.

Clearly Roark demonstrates many of the traits and actions of a Christ figure, yet

he is missing key traits that let him fully realize his role as a Christ figure. Roark, unlike

Christ, doesn’t lead men. Instead Roark waits for them to realize themselves, without any

type of guidance. In the beginning of the novel Keating continually goes to Roark in

order to gain advice on how to proceed with his life and career. However, Roark never

gives him any guidance; instead, Roark simply agrees with Keating and helps Keating

with his sketches. Roark knows the flaws in Keating, yet he doesn’t inform Keating,

which would possibly prevent Keating’s downfall later in the book. When Keating goes

to Roark for architectural advice, Roark explains, “If you want my advice, Peter, you’ve

made a mistake already. By asking me” (Rand 22). Roark has no interest in guiding

Keating because Roark’s ideology demands that man must be completely individual and

realize who he is from his own mind. This is completely un-Christ like because Christ

often helped guide people on journey’s of the self, helping people realize their purpose in

life. Not only does Roark fail as a guiding figure, but he also harshly judges those around

him. Roark believes that whatever he says and does is the absolute truth and that all those

who differ in opinion pervert the world. Christ was also very accepting of others and

their worldly views, which was what made him so appealing to the masses. Unlike

Christ, Roark is arrogant even announcing that he is “the creator” as seen when he

explains to the jury that, “The creator stands on his own judgment. The parasite follows

the opinions of others. The creator thinks, the parasite copies. The creator produces, the

parasite loots” (Rand 663). Roark creates a divide between himself and the “parasites” of

the world by saying that they feed off of his accomplishments. This is extremely divisive

and judgmental, which leads to the development of his anti-altruistic personality. Christ

is often seen as an altruistic figure, who helps the poor and tries to save all people. Roark,

as demonstrated by the statement above, is extremely anti-altruistic. Roark even says to

Gail Wyland that, “Altruism is the doctrine which demands that man live for others and

place others above self” (Rand 665). Roark believes that altruism is another form of

dependency and by being altruistic a person is degrading one’s own individuality as well

as that of the person they are helping.

Christ is a figure that is often resembled in literature due to his virtual perfection.

Ayn Rand clearly meant for Howard Roark to resemble Christ in order to demonstrate

how, through her ideology, man can reach godly heights. However, Roark lacks many

Christ like traits, which causes the absence of human values and connections in his

personality. Through his hyper-inflated sense of self, Roark manages to create a void of

sociable traits such as leadership, altruism and understanding; therefore reducing his

ability to accurately portray Christ. Roark in the end is a character with no human

understanding, doomed to failure due to his unwillingness to participate in society. By

purely examining Roark’s surface persona one can be seduced by his Christ like, perfect

appearance. However when one looks deep into Roark’s personality it can be seen that he

is selfish and inhuman. For removing altruism and any form of dependency makes us no

better than apes – or the real Howard Roark.

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155. Wade Allen - September 19, 2014

I’m pretty sure that your Peter keating quote about Howard Roark being immortal wasn’t actually said by Peter keating. I suppose I may be wrong but I’ve read that book many times and I believe it’s actually said by Steven Mallory while talking about Howard Roark to Dominique

156. ryguy - August 17, 2015

What stood out to me is how Roak is an insane terrorist who blows up buildings because some guy made a couple of changes to his designs, then he had the balls to claim those buildings where his even though he didn’t actually pay for the or even help build or even live in one of them and then got away with it. And then there is the part where he raped Dominique and then build a nude statue of her in public without her permission. And then he gets angry because the owner of the building is upset because Roak had the statue built without telling him. Or how about the scene where they turn the building into a home for mentally handicaped children and it is portayed as a bad thing, because that maybe my favorite scene in this entire shitty book about a crazy egotistical “artist” who blows up buildings and rapes women.

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