The Fountainhead

Use a teaching guide that includes character analysis, an overview of the novel, and study questions.
Page 4 of 5

Suggested Study Questions

  1. Dominique Francon loves Roark and struggles to destroy him. Why?
  2. How does Howard Roark exemplify the fact that reason must be used to solve man's problems, rather than relying on others' judgments or one's emotions? Why is the dynamiting of Cortlandt not an example of irrationality?
  3. Keating gives up art for architecture and Catherine Halsey for Dominique Francon. Why are these major betrayals for him, necessitating his failure in life?
  4. What is Toohey's ultimate purpose in trying to control the Banner?
  5. How do Keating's and Roark's paths to success differ? Which one in the end is the real success?
  6. Why does Toohey ultimately fail in his manipulations against Roark?
  7. What does Ayn Rand mean by the terms "first-hander" and "second-hander"?
  8. Why does the courtroom verdict at the Cortlandt trial mean the psychological destruction of Gail Wynand?
  9. If you had the opportunity to meet Howard Roark, what would you ask him?
  10. Is Roark a moral man, a practical man, both, or neither?
  11. What does Ayn Rand mean by individualism, and why are the Founding Fathers of the U.S. individualists?
  12. Why does Roark say that the refusal of the Manhattan Bank Building contract is "the most selfish thing you've ever seen a man do"? (p. 197)

Extending Learning

Visit the Ayn Rand Institute's website. Set your URL to:

ESSAY CONTESTS: Essay contests on both The Fountainhead (for 11th and 12th graders) and ANTHEM (for 9th and 10th graders) are sponsored annually by the Ayn Rand Institute. 47 prizes in all are awarded, with the top prize a cash award of $5,000. For complete details, write the Ayn Rand Institute at PO Box 6004, Inglewood, CA 90312

loading gif