In The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand portrays her hero, architect Howard Roark, as staying true to his artistic integrity in the face of tremendous obstacles. In this lesson, you’ll explore parallels between Roark’s story and aspects of Rand’s own life and struggles as you learn about the background to the writing and publication of The Fountainhead. In what ways does Roark’s attitude to his work reflect Rand’s attitude to writing? How does Roark’s clash with the prevailing ideas of his profession mirror Rand’s clash with her intellectual contemporaries?

Spoiler alert: This lesson assumes that students have read The Fountainhead.