(Back to Books)
This post is unfinished.
I read this summer 2010 (first summer after freshman year of college). In her book, Rand establishes her philosophy of objectivism. She establishes reason as the fundamental tool for obtaining knowledge about the world, and establishes the pursuit of happiness as the purpose of life. The hero, Howard Roark, breaks from a blind reliance on tradition in architecture, and uses reason to guide his designs no matter how others criticize him. He remains passionate despite his dismal living conditions and overwork because he is doing what he wants rather than seeking credit for nothing like half the other people in the book. To me (and I’m sure the same is true of many readers) Rand seems to bring up truths that I know deep inside but never articulated because they run contrary to established mores.
The book gave me an ideal to aim towards. It gives a severe warning of what happens when you seek credit without work; it showed me how easy it is to fall into the kind of attitude that says things like “It’s not fair that Person X is so smart, he should be forced to work hard just like the rest of us.” We should always be trying to improve even though it’s painful, and always honor what’s good; the alternative is to deny.
TODO: talk about grace vs. altruism (cf. Francis Su) cf. There are two types of truths in the world