2021-22 THE FOUNTAINHEAD Essay Contest
Opens Aug 1 2021 12:00 AM (PDT)
Deadline Apr 28 2022 11:59 PM (PDT)
$25.00 to $5,000.00
Description

ACCESSING THE BOOK

  • Don't have access to The Fountainhead? Request a copy at aynrand.org/freebooks today, and we will send you a FREE digital version within 24 hours.

ELIGIBILITY AND PRIZES

  • Open to all 11th and 12th grade students worldwide.
  • Top Prize: $5,000; Second Prizes (3): $1,250; Third Prizes (5): $250; Finalist (25): $100; Semi-finalist (50): $25

ESSAY TOPICS

Select one of the following topics:

  1. Howard Roark says to Gail Wynand: “Look at everyone around us. You’ve wondered why they suffer, why they seek happiness and never find it. If any man stopped and asked himself whether he’s ever held a truly personal desire, he’d find the answer. . . . He can’t say about a single thing: ‘This is what I wanted because I wanted it, not because it made my neighbors gape at me.’ . . . The things which are sacred or precious to us are the things we withdraw from promiscuous sharing. But now we are taught to throw everything within us into public light and common pawing.” In light of this view, what do you think Roark would make of people’s behavior today on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram? Give examples of what he might approve or disapprove of. Would you agree or disagree with his evaluation? Explain your position.
  2. After the death of Lucius Heyer, Keating tells himself: “He had nothing to regret; he had done what anyone would have done; Catherine had said it, he was selfish; everybody was selfish; it was not a pretty thing, to be selfish, but he was not alone in it.” What do you think is motivating Keating to tell himself this at this point in the story? What does The Fountainhead have to say about whether what he’s saying is true? Do you agree? Why or why not?
  3. Dominique says to Alvah Scarret: “I take the only desire one can really permit oneself. Freedom, Alvah, freedom. . . . To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.” What does Dominique mean by this, and how does she act on her view over the course of the novel? What is Dominique’s perspective on this kind of “freedom” at the end of the novel, and why?

RULES AND CRITERIA

  • Students are permitted to submit one entry for The Fountainhead essay contest each year.
  • Essays must be 800-1600 words in length and written in English only.
  • Essays must be solely the work of the entrant. Plagiarism will result in disqualification. 
  • Essays will be judged on whether the student is able to argue for and justify his or her view—not on whether the Institute agrees with the view the student expresses. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophical meaning of The Fountainhead.
  • For complete rules, click "Apply" or visit aynrand.org/contests.

QUESTIONS?

  • Write to us at [email protected]. We are usually able to respond within two to five business days.
Apply

2021-22 THE FOUNTAINHEAD Essay Contest


ACCESSING THE BOOK

  • Don't have access to The Fountainhead? Request a copy at aynrand.org/freebooks today, and we will send you a FREE digital version within 24 hours.

ELIGIBILITY AND PRIZES

  • Open to all 11th and 12th grade students worldwide.
  • Top Prize: $5,000; Second Prizes (3): $1,250; Third Prizes (5): $250; Finalist (25): $100; Semi-finalist (50): $25

ESSAY TOPICS

Select one of the following topics:

  1. Howard Roark says to Gail Wynand: “Look at everyone around us. You’ve wondered why they suffer, why they seek happiness and never find it. If any man stopped and asked himself whether he’s ever held a truly personal desire, he’d find the answer. . . . He can’t say about a single thing: ‘This is what I wanted because I wanted it, not because it made my neighbors gape at me.’ . . . The things which are sacred or precious to us are the things we withdraw from promiscuous sharing. But now we are taught to throw everything within us into public light and common pawing.” In light of this view, what do you think Roark would make of people’s behavior today on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram? Give examples of what he might approve or disapprove of. Would you agree or disagree with his evaluation? Explain your position.
  2. After the death of Lucius Heyer, Keating tells himself: “He had nothing to regret; he had done what anyone would have done; Catherine had said it, he was selfish; everybody was selfish; it was not a pretty thing, to be selfish, but he was not alone in it.” What do you think is motivating Keating to tell himself this at this point in the story? What does The Fountainhead have to say about whether what he’s saying is true? Do you agree? Why or why not?
  3. Dominique says to Alvah Scarret: “I take the only desire one can really permit oneself. Freedom, Alvah, freedom. . . . To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.” What does Dominique mean by this, and how does she act on her view over the course of the novel? What is Dominique’s perspective on this kind of “freedom” at the end of the novel, and why?

RULES AND CRITERIA

  • Students are permitted to submit one entry for The Fountainhead essay contest each year.
  • Essays must be 800-1600 words in length and written in English only.
  • Essays must be solely the work of the entrant. Plagiarism will result in disqualification. 
  • Essays will be judged on whether the student is able to argue for and justify his or her view—not on whether the Institute agrees with the view the student expresses. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophical meaning of The Fountainhead.
  • For complete rules, click "Apply" or visit aynrand.org/contests.

QUESTIONS?

  • Write to us at [email protected]. We are usually able to respond within two to five business days.
Value

$25.00 to $5,000.00

Apply
Opens
Aug 1 2021 12:00 AM (PDT)
Deadline
Apr 28 2022 11:59 PM (PDT)