Some Quotes & Excerpts From Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead

Shorter than Atlas Shrugged with another red haired protagonist: Howard Roark.

I hope taking quotes/excerpts out of the concept of the book and of Ayn Rand would help people find some, perhaps unrelated to her philosophy or controversy, which they may like.

Images from the 1949 movie adaptation

[ ] = Page Number


[vii] I have been asked whether I have changed in the past 25 years. No — I am the same — only moreso. (Ayn Rand, A.R.)

[108] “Since we are forced to live together, the most important thing to remember is that the only way which we can have any law at all is to have as little of it as possible .” (Austin Heller)

[165] The beauty of the human body is that it hasn’t a single muscle which doesn’t serve its purpose.

[312] “No board has ever hired me — and I don’t think one ever will.” (Howard Roark, Roark) “Have you ever known a board to do anything?” (Kent Lansing)

[313] Integrity is not the ability to resist taking a watch from another’s pocket. Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea.

[313] The shortest distance between two points is not a straight line — it’s a middle man.

[342] No one had ever heard of them, but they were councils, & this gave weight to their voice.

[385] Gus you sone of a bitch,” said Keating, “That cost money.” “Balls!
 said Gus, “We’re not paying for it.” (I lol’ed when I first read that, also, think of that person who orders the most expensive plate when it’s on your dime)

[389] “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.”(Ellsworth Toohey) “But I don’t think of you.” ( Roark)

[472] “When the fact that one is a nonentity who’s done nothing more outstanding than eating, sleeping & chatting with neighbors becomes a fact worthy of pride, of announcement to the world & of diligent study by millions of readers — the fact that one has built a cathedral becomes unrecognizable & unannouncable” (Toohey)

[493] Only men had been so mistaken about their devil. He was not single & big, he was many and smutty and small.

[499] It’s man who made it — the whole incredible mass of stone & steel. It doesn’t dwarf him, it makes him greater than the structure it reveals. It reveals the true dimensions of the world. (The book is about architects)

[501] “You’re a tank — an honest weapon that goes first, out in front & mows everything down & takes every counter-blow. He’s a corrosive gas, the kind that eats lungs out” (Dominique Francon) (Related Article on Fraternityman.com)

[504] Music was mathematics & architecture was music in stone.

[507] Why was it assumed that poverty gave one the instincts of cattle?

[513] It takes two men to make a career: The man who is great, and the man almost rarer, who is great enough to see greatness & say so.

[541] I have always thought that a feeling which changes never existed in the first place.

[553] He wondered if the peculiar solemnity of looking at the sky comes, not from what one contemplates, but from that uplift of one’s head.

[608] The independent man kills them because they don’t exist within him & that’s the only form of existence they know.

[609] “I could die for you, but I wouldn’t & couldn’t live for you” (Gus Webb)

[631] Don’t bother to examine a folly. Ask yourself only what it accomplishes.

[643] What a power there was in words; later, for the reader, but first for the one who found them.

[680] But the mind is a function of an individual, there is no such thing as a collective brain.

[682] To make [relieving suffering] the highest test of virtue is to make suffering the most important part of life.

[685] Civilization is the process of setting men free from men.


Here’s a tease of an Atlas Shrugged quote set to an unrelated scene: