Essay on Rebellion. Is it Always Bad to Disagree?
Acts of rebellion are often seen as negative but there are various incidents in which people find that there is no other option but to speak out in order to cause a change. Yet, people do not have the courage to do so, others always look for someone else to motivate and ignite the feeling of rebellion inside of them. The fear of becoming an outcast is what stops many from speaking out when they experience or even witness an unfair event, to know someone else is paving the path to do so gives others comfort to follow those footsteps and make their voice heard. Ayn Rand is an author which focuses on truly how important it is for people to exercise their freedom of speech when it comes to making a difference for the better. Aside from that, the right for someone to speak out is protected through the first amendment. All of the aforementioned illustrate the importance of being self righteous. That is illustrated through various characters in both Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Self reliance is important because of the positive change it can influence in others, it can exemplify to others that they should only obtain success through their originality, and that rebellion is something that is not negative.
Confidence can influence various positive changes in the way someone thinks and acts. It can provide many with the courage to do what they deemed as undoable before they began to obtain that confidence. As a society, it is allowed for every person to hold their own opinions. There is no shortage of contradicting opinions. However, every person also has their own reasonings behind those opinions. The factor that allows people to hold on tightly to their opinions is their values. In Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, the author places a very strong focus on the values of the characters Rand writes about. An important character throughout the book would be John Galt which is ironic because of the fact that his identity remains hidden for the majority of the book. The conflict that John Galt faces throughout the book is getting the looters and everyone else to understand his values and why he does everything that he does. John Galt’s beliefs are based off of logic, emotions, and observation to reality. Yet he preservers even if he is not directly identified throughout the book.
John Galt holds so much confidence in who he is as a person and his beliefs that he does not allow anybody else to phase that. It is one level of confidence to strongly believe in what someone thinks but to go to the point where a person feels like they are confident enough to be able to influence others to agree with their point of view is something very rare but also very necessary. Many people become blind to what is actually beneficial to them because they witness others agreeing to other ways of thinking so they follow the crowd. That is why people like John Galt are in need, to open the eyes of others and truly exemplify what is best for them.John Galt was a character that kept true to his values all throughout the book. He stated “Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. A contradiction cannot exist. No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the total sum of his knowledge.”
This emphasizes that if people allow themselves to look at everything in a logical aspect, there are no ways their thoughts could be presented with any flaws. John Galt was a very wise man, actually the one credited for creating the motor. He became upset and chose to rebel against authority when the owner of the Twentieth Century Motor Factory died and the heirs decided to run the company in a collectivism manner. Galt tries to express to his citizens that they have the right to be individuals, instead of having to do everything as a group, relying on others to know what is acceptable and what is not. It is seen that he is successful when Francisco tells Dagny “John Galt is Prometheus who changed his mind. After centuries of being torn by vultures in payment for having brought to men the fire of the gods, he broke his chains—and he withdrew his fire—until the day when men withdraw their vultures.” Galt uses logic to get into the mind’s of the citizens and to convince them that their opinions and thoughts matter. John Galt focused on using his own logic while also igniting the use of logic by others.
John Galt is a character that did not hesitate to cause more than one change in the mindset of the people around him. He went on to place a strong emphasis on observing the reality of everything surrounding him. In that society, there is an expectation for people to follow the same blueprint of thoughts and opinions. He explains the reality of it when he states“ Independence is the recognition of the fact that yours is the responsibility of judgment and nothing can help you escape it—that no substitute can do your thinking—that the vilest form of self-abasement and self-destruction is the subordination of your mind to the mind of another, the acceptance of an authority over your brain, the acceptance of his assertions as facts, his say-so as truth, his edicts as middle-man between your consciousness and your existence.”
John Galt’s revolt revolves around people being self-reliant. Wanting a change because of the fact that it is unfair to him that people aren’t allowed to think for themselves. John Galt was a character that perfectly stuck to his values throughout the entirety of the book. In a way, his mysterious state was very effective in allowing him to do so. He secluded himself from everyone else so that his thoughts would not be corrupted. He was struggling with the conflicts he had against those that had beliefs against his. He utilized logic, the emotional aspect, and observation to defend his values.
Aside from self righteousness allowing others to see everything in a different perspective, that quality also allows people to want to chase success in their own way and form. The world is such an extensive place, with a vast amount of people. No two people can be found that think exactly the same. Yet, in this world, there exists three different kinds of people, those who have the instinct of success instilled into them, those who observe and attempt to mimic those who are successful, and those who are unsure of themselves and have a mixture of independence and dependence. In The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand easily categorizes those different kinds of people through her different characters, Howard Roark who illustrates the leader, Guy Francon who represents the follower, and Peter Keating who represents someone that is caught in between both categories. Ayn Rand provides an illustration of all different types of people to reassure the reader that the best path to take is the one people choose to pave through their own thoughts and actions.
The one character that Ayn Rand writes about in a way as to glorify him is Howard Roark because of the fact that he chooses what is beneficial for him solely because of what he believes is for him rather than paying attention to the opinion of others. The definition of success is one that is unique to the mindset of each person. Howard Roark is insistent on what his success means, not allowing others to change his mind or his path. In a scene where he is in a courtroom he states “The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature. The parasite’s concern is the conquest of men” (Rand 679). Howard Roark is expressing the struggles that various other characters face throughout the book. The creator is the individual which creates his own path.
The parasite is that annoying pest following around, mimicking the creator. He also makes this statement to prove that he is a leader. No matter who doubts him or what limitations are set upon him, he looks past all of that and focuses on accomplishing his goal. When Roark acknowledges his expulsion from the Architectural School of the Stanton Institute of Technology, he does not become upset, and does not try to appeal the decision. Even when the Dean calls him into his office and questions Roark’s decisions, he shows no sign of weakness and replies calmly to all the questions with confidence in his ideology. Roark even goes to the extent of stating “Do you see how many men are walking and living down there?
Well, I dont give a damn what any or all of them think about architecture----or about anything else, for that matter. Why should I consider what their grandfathers thought of it?” (Rand 23). He does so to clearly inform the Dean that no matter how insistent he is, his mind will not change. Roark wants to redefine architecture, whether people support it or not. Howard Roark deems that to continue his education at that school would be pointless because any important information he would need is already in his repertoire. His next move is to look for the architect he admires the most and learn from him in order to be able to become the architect he dreams of being. Howard states that for a man like him, the only thing that limits him is nature, because with his thoughts and imagination he is able to create endless structures to his taste.