Analysis Of Peter Keating’s Principles In The Fountainhead

Throughout the book, The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand, it is easy to understand and account for the main character's motivations. One of the main characters, Peter Keating, is easy to analyze throughout the novel simply because of his lack of character development. 

Peter Keating starts as an attractive architecture student who thinks very highly of himself. However, Keating remains quite mediocre throughout the book. His motivation is always found in the judgment of others. Keating rises in his profession by two principles: deception and manipulation. And although these are what I believe his main principles are, I have concluded this all comes from a deeper lack of confidence in the character. Keating is willing to manipulate those around him and chooses to gain praise by deceiving others. He illustrates this by the way he does so to several of his fellow employees and colleagues. For the duration of the novel, you can interpret that Keating aspires to be successful as an architect — but the crucial point is that he does not aspire to do new or satisfactory work in architecture. Keating is quite mediocre when it comes to architecture, but that doesn’t hinder his ability to be successful. Because of his insecurities and his ability to manipulate, Keating can convince the public that he is indeed “great.”

The way others perceive Keating is one of his most crucial fundamental concerns. For example, he becomes an architect in the first place, not because he loves the ability to build, but because of desires “social respectability.” In the book, Peter Keating works for an architect named Guy Francon. Guy teaches him how to impress his clients with surface-level ideas, such as how to match ties with socks and wines with foods. This relationship between Keating and Francon enhances his principles of manipulation and deception. It allows Keating to continue to rise as an architect without truly being an “architect.” Another example of Keating’s manipulative behavior and deceptive motives is in his relationships with women. During this time, Peter has a girlfriend named Catherine Halsey, a woman whom he does deeply love, however, Keating gives up Catherine for a woman named Dominique Francon. Dominique is a woman who Keating chooses because of her obvious beauty and connections to society that will impress those around him. He does not favor her for love. This is yet another example of his manipulation and deception because he chooses the woman who will continue to build the facade, he has created for himself. However, because of Keating’s immorality and manipulation, Dominique realizes that Peter’s career is collapsing, which do so because of public exposure as a fraud, and they are soon divorced.

Keating is a man who never develops upright and righteous values, and never truly grows. To simply state it, Peter Keating focuses on the thoughts and opinions of others, and never focuses on his mortality. Because of these principles, I have discussed Peter Keating will never truly be happy because of his need to have the approval of others. 

16 August 2021
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