Stories filled with heart-melting romances and selfless adventures have been my escape from the world for as long as I can remember.
Sometimes it would be from a busy day at school, other times from a sluggish summer day at home.
Regardless, if it fit the definition of a book, I would read it front to back.
No stopping. No eating. No sleeping. I would crave those sleepless nights of being huddled in bed, fully engrossed in a story.
I even have my own philosophy on books: the longer, the better. However, a hefty eight hundred page book is finally putting it to the test.
The Fountainhead has left me struggling to turn the page.
I'll admit this now, I'm no architecture junkie. Unfortunately for me, the characters in this book are very passionate about it. Insert lavish descriptions if whimsical spires, Greek pilasters and
Victorian cornices, and you understand what a big chunk of the book is. If you want to know what any if those things are, I suggest finding a good dictionary and arming yourself with Google.
What keeps me going are some of the countless similarities between the society presented in the novel and our society. This, honestly, has me worried.
In each case, they seem to be lacking independence.
Many of the characters have no personal opinions on anything. They search for guidance from others and take their opinion or advice on the subject as their own. A popular magazine and all it's employees takes this role, telling the masses what to think on everything imaginable. In our society, the media takes this role. Exposing us to so many different images, though essentially each one the same, in so many different places, we are manipulated into looking, into thinking, and into feeling certain ways.
The instant access we have to the Internet reinforces this. When the Hunger Games movie came out, I watched my sisters eagerly anticipate seeing it, only to admit that they had no idea what it was about later.
They had gotten drawn in to the thinking of everybody else.
Other characters are power-hungry; doing anything it takes to reach success in the eyes of others. While there is nothing wrong with having power, the things it can do to people are not always good.
One character, after becoming extremely successful, turns suicidal and two others start giving advice that leads many others to failure.
A second thing is that these characters are doing stuff for the approval of others. Today, many people forego doing what they want in order to be more successful.
With the cost of living, that's understandable, but in the end, if you're not happy with what you've accomplished, what was the point of it?
We may be social creatures, but without each individual piece, each person by themselves, who would we be as a whole?
We need a solid foundation to build something bigger, something better out of it. Howard Roark, the protagonist in , wouldn't build a masterpiece out of flimsy materials.
He would choose strong pieces, that know exactly what their purpose is. If each of us becomes like these pieces, society would be a solid masterpiece that would survive the toughest changes, growing over time.
In picking up that book, I may not have found the escape I was looking for, but maybe I found something more important - a revelation about the world.
What if it helps transform our society to help each of us be more independent?
Courtenay Huffman is a student at Dr. Charles Best Secondary.