And Rearden said the following at his trial for the illegal sale of metal:

“You pose as a champion of freedom, but it’s only the freedom to make money that you’re after.”
“Yes, of course. All I want is the freedom to make money. Do you know what that freedom implies?”
“Surely, Mr. Rearden, you wouldn’t want your attitude to be misunderstood. You wouldn’t want to give support to the widespread impression that you are a man devoid of social conscience, who feels no concern for the welfare of his fellows and works for nothing but his own profit.”
“I work for nothing but my own profit. I earn it.”

He also said the following to Paul Larken:

“What do they write about me?”
“Well, you know the stuff. That you’re intractable. That you’re ruthless. That you won’t allow anyone any voice in the running of your mills. That your only goal is to make steel and to make money.”
“But that is my only goal.”
“But you shouldn’t say it.”
“Why not? What is it I’m supposed to say?”

On the other hand, compare that to when Howard Roark and Peter Keating were discussing the Cortlandt project:

“Well? Go on. I want you to give me a reason why I should wish to design Cortlandt. I want you to make me an offer.”
“You can have all the money they pay me. I don’t need it. You can have twice the money. I’ll double their fee.”
“You know better than that, Peter. Is that what you wish to tempt me with?”
“You would save my life.”
“Can you think of any reason why I should want to save your life?”
“It’s a great public project, Howard. A humanitarian undertaking. Think of the poor people who live in slums. If you can give them decent comfort within their means, you’ll have the satisfaction of performing a noble deed.”
“Peter, you were more honest than that yesterday.” His eyes dropped, his voice low, Keating said: “You will love designing it.”
“Yes, Peter. Now you’re speaking my language.”

Reardon seems to imply that his main motive is money, whereas Roark seems to imply that his love for the work (not the money) is his main motive. What is the reason for the difference here?

1 Answer 1


Okay, to begin with you must not think merely of money as the motivator in human existence. Ayn Rand wrote both of these books to promote her own philosophy called objectivism, which is the premise that there is only this world, what you and I see and create it to be. Her ideas extend throughout the text to the conclusion that man defines his objective reality with his own individualistic expression of his ego.

Both men were heroic archetypes in a more modern setting; they both were leaders who were handsome, charming, and went after the most exclusive women. In a way the characters juxtapose one another in that one desires money and perhaps status, whereas the other desires expression of his inner genius regardless of money, prestige, or achievement. Yet, on the other hand, they are moreso individualistic parallels of the same character type with the same philosophical outlook on life.

They both express the value of their ego in the material world, one with money and business brilliance, and the other with architectural genius. They both gain fulfillment of their passions and purpose with expression of themselves in the material realm, albeit with different modes of expression, yet still with the same resultant effect.


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