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Here's the full quote:

"To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That's what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul - would you understand why that's much harder?"

asked Feb 12 '11 at 22:32

Cherman's gravatar image


edited Feb 13 '11 at 00:00

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

That is a quote from the character Howard Roark in Rand's novel, The Fountainhead, addressing Peter Keating. I noticed this page online analyzing the metaphor: http://www.novelguide.com/thefountainhead/metaphoranalysis.html

(Feb 12 '11 at 23:58) Greg Perkins ♦♦ Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Here, "selling your soul" means being a second-hander: letting others determine your values and your convictions. It's the way Peter Keating lives his life. In contrast, "keeping your soul" means being independent, a first-hander: taking the responsibility of thinking and deciding for yourself, choosing your own values.

Roark is saying that being a second-hander is defaulting on that responsibility, by dropping the effort of thinking. To keep your soul, to be independent, requires thought and effort.

answered Feb 13 '11 at 03:17

jasoncrawford's gravatar image

jasoncrawford ♦

Thanks; now I get (I thought it was a Rand quote and not a line in Fountainhead.)

(Feb 13 '11 at 09:43) Cherman Cherman's gravatar image

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Asked: Feb 12 '11 at 22:32

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Last updated: Feb 13 '11 at 09:43