Guid Essay

Guid Essay

Montag’s Journey Into Becoming Progressive In Fahrenheit 451 – Free Essay Example

In dystopian stories, characters, who are scarce in ego, are ignorant about the society which surrounds them. In Fahrenheit 451, a fiction book written by Ray Bradbury, the protagonist, Guy Montag experiences challenges in this cataclysmic society which resulted in character transformation. Over the course of the text, Montag changes from being conservative to progressive by meeting a mentor, Clarisse, who made him question his happiness.

As Bradbury opens the chapter of the story, he illustrates Montag as a character who is scarce in awareness of the society surrounding him. In this society, people are scarce in freedom of gaining knowledge. They are brainwashed to be insensible of the emotion, happiness, and the necessity of knowledge. Working as a firefighter, Guy Montag is feeling “pleasure to burn”(1). In this situation irony, Guy Montag is illustrated as a psychopathic character who feels pleasure by burning books rather than extinguishing the fire. He does not question if his job brought him true happiness, but rather follows what he was told to do. His true happiness is blindfolded and manipulated by the government which has great power. At this point, Guy Montag is scarce in the ability to make a decision just like a hound, which acts through programming rather than thinking itself or acting through its emotions. His scarcity in awareness is also shown when Clarisse asked Montag if he had “read any of the books”(5) that he has burned; Montag answers that reading books are “against the law”(5). Expressed in his response, Guy Montag is a conservative character who is obedient to the society. On the other hand, Clarisse often questioned her life and happiness which made her be magnified among the people who are in this society. This contrast of characteristics showed potential that Clarisse can pull out Montag’s stupor. The moment Clarisse and Montag started having a conversation after they met for the first time, call to the adventure in the hero’s journey has begun.

As the story develops, Clarisse addresses questions that make Montag grow skepticism about society. For example, a simple question asked by Clarisse, “Are you happy”(7) disconcerts Montag. Although Montag replies, “Happy! Of all nonsense.”(8), he couldn’t hide the perplexity by crying out “Am I what?”(7) and even repudiated answering the questions he threw at himself by shaking off his head. Clarisse’s question played a significant role in leading Montag to enter the threshold and eventually lead to the road of trials. In addition, Montag made up his mind that he was feeling upset when Clarisse said Montag is “not in love with anyone”(19). He was rather confused by experiencing a clash between the indoctrinated ideology of the society and his own belief, awakened by Clarisse. Although Montag has started to perceive the society that he lives in is not typical, he remains conservative by hesitating to take actions.

Comprehending the truth of the society, Guy Montag concedes the scarcities surrounding the society and intrepidly take self-initiated actions. “Nobody listens any more. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me. I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk long enough, it’ll make sense. And I want you to teach me to understand what I read” (78). This quote proves how Guy Montag transformed as a progressive person who can boldly share his emotion, frustration, to others. Not being able to communicate with his emotionally stunned wife, who remains as a member of a controlled society, clearly supports how Montag is now pulled out from the catastrophic world, and start to resemble Clarisse, who freely enjoys sharing her own idea. He also expresses a passion towards learning. This shows how Montag finally understands the necessity of knowledge. Adding on to that, a quote, “A suitcase, get it, fill it with your dirties clothes, an old suit, the dirtier the better, a shirt, some old sneakers and socks” (129), illustrates how Montag is ambitious towards making own decision for his life rather than being controlled by the stronger power. He expresses his desperate emotion by choosing dirty clothes which is usually not people’s ideal choice.

In the book Fahrenheit 451, the main character undergoes character transformation from being conservative to progressive due to the mentor, Clarisse’s influence. With Clarisse’s help, Guy Montag was able to break from society and bring up hope for rebuilding the devastated society.

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Works Cited

  1. Ray Bradbury. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1951.

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