Guy Montag in Fahrenheit 451 And His Duality
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Guy Montag, the main character in Fahrenheit 451, goes through a huge change. He starts out to be a fireman; someone who burns banned books (a book that is illegal to have or read because it is thought to be “inappropriate” by some group or organization, or the like). In the book, you were said to be a criminal if you owned a banned book, or even if you read it. Montag changed a great deal, from a fireman who burns books, to a criminal who reads, and owns books. He does this to try and change society. To make the people actually enjoy books, and look at their good aspects, rather than their bad aspects. There are many reasons for the change in Montag’s life.
The book has several subtle hints to what causes the change. First of all, I think that Clarisse, the sixteen-year-old girl (going on seventeen), influenced Montag a lot. After they met, they became really good friends, and they began to talk seriously to each other, and not just talk playfully. Clarisse continued to tell Montag things the way she saw them, and she talked to him a lot about things her uncle told her. She always told him about how her uncle kept telling her how firemen were in the many years before, and how they would put out fires, rather than make them. When Montag was informed that Clarisse was hit by a car and killed, he got really depressed, and everything that Clarisse had ever told him, or done with him, stayed with him, and he never forgot it. After her death, the things that Clarisse told Montag influenced him more and he really paid attention to what she had been telling him all along. I think that Clarisse had the, over all, biggest impression an Montag, making him have a different perspective and look at things differently.
Not too long after Montag learned about Clarisse’s death, he received a call about a house that was found which had several books kept in it. He was told that an old woman owned the house. Montag Went to the house, and while he was there, the lady set herself and the books on fire. However, Montag tried stopping her by telling her that the books were not worth her life. Before she burned herself, Montag took one of her books.
Later in the book, we found out that before he met Clarisse, Montag met a man in the park named Faber. When Montag first saw Faber in the park, he saw him reading a book. Montag could have arrested Faber, but he didn’t. Instead, Montag went and started talking to Faber about books, and he even took a few books from him. Faber, knowing that Montag was a fireman (from his outfit), took a risk of giving the books (or even talking about them) to Montag, but he could tell that Montag was different. From the time Montag met Faber, he really started to change, becoming more interested in books, and going against his, well, “religion”. He would constantly think about the hidden books in his house. After a while, Montag began to make his feelings more obvious.
Many of his friends began to realize that he was changing, including his wife. Because of that, Montag’s relationships with many of his friends began to dissolve, as well as his relationship with his wife. Although he slowly began to make new friends, Montag still missed Clarisse, and wanted her to be back in his life and talking to him like she did before.
Faber began influencing Montag, starting to make him look at things differently, Clarisse continued influencing him and made a big impression in his thinking, and the old woman showed him her love for books, causing Montag to realize books, and make them a bigger part of his life.