Fahrenheit 451: Montag and Society Essay

920 Words Apr 19th, 2008 4 Pages
Curious, confused, lonely and bewildered are some of the words that can be used to describe Guy Montag in Ray Bradbury’s novel on dystopian society, Fahrenheit 451. The protagonist, Montag, stray away from the norms of society as he discovers a void in his life that can be filled with books. Unlike the rest of society, he represents many lost ideals such as compassion, desire for knowledge and a need for the company of another. On the other hand, Montag also represents some of the ideals of the dystopian society in which he functions; impatience and unidentifiable discontent to name a few. He represents the spirits of the quintessential fireman and the ultimate dissident wrapped in up in one mad who cannot decide who he is. For most of the …show more content…
During the game with Clarisse in the rain, she teases that Montag is not in love. Montag replies “I am very much in love. I am!” (Bradbury 22). Prior to that conversation, Montag also affirms his happiness by saying “Happy! Of all the nonsense […] Of course I’m happy. What does she think she is?” (Bradbury 10). This shows his naiveté on his perspective of life because at further examination among his thoughts, Montag realizes he is neither happy nor in love. He seemed so secure of his position on life that he failed to realize the brevity of reality creeping up on him. Montag seems to be a content man, secure in the knowledge that he is doing his civic duty by spraying stacks of books with kerosene, and then setting them on fire and ignoring his problems, much like the rest of society. After meeting Clarisse, Montag questioned his quality of life which started a snowball effect to his liberation from society. He recognizes the need for companionship, which is what makes Montag believe that he is in love. Frequently silent, Montag feels a need for compassion, which makes him clings onto Faber and Clarisse. He cannot talk to his own wife because she is too busy interacting with a family that is two-dimensional. Slowly, Montag begins to see the flaws in society. He understands the ignorance expressed by people; it compels him to tell Clara Phelps his outlook on life. Asserting, Montag screams “I’ve always said poetry and tears, poetry and suicide and

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