The Second Stage Of Rebellion In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

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Can you imagine a world where firefighters start fires instead of putting them out? That is what Guy Montag’s job is as a firefighter in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. He mindlessly performs his job of burning books, which ultimately is destroying knowledge. He lives in a strict society, which dwells on annihilating individualism. Montag’s first stage of rebellion begins when he meets Clarisse. She encourages him to see the world differently and ask questions, to which his society is not accustomed. His second stage of rebellion is seeing a woman burn herself with her books. This provokes Montag’s interests on what must be inside of them. It encourages him on his third step of rebellion, meeting with Faber. Faber is Montag’s teacher. He guides …show more content…
Clarisse McClellan is a seventeen-year-old girl who loves life and nature. She refuses to conform to society as the world has told her to do by engaging in conversation and asking questions. “Are you happy?” (Bradbury 7). Clarisse asks this as she is going inside after walking with Montag and introducing herself and all her abnormal ideas and actions. In Bruccoli and Baughman’s book, Student’s Encyclopedia of American Literary Character, it is stated “Clarisse provides a contrast to Montag’s character and way of life” (Bruccoli 113). After Clarisse asks if Montag is happy, he begins to question his life and everything he thought he knew. Throughout the book, Clarisse is Montag’s inspiration. Beetz and Niemeyer state in their book, Beacham’s Guide to Literature for Young Adults, “Clarisse challenges Montag about the nature of his work and teaches him to pay attention to the outside world” (Beetz 1679). When she dies in a car accident, Montag begins relating all the books he has burned to her death. “Last night I thought about all the kerosene I’ve used in the past ten years. And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of those books… And I’d never thought that before” (Bradbury 49). Montag realizes that just as Clarisse was unique, each book is unique in itself. The beginning of Montag’s …show more content…
Liukkon states in “Fahrenheit 451.” “He gives Montag a Seashell Radio… thus perfecting his student’s schizophrenic state of mind” (Liukkon 2). Faber becomes the voice inside Montag’s head, perfects his thoughts, and helps guide him through his actions. “Go to the firehouse when it’s time. I’ll be with you. Let’s listen to this Captain Beatty together” (Bradbury 87). Faber and Montag’s plan is to plant books in firefighters’ houses to implicate them all over the country. This plan fails when Mildred, Montag’s wife, turns him in for owning books. Montag then must burn his own home. “I want you to do this job all by your lonesome, Montag. Not with kerosene and a match, but piecework, with a flamethrower. Your house, your clean-up” (Bradbury 109). After Montag burns down his home, he throws the flamethrower at Beatty and kills him. This sparks his need to run away, and part of his transformation. As stated in Bruccoli and Baughman’s book, Student’s Encyclopedia of American Literary Character, “When Montag kills Beatty, he embraces his own humanity, at the same time destroying his old identity” (Bruccoli 113). Montag then flees to the countryside to find his own happiness. The same source points out “Montag’s transformation is complete when he escapes and floats down the river. He finds beauty in his surroundings. It is finally a gesture of memory that makes Montag

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