The Transformation Of Society In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

1307 Words 6 Pages
Being social creatures, humans have great influence on one another’s lives. Their actions, sayings, beliefs, and opinions can transform the personalities of the people around them and have an effect on their perspectives of the world. Oftentimes, if there is a great majority of people that have the same viewpoint, it engulfs their society until everyone is thinking about the world in the same way. In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, people do not care for interacting with each other, but are only interested in materialistic things, such as televisions and cars. Guy Montag, a fireman whose job is to burn books and erase all past knowledge about what their society was like before, encounters several people who challenge his beliefs and prompt him …show more content…
After meeting Montag, young girl Clarisse asks him if he’s happy as she leaves for home, to which he comes to realize that “He [wears] his happiness like a mask and [Clarisse] had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back” (Bradbury 12). Montag’s society, who focus solely on trivial matters such as money and material items, are not used to speaking about topics such as people, nature, and happiness. By stimulating his thought process, Clarisse pushes Montag into self-realization, and he begins to take notice of how their society’s sole focus on tangible items is damaging to the people and their relationships with one another. There is no way for Montag to ask for his ‘mask’ back, which concealed his doubts about the people in his city, because once he starts to reevaluate his life, he becomes fully aware about the flaws in his worldly society. When Clarisse tells Montag how unfit he is for his job and how different he is from the unfeeling fireman who never hesitate to burn books, Montag’s feeling of belonging in society dissipates, and he feels “his body divide itself into a hotness and a coldness, a softness and a hardness, [and] a trembling and a not trembling”, and he senses “the …show more content…
Blake, sparks Montag’s transformation by demonstrating the importance of books. After contemplating about Mrs. Blake’s death and how she decided to set her house on fire when Montag and the fireman found her, Montag supposes that “There must be something in books, things [they] can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house” (Bradbury 51). Beholding the burning of Mrs. Blake disturbs Montag and impels him to comprehend how the books must have something special in them, seeing that someone was willing to give their life for them. The world is newly disillusioned to him, and Montag now strives to learn more about what the books contain so he can understand how to better his society. The night Mrs. Blake dies, Montag thinks “about all the kerosene [he’d] used in the past ten years” and he “realize[s] that a man was behind each one of the books” (Bradbury 51-52). All throughout Montag’s career, he had only destroyed, and never recognized that someone with his or her own life had carefully created each and every book that he decimated. After he perceives how vitally important books must be to Mrs. Blake and to other people in the world, Montag decides that books are significant and that burning them is wrong. Montag realizes that in order to change himself and recover the city, he needs knowledge from the books to help

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