The Metamorphosis of Man Montag
Ray Bradbury originally wrote his book, Fahrenheit 451, as an indictment versus the censorship apparent throughout the McCarthy age of America, and it has actually because become one of the couple of contemporary sci-fi books that can be considered a timeless. The adulation of this book is because of its variety of signs, metaphors, and character advancement. Bradbury’s character advancement is singularly remarkable in this book due to the fact that he shows the evolution of the main character, Person Montag, “from book-burner to living-book” (Johnson 111).
His maturity is shown by his growing understanding of the world in which he lives and by seeing the defects in his society. Bradbury highlights Montag’s transformation with him altering from a meaningless burning drone to his maturation and acceptance into a society of like-minded booklovers. The very first words of Bradbury’s novel state, “it was a pleasure to burn” (Bradbury 3). These words sum up the starting character of Montag; he enjoys burning, and his job is to “answer alarms not to put out fires, but to begin them (Moore 103). Person Montag is a fireman, a guy who is trained to spray kerosene on books, and light them in an incredible program.
He has actually never questioned his task or the reasoning behind burning books. He takes pride in his position, even shines his “beetle-colored helmet” as he hangs it on its hook (Bradbury 4). With fire Montag “bring [s] down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history”, and he savor the power of destruction that fire holds (Bradbury 3). His only view of fire is an item of his job as a firefighter; he sees fire as a maker, which merely burns and feasts on the liberty of individuals. In this duration of his life, Montag feels comfy with maker, especially the machines that produce fire.
He sees absolutely nothing wrong when his other half lip-reads his words rather of listening to him speak. When Montag first fulfills his young next-door neighbor, Clarisse, he thinks of her in a mechanical frame of mind (Johnson 111). He sees them walking, as if “fixed to a sliding walk, letting the motion of the wind and the leaves carry [them] forward” (Bradbury 5). Hence, Montag feels comfortable around the soulless innovation of his society; he likes to burn and to destroy, and he can not consider the morals that surround his job and his culture. Montag is very first pushed towards rejecting his society when he meets Clarisse.
She is brave enough to question society and in doing so causes Montag to question the morals of his civilization. Clarisse is the one who “represents those imaginative values that [Montag] lacks and which he needs to acquire” and she “awakens in him the desire to check out” (Touponce 126-8). Montag’s first response is to laugh off Clarisse’s questions; he appears uneasy with the thought of reading. His feelings and chuckling response expose his uneasiness around a young girl, who can so easily challenge the worths that he has actually followed all his life.
Clarisse is also important due to the fact that she awakens Montag to the natural world. She asks him if he understood there was a male on the moon, or if he understood what it indicates when a dandelion rubs off on a chin. Clarisse is the one who presents Bradbury’s theme that” [n] ature is great and innovation is bad” (Huntington 113). Clarisse lets Montag experience liberty from his society since” [t] he unique expresses this vision of flexibility with pictures of sentimentalized nature” (Huntington 112). She leaves him feeling that something in Montag’s world has actually changed, that” [h] e was not delighted? h] e wore his happiness like a mask and the lady had run throughout the lawn with the mask” (Bradbury 12). Montag can no longer accept the world the way it is, and thus, either he, or it, must alter. He then comes house to his other half, Mildred, to find her near death from a suicide effort. Montag watches as 2 workers use an ominous machine to purge his better half of the poison. Montag sees the device as “black cobra”, and he questions if “it suck [s] out all the poisons collected with the years” (Bradbury 14). Hence, Montag is beginning to see devices as inhuman and unnatural.
Mildred is a foil to Clarisse’s character; she represents the self-absorbed nature of her world, while Clarisse not just represents, but likewise is a living example of a natural, innovative world. (Watt 41). Bradbury reinforces this contrast by triggering Mildred to relate just to the subject of herself, while Clarisse’s favorite topic is other individuals. When Montag satisfies the Mechanical Hound, he discovers that it is a “dead monster, [a] living beast” (Bradbury 24). Donald Watt describes it as a “striking and sinister gizmo” and it “is most scary for being both alive and not alive” (41; Huntington 113).
The Hound becomes “Montag’s specific mechanical opponent? [and it] ends up being more suspicious of him” as time passes and Montag develops a higher flexibility from his society (Johnson 112). Thus, Montag is thrust into the awareness that his culture is not flawless, but rather is swarming with abuses of human freedoms. The last driver that persuades Montag that imagination is not to be ruined is his last job as a fireman. He is taken to an old female’s house, and he finds numerous books that “fell like butchered birds” when the “suddenly odious” firefighters walked among them (Bradbury 35-6).
Montag feels the lady’s presence in the house; he feels her allegations, and he suddenly feels guilty about his actions. The firefighters pour kerosene on all the books, and when they are ready to set the blaze, the female will declines to leave her library. Rather she lights a match herself and sets your house ablaze; she, in impact, devotes suicide in defense of her books. When he returns home, Montag weeps because it is” [t] his action, while it frightens Montag, also leads him to relate individuals with books and books with people” (Touponce 133).
Her suicide “causes Montag to question what there is in books that deserves craving and ultimately leads to his becoming a preserver of books instead of a destroyer” (Wood 148). Thus, the old female that wants to crave her books is the catalytic event that triggers Montag’s discovery of the repressive nature of his society. The next phase of Montag’s advancement reveals his open disobedience and his flight from what he can not change. Montag begins this phase with the awareness that he does not know his better half.
He considers his other half and finds that he would not grieve her even if she passed away: And he remembered thinking then that if she passed away, he was specific that he would not weep. For it would be the dying of an unknown, a street face, a paper image, and it was all of a sudden so very wrong that he had begun to cry, not at death but at the idea of not sobbing at death, a silly empty guy near a ridiculous empty lady? (Bradbury 44) Montag tries to discover the attraction that books hold by checking out the ones that he has stolen throughout the years. His remarkable, Fire Chief Beatty, acknowledges hat is going on in Montag’s life and tries to bring him back to the firehouse by explaining that books are useless, that they contradict each other and” [t] he larger your market? the less you handle controversy” (Bradbury 57). Beatty ends with the declaration to” [b] urn all, burn whatever. Fire is intense and fire is clean”, which shows the view of fire as a destroyer, a machine that cleanses the world of the risk of controversy inherent in all books (Bradbury 60). However, Montag is not persuaded of Beatty’s view of books because he realizes there must be something in them that could trigger the old lady to dedicate suicide.
Instead Montag turns to an old English professor for insight into books. Faber ends up being an essential force in the unique because he is the reverse of Beatty. He represents “peaceful, nourishing flame of independent innovative creativity” while Beatty represents “the wiping out function of fire” (Watt 41). It is Montag’s destiny to choose between these two characters. Faber likewise moves Montag even more into his change. Montag, with Faber’s aid, honestly rebels versus his society by becoming a spy in his own firehouse.
It is Faber who teaches Montag to like books, he is the “intellectual and didactic” force in Montag’s life (Watt 41). He tells Montag that books “reveal the pores in the face of life”; they are not afraid to reveal the unsightly details (Bradbury 83). Thus, with Faber’s help Montag has the ability to acknowledge his own improvement: “‘ [o] nly one week ago, pumping a kerosene tube, I believed: God, what enjoyable'” (Bradbury 89). This phase in Montag’s life ends with his murder of Beatty. Beatty taunts him, telling Montag that “fire will raise you off my shoulders, clean, quick, sure? a] ntibiotic, aesthetic, useful” (Bradbury 115). Beatty explains the aspect of fire as a purifier, a cleanser of all evils. Therefore, Montag fittingly damages Beatty with his own fire. At last Montag has actually broken free from his society, symbolically eliminating the only person who had any control over him: the captain of the firehouse. The last phase in Montag’s improvement reveals him finishing the circle from becoming a destroyer of books to a preserver. Montag runs away from his society, and in doing so he separates himself “from the majority permanently” (Hoskinson 3). He runs, perused by the Mechanical
Hound, as countless mindless individuals see on remote TELEVISION screens. Innovation has actually ended up being hateful to Montag; he is viewed by TV cams and nearly eliminated by thrill-seeking teenagers in a fast automobile. The only way that he can leave “the city world of harmful innovation” is to” [sign up with] the nurturing forest world” (Huntington 113). Lastly in order to escape, Montag takes a trip by river into the countryside. Montag’s journey down the river is essential because it “mark [s] the beginning of a transition, a rebirth through water, a rite of passage that devests Montag completely of his Fireman persona” (Touponce 139).
The water of the river has the impact of quenching the damaging fiery side of Montag, and for that reason, allowing him to advance towards becoming a book himself (Touponce 139). The last experience that Montag requires in order to end up being a living book, a male who brings a book within him, is the one he gains from seeing the campfire in the wilderness, and “for the first time in his life [he] realizes that fire need not be devastating, that in offering heat it can be benign” (Huntington 113).
Hence, Montag is now able to end up being a book, unimportant other than for the book brought in his head. He has actually turned into one of a couple of people who are dedicated to preserving books for future generation through plain memorization. Montag finds out about mankind through a member of this group. He is informed that mankind is extremely similar to the mythological monster, the phoenix, in that humans burn up their society, and then rises from the ashes in order to burn up once again. The only difference a fellow book-person, informs Montag, is that” [we] know all the? illy things we’ve done for a thousand years and as long as we understand that? one day we’ll stop making? funeral pyres and jumping in the middle of them” (Bradbury 163). Thus, Montag is able to pertain to the complete realization of the advantage of books in addition to the double nature of fire to both aid and hurt. Montag comes cycle in Fahrenheit 451 due to the fact that he has progressed from his lack of knowledge to becoming one of the few people who are brave enough to defy society by maintaining books.
The last message Bradbury leaves in the novel is a message of hope. Montag, who brings a piece of the Bible in his mind, returns to the city in hopes of resurrecting it after a bomb had destroyed it. His one desire is to search and perhaps discover his wife. In the last few lines he prices estimate the Book of Discoveries:” [a] nd on either side of the river was there a tree of life, which bore twelve way of fruits, and yielded her fruit monthly; And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Bradbury 165).
This quote guarantees humanity that they “need to have faith and endure before [they] can enjoy the fruits of victory” (Sisario 107). The long lasting moral is that in order to overcome the continuous destruction and rebirth of humanity, the mankind should utilize its creative mind and intellect (Sisario 107). Hence, Montag, together with the human race, was burnt to ashes at the start of the book, and at the end was reborn with a wholly brand-new outlook on his society and a strategy to prevent his intake by fire hereafter.