How Did Montag Change In Fahrenheit 451

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“It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things blackened and changed” (Bradbury 3). These outlandish views belonged to Guy Montag, a major protagonist of Fahrenheit 451. In this book, Ray Bradbury describes a dystopian setting in which technology has completely dominated society and books have been banned altogether. Within this civilization, people are oblivious to the past and what it means to have real emotions and be truly alive; however, there is an exception: Clarisse McClellan. There are several events within the novel that begin to change Montag and draw him away from his initial views, starting with his encounters and brief discussions with Clarisse following up to her death. Along with that, Montag’s …show more content…

The first instance where Clarisse’s influence is clearly shown is when she asks Montag, “’Are you happy?’” and Montag later mocks the question to himself, “’Happy! Of all the nonsense.’ He stopped laughing” (Bradbury 10). Based on Montag’s reaction to such a simple question, he cannot comprehend those kinds of true emotions, though, after thinking about it for just a few moments, he starts to reflect on himself. The fact that a question, such as that, was not obvious to Montag, shows how technology and other factors in Bradbury’s twisted world have taken away compassion, along with feelings in general. After only one inquiry from Clarisse, a life’s worth of questioning was instigated. Another indication of Montag’s change of thought is the portion where he judges the conversations with Clarisse and realizes the enormous impact they have had, saying, “Only an hour, but the world had melted down and sprung up in a new and colorless form” (Bradbury 17). So, after talking with her for only a short time, he notices the changes within himself and gains a whole new outlook of his surroundings and finally sees what they lack: humanity. Montag begins to become conscious of her effects on him and, eventually, realizes that, “He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn …show more content…

Whilst the firemen began to trash a woman’s books and her house, Montag notes that, “She made the empty rooms roar with accusation and shake down a fine dust of guilt that was sucked in their nostrils as they plunged about” (Bradbury 37). After witnessing a woman watch all of her belongings be completely ravaged and destroyed, Montag finally begins to feel guilt and other emotions that have been abandoned in his society. This example displays an extreme version of censorship in which people can be severely punished, however, Montag is beginning to see the flaws in this way of thinking and he has started to show some humanity. Rather than exit her house and leave her books to burn, “The woman on the porch reached out with contempt to them all and stuck the kitchen match against the railing” (Bradbury 40). Watching this woman die along with her books with such disdain for him and the others changed his thoughts about books and made him question everything he had been doing thus far. This woman has made Montag begin to inquire about books, as he states to his wife, “’There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house’” (Bradbury 51). Montag begins to question the drastic censorship that condemns something that a

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