How Does Montag Change In Fahrenheit 451

Better Essays
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, is a classic novel that challenges authority through self-discovery and growth. The main character Guy Montag is a dedicated fireman. He enjoys his job, watching pages of books become nothing more than burnt ash. He has never questioned anything before, nor has he had a reason to. That is, until he encounters three important individuals that seem to influence a change in Montag and ultimately change his world. His contact with a 17 year old girl named Clarisse McClellan, an elderly woman who was willing to die for her books, and an old professor named Faber, help Montag start to question things and begin a transformation that takes him from the rule following, book burner; to an idea challenging, book reader…show more content…
She is the first person who challenges Montag and gets him to truly think. She triggers Montag’s questioning of life, what he is doing, and his relationship with his wife Mildred. Upon their first encounter Clarisse begins asking Montag questions, questions about a time when firefighters put out flames not started them, a time when life was a bit slower. She asks, “Are you happy?” once Clarisse is home Montag responds, “Of course I’m happy. What does she think? I’m not” (pg 10). This quote supports my claim that she is challenging him to think. You can sense his uncertainty in his defensive response, it is as if he is almost infuriated at the thought. He has begun questioning his life. Is he happy burning books instead of reading them? Is he happy speeding through life? Is he happy with his wife? On their next encounter, she tells him that he isn’t like the other firefighters. That he looks at her when she speaks, that he puts up with her when the others don’t. She tells him that firefighting doesn’t seem right for him. This comment causes a reaction in Montag, “He felt his body divide itself into a hotness and a coldness, a softness and a hardness, a trembling and a not trembling, the two halves grinding one upon the other” (pg 24). His reaction shows a conflict, that is causing emotion and thought. He begins to wonder why he isn’t happy.…show more content…
The two have a short visit on a bench where it was evident to Montag that Faber was obstructing his view of a book with his coat. Yet for some reason, Faber gave Montag his contact information that day. Years later, after Clarisse and the old woman have planted the ember of curiosity for books and life in Montag, his intuition sent him to Faber for help. He decided to seek out Faber. Montag needs answers, help and direction. He pleads with Faber to help him, “You’re the only one I knew might help me. To see. To see…I want you to teach me to understand what I read” (pg 81-82). Faber agrees to help Montag, he becomes Montag’s mentor, and has a large effect on him. He also gives Montag an earpiece, to continue to educate him when they are not together. It also helps him interact with Beatty as well as others. This plays a crucial part in Montag’s change. Montag at times felt dismal, and very alone, but the voice in his ear, which was Faber was comforting. He was elated when he realized that with Faber, “He would be Montag-plus-Faber, fire plus water, and then, one day after everything had mixed and simmered and worked away in silence, there would be neither fire nor water, but wine” (pg 103). This shows that Montag knew that one day with the help of Faber he would emerge as an improved, educated, and
Get Access