Who Is Montag In Fahrenheit 451

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In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Montag, the protagonist and book burner, battles between the light and dark sides of society, first with Beatty, his boss, and the government and then with Clarisse, a neighbor girl and Faber, an English professor. Montag is stuck in the dark burning books and is ignorant to the world around him. He moves towards greater awareness when he meets Clarisse and is awakened to the wonders of deep thought and books. Finally, he risks his life by trying to save the books. At the outset, Montag was consumed by the darkness. He was a fireman who started fires instead of dousing them. Asked how long he has done so. He replies, “since I was twenty, 10 years ago.” (5) All the time he was, burning book after book, not knowing the full extent of his actions; he was totally unaware of all the knowledge being destroyed at his hand. He followed a set of edicts: “RULE 1. Answer the alarm quickly. 2. Start the fire swiftly. 3. Burn everything. 4. Report back to the firehouse immediately. 5. Stand alert for other Alarms.” (32) He never questioned them or their validity. He was a product of indoctrination, Montag believed everything, accepted until he met…show more content…
He read an actual book an epiphany. “Montag shook his head. He looked at a blank wall. The girl’s face was there, really quite beautiful in memory: astonishing, in fact.” (8) His short time with Clarisse transformed Montag. Her memory was always in his head, the aura she radiated forceful. With just one meeting, Montag already began to question his beliefs and actions. “And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I’d never even thought of that before.” (49) Montag begins to realize how wrong what he is doing really was. Books were powerful, Clarisse was powerful. Montag’s world was widening, his vision was expanding. Montag was seeing the
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