'Fahrenheit 451', by Ray Bradbury, is a novel which invokes much considered just how we live in society today. Through the protagonist, Man Montag, Bradbury makes a wider point about the problems a divided world can present. Within the novel, Bradbury creates a culture in which all literature and free thought are forbidden. It really is clear to us that literature are seen to bring on all unhappiness and really should therefore be prohibited. As the fireman, it is Montag's job, never to released fires, as is the truth in today's world but instead to produce fires to be able to dispose of all unwanted literature. This creates a concept of dystopia by the federal government trying to please everyone by using censorship to limit people's independence and free thinking. As the book progresses we see Montag move through some vital changes, seeing him transform from a mindless drone, happy to do whatever anyone tells him to, into a free-thinking member of society, building a amount of resistance against a federal set to ruin all free thought. To be able to determine the effectiveness of Bradbury's portrayal of the changes in Montag, it is necessary to examine the items in the book which are, in my opinion, the most significant in Montag's change.
At the beginning of the novel, were released to the protagonist, Guy Montag, who is characterised by Bradbury as a Fireman without goal in life. Montag is one of the detrimental forces in contemporary society who destroys literature and also independence. Montag seems to take contentment in what he will and he appears to have no purpose in life apart from burning literature. Montag seems completely content with his position in life, without want to alter himself as a person and pleased with what he does indeed for society. Throughout the novel, Bradbury explains the fire as beautiful.
'His hands were the hands of some great conductor participating in all the symphonies of blazing and burning'
Bradbury is using the motif of Montag's hands showing us that Montag views flames, his creation, to be a thing of great beauty, in the same sense that a conductor views the music as a masterpiece of design. Montag perceives himself as an artist creating something of pure magnificence in the fireplace. Bradbury further stresses Montag's opinion of flames by using a key metaphor.
'He strode in a swarm of fireflies'
In making use of this metaphor, Bradbury creates the image of the fragments of earlier books being fireflies. Fireflies are animals that bring light to darkness. This acts as a highly effective link to Montag's view of open fire as a thing of beauty. Fireflies also have got a certain aura of magic and unknown creating an almost serene beauty. To Montag, things that are alight become beautiful so the sparks of the flames have emerged as beautiful. This helps to emphasise the satisfaction Montag consumes his work.
The following phases of the book reveal a unique feeling. At this time we are launched to Clarisse, an innocent teenage lady with a boundless interest who does not follow the style and who acts as a catalyst, speeding up Montag's change. The earth that she lives in hasn't ruined her and for that reason she seems to possess a sense of purity. She seems to be at the opposite end of the variety to Montag. The planet Montag lives in has changed him into an incurious individual with no notion to question anything. His lack of independence only seems to add to this characterisation by Bradbury. Clarisse plays an important part in Montag's change. She plants a seed of realisation in Montag's mind, accelerating what would just have been an extremely steady process. She asks him questions that are designed to make him think on the deeper level, something that he is unaccustomed to.
"Are you currently happy"
Montag is taken-aback by this question and reacts by stating 'Yeah Sure'. However, as I discussed earlier, this question was designed to make him think on a deeper, more personal level. What Clarisse is in actual fact requesting Montag is whether his life is fulfilled and has a purpose or a so this means. The incidents that follow this chat between the two show us that Montag is not in fact happy.
The suicide of any book lover is utilized by Bradbury to bring to light Montag's attention surrounding the world of books. The book enthusiast won't be segregated from her way of life and her culture. She seems that she'd rather die than leave her culture back of.
"We will this day light a candle when i trust shall never be put out"
This statement is intended to promote a trend. By adopting the role of your martyr, the booklet fan dying for that which she feels in, eventually in the hope that others will observe and a revolution will be sparked.
Bradbury is alluding to the 16th century witch studies at this time in the book. This allusion is relevant as those thought to have been witches were burnt. They passed on in unity with the love of their crafts. Those who burnt them do so in an attempt to discourage further serves. This is highly relevant to the book fan as she was burnt on her behalf love of reading, something that these were trying very hard to discourage.
The ownership of literature has been made unlawful by the federal government in this book as has free thinking behavior. Bradbury's allusion to the witch studies at this time reflects back again to a period in our history where we too criminalised people who, in our eyes, appeared different. His reference to such a horrific exemplory case of injustice just makes stronger the idea of the sheer size of the persecution that this book lover and many others face. As Montag is burning the books which he has been delivered to destroy, the reader is given an insight into the character of his function.
"A publication alighted, almost obediently, such as a white pigeon, in his hands, wings fluttering"
Bradbury's use of the idea of Montag's hands operating for themselves charts the various stages in Montag's transformation. At first, his hands are being used to set-up things of beauty, whereas at this stage they appear to own a life of their own, seemingly trying for catalogs sub-consciously. This evidently reveals his curiosity for literature that his outside do it yourself doesn't wish him to learn.
When Montag matches Faber, further change commences that occurs. Faber can be an old man whose love for literature has been extinguished. In his thoughts and opinions, it is those who didn't speak against the movements of book using who are to blame for the current situation. If he had acted when the change was taking place, he believes that, as before, others would have followed his take action up by doing the same. Faber induces Montag's personality and reveals to him the fact that he must figure out how to think for himself and not let himself be ruled by anyone else. It really is his intention to show Montag that the answer is not always apparent and that he must always be acting on his own ideas.
"Remember Caesar, thou art work mortal"
Bradbury makes this intertextual reference to Julius Caesar to illustrate Faber's warning against Montag's overconfidence. Caesar was a Roman emperor and tyrant who put himself above his country just as as the government does in this book. This comparison between your federal government and Caesar strongly shows how Bradbury seems about the government's actions. In this novel, the thought of censorship is utilized to mention how through restriction of free-thought, complete societies can implode. At this time in the novel, Montag seems never to be fully changed and for that reason he begins to take on Faber's personality as well as his own.
His mouth changed like Faber's
Bradbury clearly unveils that Montag is not capable of fully behaving for himself. Montag detects himself at a moral crossroads; following Faber or following Beatty (his captain). By pursuing Beatty, he'd continue to follow the 'ignorance is bliss' procedure. It would be a simple life to check out Beatty but his life could not be properly satisfied and he would haven't any sense of individuality or goal. If he chooses to unite with Faber and follow a typical goal, the dream of a satisfied life, then he'd become one of your similarly directed minority, preventing against almost all for what they believe in.
After choosing to unite with Faber, Montag burns his own house while Beatty pieces. By doing this, he appears to be burning away a part of his life that he wishes to neglect. In his view, the house represents this era of his life that he does not desire to be part of any longer. By burning everything, it is made clear to the reader that he has shifted along with his life. The large ferocity with which he works illustrates that he wishes to burn up everything, right down to the minutest thing that reminds him of his past self. Bradbury's language in this stage in the novel is similar to that in the beginning of the book. However, here Bradbury is illustrating that Montag has improved. His pleasure is currently drawn from using those items which he hates the most.
"Once more it was a pleasure to burn"
Here, Bradbury is revealing to us that Montag is again taking pleasure from using things but, rather than being the mindless drone that he was at the start of the novel, he calls for this pleasure as is he realises that losing things that he hates the most, he is able to burn up his life preceeding this and begin a fresh life.
Bradbury's use of symbolism to symbolize the river only emphasises Montag's change. As Montag passes through this inflatable water we are led to believe that he's being baptised, being reborn and segregated from his past life. Montag has an abrupt realisation that time is always transferring and that sunlight will always rise and placed. This brings him to the final outcome that life is limited and that if he burns things, this combines with the sun's using up to kill everything good in life departing only a shell at the rear of.
"He was not empty. There was more than enough here to complete him. There would always be ample"
At this aspect Montag's change is illustrated. He once was empty and yet now his interest of the world around him and the world of literature has filled up him with a constant flow of thought, enough to fill him for a long time. Upon leaving the river he realises the promises of a satisfied life. This commits Montag to finding whatever makes him truly 'happy'. He matches Grainger, a fellow outcast, who's part of several men who memorise books in order to learn extracts to others in time of need.
"You are the book of Ecclesiastes"
Montag has memorised the 'Publication of Ecclesiastes' before it is burnt and for that reason becomes the e book, prepared to be called after whenever he's needed. Thus giving his life a so this means and purpose displaying that he has finally found his own self-importance.
In the closing periods of Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury compares contemporary society to the phoenix, a bird that may be reborn from its ashes. Montag is also similar to the phoenix in this manner as he has risen from the depths of his own damage. Society does moreover as it creates wars which eliminate things, but out of the ashes it rebuilds itself. Individual population can be more advanced than the phoenix as it can study from its mistakes and prevent destruction. In such a novel, society seems to be so badly broken that ironically the only way it can restore itself is usually to be destroyed. Using this method Bradbury explains to us that if we learn from our faults before it is too overdue, there need be no more damage.
To conclude, Montag is efficiently portrayed by Bradbury through his ingenious use of imagery, symbolism and characterisaton. Bradbury refers to fire to mention Montag's initial feelings toward it in the opening periods of the novel. This shows Montag's insufficient change. However, pursuing his meeting with Clarisse, Montag begins to question his own life and kick-start his own change through Bradbury's word choice. After the suicide of your book enthusiast, Bradbury's personal references to earlier periods illustrate the value of books in the current society. Within the rebirth stage, the river is employed as a symbol to mention Montag's total change. This only has the aftereffect of emphasising the fact that the contemporary society in the book is a utilitarian one. He practices to share with how bringing contentment to the best number of folks does not always imply that they have got the right idea. In this particular novel, Bradbury serves as the speech of the minority. He instructs us that our individuality models us apart from other people and that our differences should be acted upon and not suppressed.
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