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Fahrenheit 451 Essay

2080 words - 9 pages

The word fire strikes fear into the heart of every human. Fires take out more lives than people involved in car accidents and drug overdoses. Now imagine fire being the safe alternative to truth. Fire, the solution to all the problems of society, a society where books are burned and firemen start fires instead of putting out fires. This society can be found in Ray Bradbury's controversial novel about censorship, Fahrenheit 451. In this story a fireman, Guy Montag, attempts to understand what is present in books that at the mere sight of a book is incentive enough to burn it. The plot is simple, yet fiery. Fire is the panacea to everything in this story. Bradbury is attempting to send a ...view middle of the document...

He endures bad days and torments from his wife and peers. He worries about getting caught and performing so that the system rewards him. Montag represents the quest to know oneself and understand the world around him. But he is also realistic, and readers can believe that Montag has bones, blood, bone marrow, cells, hormones, just as they do. Montag is vulnerable to disease, injuries, physical and emotional discomfort. He is a sort of Charlie Brown that actually kicks the football. The book is rich in details. Although the novel is an entertaining tale of myths, legends, science and society, Bradbury's vivid creations provide much more than a sci-fi adventure. Montag's exploits show that sometimes breaking the rules, within reason, is more beneficial than harmful; that summoning courage despite fear is often necessary; and that making sacrifices is sometimes essential to gain desired goals.Montag survives challenges, dangers and obstacles, and faces overwhelming enemies. He is like a small, naïve child bravely opposing much larger and more advanced foes. At times, like many heroes, Montag is tempted by evil but refuses to cooperate. His quest may seem doomed and impossible, but the hero prevails. Like most heroes, Montag learns that respect must be earned and that sacrifices are necessary to achieve success. Only through the acquisition of knowledge can the hero complete his trials. His innate goodness empowered by his enlightenment defeats what represents wickedness and evil. Montag is appealing because of his authentic human characteristics. Although he is often bold and brave, Montag also experiences self-doubt and is afraid, asking for help when he is terrified and feels powerless. Despite being surrounded by his friends, he is often isolated. Montag endures emotional abuse from his wife who callously disregards him, not even remembering the time they first met. Montag though is truly human, and Bradbury does not sugarcoat his characterization. He can be irritable or empathetic, tired or energetic, and clueless or proficient. Montag's housewife is a hopeless TV addict whose only family is the family that she knows from TV. She is not a supporting wife and even turns the authorities against him when she finds out that he was hiding books. Then there is Montag's fire chief, Beatty, who despises books and is a product of the system, a minion of the new order. He stereotypes the evil villain who does things knowingly and immorally. Faber, an old English professor, helps Montag discover the real human in him, a human who is curious and vies for knowledge. Bradbury gives each of the characters distinctive qualities, helping the plot to develop.Bradbury uses flamboyant imagery in Fahrenheit 451 making the readers feel they are viewing the imagery from a bird's eye view. However, he is not being an omniscient author to keep the readers away from predicting the plot and keeping the book interesting. Readers would expect everything to go back to...

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