Power of Others
Throughout Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, the reader sees that human’s strongest desire is the desire for power. With an American future where books are illegal and everyone happily watches television, one particular character in the book tries his hardest to break free from the culture of society. As a fireman, Guy Montag’s duty was to start fires rather than put them out. Witnessing the experience of an old lady being burned alive with the books she owned became a high motivating force that begins the change of Montag. Ray Bradbury uses Guy Montag and his struggles to free himself from the power of others and society to show that the will of the government is limitless for what is considered to be expedient.
Guy Montag’s identity becomes unclear through the book. “You’re one of the few who put up with me. That’s why I think it’s so strange you’re a fireman, it just doesn’t seem right for you somehow” (Bradbury 21). Readers began to see the irony in Montag’s identity in being a loyal fireman and his belief that there is something unmoral in burning books. With Montag’s personality in believing whatever someone tells him and being easily persuaded, he believes that burning book is protecting society from the dangers of reading. “Fool, thought Montag to himself, you’ll give it away. At the last fire, a book of fairy tales, he’d glanced at a single line. ‘I mean,’ he said, ‘in the old days, before homes were completely fireproofed—’ Suddenly it seemed a much younger voice was speaking for him. He opened his mouth and it was Clarisse McClellan saying, ‘Didn’t firemen prevent fires rather than stoke them up and get them going?’” (Bradbury 31). At this point, Montag is really confused if he is helping the community or simply harming it. Slowly, he is trying to free himself from the patterns of the society and trying to find the meaning and the important message behind books. As he struggles to find his way out of the power...
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