Fahrenheit 451: An Analysis of Guy Montag
It was a pleasure to burn. In the science fiction novel, “Fahrenheit 451”, by Ray Bradbury, knowledge is useless and should not be gained unless a person wants to be looked down upon. This is the reason why books in this dystopian society are banned. The protagonist, Guy Montag brings the novel’s message of censorship to light by forming friendships that are illegal, rebelling against society in order to gain knowledge, and finding flaws within the society. Guy Montag is not the average person. In today’s society fireman usually put out fires, however in Montag’s society he creates fires in order to burn illegal books and homes of their owners without questioning why this must be done. He is intelligent and free-thinking, but in his society, this is frowned upon by many. He feels guilty because he is a traitor to his society and to his fellow firemen. Montag bounces from one personal crisis to the next throughout the entire novel. When he cannot deal with guilt, he begins to mess with his sense of self. Guy deals with an identity crisis when Clarisse asks him if he is happy...he can feel his body divide into halves, one side is rebellious and the other is his hands. His hands acts, he does not. This is all about his guilty conscience. “When I was a boy my grandfather died, and he was a sculptor… he was also a very kind man who had a lot of love to give the world, and he helped clean up the slum in our town; and he made toys for us and he did a million things in his lifetime; he was always busy with his hands. And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn't crying for him at all, but for the things he did.”(Bradbury 157). This is the solution to Montag’s identity crisis because he soon learns that identity is crafted by action. He takes this lesson to heart. Guy Montag realizes that his wife, Mildred does not actually do anything, so therefore she has no true identity. The other big crisis for Montag is that he does not...
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