Many people revel in the understanding that, no matter how different we look on the outside, human beings are all the same inside, not just with the placement of organs and the ways our muscles flex, but also in our wants and fears, such as our need to understand the meaning of life and our fear of death and the unknown. This sense of sameness makes characters in books and movies relatable and easy to connect with. In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Frederick Douglass’s The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, the fictional Guy Montag and one of the leading abolitionists of the 19th century, Frederick Douglass, experience many of these conditions as they fight an oppressive government and its laws. In Fahrenheit 451 and The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, both authors address the human conditions that cause us to be resilient. In Fahrenheit 451 and The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, the authors address the human’s instinctive sense of curiosity. For example, when Clarisse prompts Montage to wonder about his job, he asks the captain “Was it always like this? The firehouse, our work?” (Bradbury 34). Clarisse’s friendship with Montag instills in him a curiosity about his life that fuels his development as a character throughout the novel, leading him to steal forbidden books and question his relationship with his wife. As Montag’s curiosity ignites, his life changes dramatically as he begins to distrust the life he leads under the rule of a government that actively suppresses human curiosity and creativity, a life he once led without question or thought. Similarly, In The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, the titular narrator became interested in the word abolition and “set about learning what it meant” (Douglass 51). The curiosity that led Douglass to explore an oppressive term he did not understand eventually inspired his role in the abolitionist movement. Without utilizing his natural curiosity, an innate human...
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