montag fire

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Montag and the ever changing fire

In Fahrenheit 451 the view on fire is ever changing. Fire is seen as seen as entertaining, evil and consuming, and finally as kind and giving. Montag’s opinion of fire is constantly changing based on his progression away from the state of mind society has made.

Montag at the beginning of the book loves fire and enjoys watching and setting them. He states “It was a pleasure to burn” (7). Montag enjoyed fire so much that he even saw kerosene as a perfume. While talking to Clarisse Montag tells her that “Kerosene… is nothing but a perfume to me.” (10). It is apparent that Montag sees fire as nothing other than a show for him and the people of the world.

Montag opinion of fire begins to change when he witnesses the woman burned in her own home in a fire they set. He no longer sees fire as something to be played with or taken lightly. After the spectacle Montag fears the fire and even sees it when he closes his eyes. Montag tells Mildred “…this fire will last me the rest of my life…I’ve been trying to put it out, in my mind, all night. I’m crazy with trying.”(55). If the fire never stops in his head will Montag ever be at peace.

By the end of the novel Montag sees fire as helpful, kind and giving. After escaping the mechanical hound Montag wandered through the forest and saw a light he knew to be fire but his first thought wasn’t that it was evil but kind. Montag thinks “It was not burning. It was warming.”(147). When he saw the fire it was very different to him even so that it had a different smell Montag stated that “Even its smell was different.”(147). Montag idea of fire has changed from the begging of the story so much that instead of a taking fire has gone to building and giving.

Montag had changing views on fire that arrayed from entertaining, to monstrous, and finally warm and giving. Montag’s opinion of fire the more he thought rather than did his beliefs progressed him through the story....
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