The novel Fahrenheit 451 is an acclaimed depiction of a dystopian world that employs firemen to destroy literature and the printed word. The protagonist, Guy Montag, faces internal as well as external conflicts during the novel. His character is constantly evolving throughout the course of the text. Fahrenheit 451 is essentially a bildungsroman due to the fact that the protagonist is so dynamic in character and continually changing.
A bildungsroman is a novel in which the moral and psychological growth of the protagonist is depicted from the genesis to the denouement of the given work. At the onset of the novel Montag is a rule following conformist. He obeys the rules and regulations provided by his employer and thoroughly enjoys his work. He took great pleasure in burning the helpless works of literature. “It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.” (Bradbury 1). Montag appreciates the fire’s ability to wholly consume things. The excitement he finds watching things burn makes up for the excitement he lacks in his life and more specifically his marriage. He lets his wife walk all over him, often allowing her to speak harshly to him and demean him. He also adheres to the sanctioned laws that the government puts forth and
never questions whether or not they are moral. He burns books without being phased and allows his wife to spend more and more of his limited salary, regardless of how it is damaging their relationship. However his persona does not remain the same throughout the course of the novel. The first hint of change in his character takes place when he befriends Clarisse McClellan. Clarisse is a spunky and questioning free-spirit, essentially she is the opposite of Montag. Clarisse, unlike Montag questions everything. She takes time to consider those life questions that no one else would think about, she even questions whether or not he
Cited: Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2013. Paperback. “Bildungsroman” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2013. .