Fahrenheit 451

Montag, Beatty and the rest of the firemen expected it to be just another burning. They did not expect an unidentified woman to commit suicide along with burning her books. As the firemen attempted to save the woman, she told them to “go on.” Within a moment, “The woman on the porch reached out with contempt to them all and struck the kitchen match against the railing.” On the way back to the firehouse, the men didn’t speak or look at each other. While Beatty began showing the knowledge he has gained from books, which along with the death, firemen begin to show that they are thinking and showing emotions. While listening to Beatty, Blackstone passes the turn to the firehouse, while Montag is amazed at his intelligence.
After meeting the exiles, the war has begun, and a bomb was dropped in the city, killing everyone. Before they begin they’re adventure back towards the city, Granger decides to start a fire and cook some beacon. While eating, Granger mentions the Phoenix, and explains how society is related to the Phoenix; “He must have been the first cousin to man. But every time he burnt himself up he sprung out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again. And it looks like we’re doing the same thing over and over.”
After arriving to Montag’s home, Beatty instructs Montag to burn his own books as his punishment. Instead, Montag burns the television sets and the bed, in spite of Millie’s pleasures. When Beatty discovers the hidden book in Montag’s jacket and the earpiece, he tells Montag he and Faber will be arrested. In fear, Montag turns the flame thrower on Beatty, making him a “shrieking blaze, a jumping, sprawling gibbering manikin no longer human or known.” After burning the mechanical dog, Montag reassures himself that Beatty wanted to die.

Montage burns his first house, showing his pleasure and joy in his job. “It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten and blacken and change.” By the end of the novel, Montag watches the sun as he floats down the river. Montag decides that he must never burn again; “The sun burnt everyday. It burnt time. The world rushed in a circle and turned on its axis and time was busy burning the years and the people away, without any help from him.

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The three symbols all work to show orders followed and complete power, rebirth, death, and change.
Montag, Faber, and Beatty’s struggle revolves around the tension between knowledge and ignorance. The fireman’s duty is to destroy knowledge and promote ignorance in order to equalize the population and promote sameness. Montag’s encounters with Clarisse the old woman and Faber ignite in him the spark of doubt about this approach. His resultant search for knowledge destroys the unquestioning ignorance he used to share with nearly everyone else, and he battles the basic beliefs of his society. By Montag following orders and burning the books, and finding pleasure in it, it shows authority in complete power and following orders.

After the bombing of the city, Granger compares mankind to a phoenix that burns itself up and then rises out of its ashes over and over again. Man’s advantage is his ability to recognize when he has made a mistake, so that eventually he will learn not to make that mistake anymore. Remembering the mistakes of the past is the task Granger and his group has set for themselves. They believe that individuals are not as important as the collective mass of culture and history. The symbol of the phoenix’s rebirth refers not only to the repeated life of history and the collective rebirth of humanity but also to Montag’s own rebirth.

Before Montag burns Beatty to death with the flame thrower, Beatty spoke to Montag, “It’s perpetual motion; the thing man wanted to invent but never did. . . . It’s a mystery. . . . Its real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences . . . clean, quick, sure; nothing to rot later. Antibiotic, aesthetic, practical.” He comes across the mystical nature of fire, its mysterious beauty, and the fascination it holds for people. Beatty, who

Fahrenheit 451

In the 1950 novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury presents the now familiar images of mind controlled worlds. People now live in a world where they are blinded from the truth of the present and the past. The novel is set in the, perhaps near, future where the world is in war, and firemen set fires instead of putting them out. Books and written knowledge is banned from the people, and it is the firemen’s job to burn books. Firemen are now the policemen of this time. Some people have rebelled by hiding books, but have not been very successful. Most people have conformed to this world. Guy Montag, a fireman, is a part of the majority who have conformed. Throughout the novel Montag goes through a transformation, where he changes from a Conformist to a Revolutionary. Guy Montag has never questioned his job before the day he met Clarisse McClellan. This is the first time where Montag is confronted with the idea that, he doesn’t understand the whole truth about books. Montag meets Clarisse as he is one day walking home from work, and they strike up a conversation. During their conversation Montag is questioned why books are illegal and why firemen burn the books. She also asks him if he had ever read any of the books that he burned. His reply was that it is against the law. Clarisse even asks, “… long ago did firemen put fires out instead of going to start them?”(Fahrenheit 451, page 38) Montag replies by telling her that that is nonsense, and that “Houses have always been fireproof,…”(Fahrenheit 451, page 38) Here you can see how brainwashed and blinded the truth is for the people. Clarisse says good night to Montag, and right before she leaves she asks him, “Are you happy?”(Fahrenheit 451, page39) Before Montag can reply Clarisse is gone, and she leaves Montag pondering her question. As he tells himself that her question was nonsense, he starts to realize that he is not happy with his life. Someone else who changed Montag’s thinking, changed it by their actions not by tell him anything. One day the firemen got a call with an address of someone who was hiding books. The firemen, doing their job like always, went to the house to find the books and burn them. When they got there they had found the books, but when they went to burn them the person who owned the books would not leave them. The firemen ordered her to leave, but she wouldn’t. She stood with her books and burned with them. This baffled Montag. He could not understand why this person would die for her books. This made Montag more curious to find out what were in these “books.” As Montag started to question the idea of books being corrupt, he had people trying to stop these ideas. One person who tried to brainwash Montag was his Captain, Beatty. Beatty’s reasoning for banishing books was that they made too many problems. Beatty was not the only one that tried to stop Montag from thinking books might have some good in them. Having the firemen burn books was not the only way used to stop people from reading books. Montag was brainwashed, by a form of television, to keep him away from books. This form of television was called “the family.” It wasn’t only Montag who was being brainwashed from the family. Every home had a family installed in it, and all showed the same exact programs. A good example of a person brainwashed from the family was Montag’s wife, Mildred. Mildred was completely obsessed with the family. She would watch it all day long. She even wanted to install a third wall in their “parlor,” the room where the family is located. Montag did not only have people trying to stop him from opening his mind, he also had people helping him find the truth. One of these people was an elderly man by the name Fabian. Montag arrived at finding Fabian after reading a book that he had sneaked out of a house that was raided by the firemen. He had many questions and he wanted to find


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