Montag Character Analysis in Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451, at which the temperature a book paper is able to catch on fire and burn, written by award-winning Ray Bradbury. Guy Montag is an ordinary man who did his job as a fireman until he later meets many external forces, causing him to change his viewpoint in many ways. The external forces are the cause of Montag's to become more truthful with himself, gradually affecting the plot.

Montag's first encounter was with a young lady, Clarisse McClellan who changes his view first. As Montag and Clarisse are walking and talking home, their conversation leads to many questions and many answers, including one that questions his happiness." Darkness. He was not happy. He was not happy. He said the words to himself. He recognized this as the true state of affairs. He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back” (Bradbury 5). Although Montag thought and thought trying to convince himself that he's already contented, nevertheless, he wasn't and finally thought about it truthfully. When Montag happenstances Clarisse, it's quite obvious on how he changes after this meeting, this strikes the beginning of Montag's emotional and phycological change.

Montag shortly goes on duty and meets an old woman who kept books, this encounter sets a question; does Montag want to continue as a fireman?

As Montag goes on duty as he regularly does, he is anticipated to scorch the books at the old woman's home, however, she's putting up a fight up until she in due course burns herself along with most of the books. Montag, though, gets a hand at one of the books, and clandestinely brings it home, thinking hard about the book after keeping it and reading it. "It's not just the woman that died," said Montag. "Last night I thought about all the kerosene I've used in the past ten years. And I thought about books. And for the first time, I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I'd never even thought that thought before" (Bradbury 25). This quote from Fahrenheit 451 demonstrations Montag in his deep thoughts about the book in between a choice that would risk his job, but finally being able to fill in his inquisitiveness of books. Furthermore, the main idea of this part is that Montag got his hands on a book, becoming strained about it until he finally orates it, becoming gratified but still distrustful of his verdict.

 Montag soon comes across Professor Faber who teaches and is able to persuade Montag with his knowledge and wise words. During a conversation they both were having, Faber says these words to Montag.

" Those who don't build must burn. It's as old as history and juvenile


"So that's what I am."

"There's some of it in all of us” (Bradbury 42).

The meaning behind this quote is that the world is separated into two kinds of people, ones that destroy (burn) and those who build. In this case, Montag is fighting as a rebel for the reading of books, so he would be a builder in this quote. Faber’s encounter brings Montag to a conclusion about what he was and the world he lived in. Additionally, responding, “ So that’s what I am.” It shows how Montag is now content with his feelings towards books and demonstrates how the plot changes because of this.

The outside forces are the reason for Montag's reasoning and make him become more content and truthful with himself. These characters Montag meets before the plot changed his content and curiosity in life, making him change emotionally. As each character was different, dug different meanings into Montag to make him question himself, his life, the government, and books. Books should not be looked down upon. Books may seem insignificant, but books are extremely important and took a role in our life from the past, present, and future. In the novel, they burn books worrying about people's ideas after reading a book. Consequently, after reading a book, the government won't be able to control what conclusions the public may come to reading a book.


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