Our Society vs Guy Montag Fahrenheit 451
Bradbury writes about Montag’s society that is like ours today. He describes their society as a place where people may not think for themselves and live their lives according to the rules of their society. Television, computers, and other distractions do not allow them to think. This is like our society because we have become dependent on technology: we do nothing but live our lives without thinking, even being aware of what is happening, and not taking the time to educate ourselves by reading books. But there are a select few that are aware of what is happening: Clarisse, Montag, Faber, Beatty, the Hobos, and Granger. Bradbury made these assumptions in 1953 before technology. In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury uses irony and very detailed descriptions to get the full effect of Montag’s way of thinking: after meeting Clarisse, after meeting her and reading the books it was a rebirth for Montag. The irony is Montag does not realize how much he has changed from a man who lived in isolation to an individual who is now free. But for him to be free, he would have to break the rules and lose the people he thought he had known.
When Montag meets Clarisse, she asks if he had ever read a book. He said no since they forbid anyone to read books, Clarisse was interested because Montag is a firefighter who burns books who do not have the curiosity to read. Clarisse says, “Strange. I heard once that a long time ago houses used to burn by accident, and they needed firefighters to stop the flames'' (Bradbury 6). To Tom Montag’s knowledge, Benjamin Franklin was the first firefighter but in their society but to us, he was one of our founding fathers. She later said, “I sometimes think drivers don't know what grass is, or flowers because they never see them slowly,” she said. “If you showed a driver a green blur, oh yes! He'd say, that's grass! A pink blur? That's a rose garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows. My uncle drove slowly on a highway once. He drove forty miles an hour, and they jailed him for two days. Isn't that Mildred’s funny, and sad, too?” (Bradbury 6). If they took the time to see what was around them, it would send them to jail, the same as Clarisse's father, for being arrested for driving slow and taken in the world as it is. But the number of questions that Clarisse asks him irritated him. He does not know if he remembers what Clarisse tells him at the end of the conversation, she asks him if he’s happy. Before he could answer her question, she walked away for him to think about it. He said, “of course I’m, Happy. What does she think? I’m not. He asked about the quiet rooms” (Bradbury 8). He later realizes what kind of society he lives in, he realizes he is not happy. Later in the story, Montag asked Mildred if she had remembered anything about them meeting for the first time 10 years ago, she said no, Montag was angry about how they both did not know each other. Mildred was his wife but, they slept in different beds and did not exactly have a relationship except for the title of husband and wife, this leads with if they remember their past life before they prohibited books, if people took the time to think they’d remember their past life. But then again, in the type of society, they live in, maybe not.
Montag’s wife accidentally tried to kill herself by drinking an entire bottle of sleeping pills. When Montag called for medical help, they told him, “We get these cases nine or ten a night. Got so many. Starting a few years ago, we had a special machine built” (Bradbury 13). After Mildred’s accidental suicide the next day, she’d gone back to her routine, recalling nothing when she almost killed herself: she was a visual representation of their current society, of being distracted by what they called normal life. This is currently close to our lives, media apps and technology distract us until we do not realize what is going on. There are always going to be a few people who realize what is going on around them: Faber, Clarisse, Beatty, Montag, and the hobos know. They reported an old woman with various literature books. “On the front porch where she weighed them quietly with her eyes, her quietness a condemnation, the woman stood motionless” (Bradbury 37). The old woman chose the books, then living a life without their causes. Montag wanted to know about the books and what is great about them, he stole the bible book from the old woman’s burned house he went to his home and read the books hidden in his vent, he reads books and its awareness of life and the amount of history it contains. Montag tries to go to his wife to talk, but she preferred her fake television family. He’d remembered his old English teacher Faber. Which leads with a question that they had some kind of education before as well: if others took the time to think, would they remember their past life? But then again, in the type of society, they live in, maybe not.
After the conversation, Faber and Montag came up with a plan of going against their society’s rules to reproduce books again, but before Montag left, he gave him an earpiece to stay in contact with each other. He is doing this to create a better society for everyone, but before he could do that Beatty catches him with books, Mildred’s friends reported him from reading them a poem. Montag felt betrayed when he saw his wife, Mildred, walk away, not turning around to glance at him. Beatty tried to force Montag to burn up his own home and arrest him, but before he could, “Montag shut his eyes, shouted, shouted, and fought to get his hands on his ears to clamp and cut away the sound. Beatty flopped over and over and over, and at last, twisted in on himself like a charred wax doll and lay silent. Him with the torch” (Bradbury 113). He then took the books he had with him and ran away after a while of running. He had ended up in a dark alley where had realized that Beatty wanted to die. Furthermore, he wanted to die because he didn’t like the society that they were living in. Beatty hinted that he had read books due to him quoting many books to Montag. Also, how every firefighter had a minor curiosity about books. After him, processing what happened he left and go to Faber’s home in which he did, but the only obstacle was the road in which had killed Clarisse. Once, he’d got to Faber’s home. He had told him everything that had happened when Montag burned the earpiece. Montag said Montag drew out a hundred dollars. “I want this to stay with you, use it any way that'll help when I'm gone.” “I might be dead by noon; use this.” Faber nodded, “You'd better head for the river if you can, follow along with it, and if you can hit the old railroad lines going 126 out into the country, follow the” (Bradbury 125-126). Montag doubted he would make it, but Faber believed in Montag. Montag made Faber feel alive, and he said he should’ve done this a long time ago. But after a while, with the chasing of Montag, he ended up injured and in a river. Bradbury stated: “He touched it, just to be sure it was real. He waded in and stripped to the skin, splashed his body, arms, legs, and head with raw liquor; drank it and snuffed some up his nose. Then he dressed in Faber's old clothes and shoes. He tossed his clothing into the river and watched it swept away” (133). That showed Montag being reborn and leaving his old life behind and finally being an individual who is now free, he meets up with a new person who is a hobo and other people as well who are people who recite books off the top of their head they’d welcomed him and show him a television where they had seen the whole chase where they faked Montag’s death because they didn’t want the people who were following the pursuit to think about what happened to him or where he was and leaving an open question for everyone to think about which they were trying to avoid. After that whole scene had happened Granger introduced himself to Montage. He was a hobo who can recite books with others, and they had planned to make another war an atomic bomb war to create a society where they were able to read books. When the bomb started to fall he thought about Faber, Clarisse, and Mildred but, mostly Mildred they may have been strangers, but he’d still loved her he was losing everyone he cared about, he’d imaged Mildred’s face as the bomb came down. All that happened to Montag would eventually happen to us once someone realizes what is going on in our society too far gone to save that we’d probably ended up doing something else to save it but, still losing the ones we’d loved to the far gone society who is dependent on technology and other distractions.