Modern Anti-hero

•June 20, 2010 • 2 Comments

In the dystopic novel Fahrenheit 451, the protagonist Montag is a modern anti-hero. The definition states that a modern anti-hero is a character that puts the needs of others before his own, and this is eactly what Montag does in the story. Montag has the chance to get rid of all the books in his house and to live a life that is seen as normal by their society. Instead he realizes how important books are to society and does all he can to save at least one novel. This is similar to the other dystopic novel Chrysalids, where David sacrifices everything that he has in life just to save his new friend sophie. Both David and Montag are modern anti-heros because they are willing to put others before themselves, rather than doing what they want before solving the issues of others. Montag starts out as a normal static character but becomes this dynamic protagonist as he discovers what his society is missing by getting rid of books. Therefore, he goes against all the laws to do what he feels is right, even if it costs him his life. Consequently, when he runs away and escapes the mechanical hound he finds others like himself who love books and want to re-integrate them into society. This leaves him as a hero because now he can lead the charge and rebellion that is about to come and give the citizens what they have been missing for way too long.




•June 20, 2010 • 4 Comments

Playing a large part in dystopic novel genre would be the issue of morals. In both Fahrenheit 451 and Anthem there are a series of moral boundaries that have either disappeared, or strengthened for the worst. Fahrenheit 451 has numerous moral boundaries broken leaving people miserable, and denying them freedom. The government has censored books for the purpose of creating equality among society, but this also creates a lack of freedom for the people, and a technology centered world means that the government and media start to gain control over the public through the television and radio as people are always plugged into their ‘seashells’ listening to news from the city. The large focus on the television also leaves people impatient and seeking action. As told near the end of the novel, when the Hound had lost Montag’s trail the police themselves turned it on an unsuspecting pedestrian, claiming it was Montag and not clearly showing the man’s face, which gives the television broadcast a finale. This gives the watchers what they want to see, a finish to the chase rather than admitting they had lost the trail of the man being pursued. The truth was avoided for the purpose of entertainment. This is an example of a horror element in the futuristic corrupt society. There are many other boundaries broken, by a decrease and change in laws. It is stated that people are allowed to travel by car at any speed, and there are a greater number of murders, killings, and suicide. The loss of these morals is what creates the setting of Fahrenheit 451 as a dystopic society. The main moral issue present in Anthem is the lack of freedom, and how the government has denied people the right to choose their own path. This was done as a method to treat every person equal to prevent one person from being seen more intelligent or valuable above others. In this case the moral barriers have been strengthened in a way that makes everyone equal, but they are denied preference and freedom so it really becomes more immoral, opposite of the original intention.

Modern Anti-Hero

•June 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Montag from Fahrenheit 451 is a good example of a modern anti-hero. He is an average man who gets caught up trying to understand a different perspective on life from what he has known. The new idea and thought of it is foreign to him and Montag ends up making mistakes and drawing attention to himself, such as reading poetry to Mildred and her friends who later call the firemen to report his possession of books. As well, he doesn’t really possess many of the kind of qualities that a classic hero would, such as a high level of bravery or charisma. But he does realize something that others have not and fights for what is ultimately the right thing. Other characters though, do not believe or agree with Montag’s opinion and so they are against him, seeing him as more of a villain. To the reader Montag is represented as a hero, fighting for what they know to be a moral decision made by this character. Instead of just following the majority of society, he acknowledged when a problem became known and didn’t just ignore it, even with so many people against him. These actions were a major contributor to defining him as an anti-hero. He also did not die resolved, and did not meet a complete resolution at the end of the novel. Instead he just acquired new knowledge to take to the future with him, leaving problems behind that can’t be corrected now, such as getting Mildred or anyone else to understand the wrong in their current society. Similarly Equality 7-2521 from Anthem faced the same situation of the majority against him, and he was trying to fight for the greater good but faced the changed society that disagreed with his point of view. Equality 7-2521 believed that he was born with a ‘curse’ that influenced him to seek knowledge and ask questions, which separates him from other characters. But Montag seems have more qualities associated with the anti-hero.

Modern Anti-Hero – Guy Montag

•June 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

A modern anti-hero is a protagonist of a story whose characters’ attributes are conspicuous to those of the archetypical hero. Guy Montag, the main character of Fahrenheit 451, is a protagonist whose characteristics fit this description. He is heroic in ways that are only possible if he breaks the law and goes against his career. Montag recognizes the tragic ways of society and seeks the truth for his own personal knowledge. He does not possess the bravery of a classic hero or he would intend to have others know the truth also. He runs from his troubles instead of facing them. Montag’s controversial actions result in him gaining a true knowledge of society but in order for him to be considered an archetypical hero, he would have done what was necessary to reveal the truth and begin a restoration of civilization. A modern anti-hero, such as Montag, could be considered a coward, despite the fact that Montag is one of the few who accepts the danger and the potential consequences of seeking the truth by discovering books and their meaning. The ending of Fahrenheit 451 is not resolved. Montag did not discover a solution for society or reintroduce books and the knowledge they conceal. Typically, a classic hero ensures a resolution and enforces the practices necessary to maintain a peaceful ending. Montag selfishly contains his intelligence and does not share it with the people who need it most. The people in need are not the group of men he meets in the end, it is the general public who need to know about his acquired discoveries. Montag’s selfishness only implies a further degeneration of society as it suggests a deeper independence and loss of communication between individuals. 

Meghan T

‘You always said, don’t face a problem, burn it. Well, now I’ve done both.’

•June 16, 2010 • 3 Comments

Montag’s rebellion in Fahrenheit 451 did little to cause any sudden change in the function of society. His curiosity for books is what triggered him to go against the government’s laws, and he himself had numerous books stored in his house hidden from the firemen. In frustration that no one would even try to understand what books offered and what was really written on the pages, he revealed the books to his wife Mildred. Her reaction was to attempt to burn the books, having only known and thought that they are evil. Eventually Mildred sends a report to firemen on her own husband for possession of the books, showing just how much control the government has gained over society and how little people really care now. Montag was forced to burn everything in his house, and ended up murdering the Chief fireman, Beatty. There wasn’t much he could do following this other than running and being pursued by a Mechanical Hound. For much of the novel Montag was mostly alone, trusting only an old professor, Faber, in his rebellion and unable to accomplish much because it was just him against the entire government and society as a whole. He does eventually escape and finds other rebels like him, who have memorized parts of books, and plan to pass what they have remembered on to others and eventually attempt to rewrite and recreate the lost books. This rebellion is used both to show the faults in society, as well as the point of view of people who still have hope when others really don’t. Montag comes to the conclusion that Beatty had actually wanted to die, and because of this he didn’t even try to save himself when he turned the flamethrower on him. It seemed as though Beatty was similar to many of the characters, tormented by the laws set in place and deprived of literature. The rebellion in Fahrenheit 451 is similar to Anthem in the sense that the main character felt alone for much of the story, but also refused to give in and live like the rest of society, what seemingly might have been what Beatty had done. Equality 7-2521 had attempted to break from the structural laws of their society and present the invention of electricity, but he too was pursued for this and forced to leave. The endings of both leave a questionable hope for the reader that while change did not occur in the novel itself, it could possibly in the future.

Protagonist Rebellion

•June 16, 2010 • 1 Comment

In my dystopic novel Fahrenheit 451, Montag is the protagonist that we meet. Montag feels like a normal citizen in his society for a certain time. However, after meeting Clarisee Montag questions his purpose in his job, his relationship, and more importantly his life. As he is working on a job he comes across a women who is willing to be burned alive with her books, which makes Montag think about what makes him so different from this women who is willing to sacrifice her life for books. Montag becomes extrememly interested in what lurk behind the coves of these books and he decides to keep some. Montag is then given an ultimatum from his boss where he can spend a night reading, but he must turn the books in the next day. After spending the night reading Montag realizes how much society is missing, and when there is a call to burn his house the next day becasue there are books he feels an immense amount of betrayal. Out of this pain that he feels towards his wife for turning him in Montag kills his captain and manages to grab one of his stashed books. He then goes on the run and tries to escape the metal hound by destroying it. However, the city just sends another hound loose on his heels. Montag got an ingenious idea to float down river and have the hound loose his trail. Once this is done Montag meets up with other people on the run. Each person has memorized a book and they wish to re-print them. Then all of a sudden the runaways watch as the city is bombed to the ground. All of a sudden these criminals are the survivors, and have the chance they wanted to re-create books and re-introduce them into society.


Rebellion in Fahrenheit 451

•June 15, 2010 • 5 Comments

In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, rebellion is necessary in order to gain a full comprehension of the truth of society. Education is extremely limited and minimal and therefore, if an individual feels motivated to discover new knowledge, they must defy the law and seek it independently. They must seek out books or old theorists that remember the days where books were legal and recommended. The obvious rebel in Fahrenheit 451 is Montag. Clarisse motivated him to seek the truth by asking him important questions that no citizen usually thinks to consider. The difference between Montag and Clarisse is that even though Clarisse questioned society, she did not go against the justice system to discover her answers. Montag did. He stole a book from a fire and when he was caught and his house burned, he resisted arrest, killed the fire chief, and fled the city. He later met with an entire group of rebels. They were a members of a community situated all over the world who individually had entire books or important transcripts memorized. Together, they were going to eventually rewrite books that marked times in history and evolution. They were going to retell the stories of historic heroes such as Shakespeare, Darwin, Einstein, and Jefferson. The hope and resolution that arises in Fahrenheit 451 revolves around the requisite rebellion. If no citizen of the dystopic society chose to rebel against the beliefs and rules, then the story would be completely hopeless and lost. The stereotypical rebel brings only chaos and trouble to a community. But in Fahrenheit 451 the rebels are the heroes and idols of the society.

Meghan T