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

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.
-Sarah

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~ by sarahswe on June 16, 2010.

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

  1. Is Beatty as much a catalyst as Clarisse?

    • I see Beatty as a catalyst as well. I got the impression while reading that he like most people was actually unhappy and that he too has recognized possible problems with society, but tries to live like most people thinking he is happy. Montag looks to Beatty and sees someone he does not want to be, which combined with Clarisse’s questioning alters Montag’s course of action influencing him to take a different path.

  2. Sarah – just a suggestion here…your group needs to get going on developing your about the author page.

    Hopefully, you can contact your members and coordinate who will do what.

    Suggestions: film clips, quotes from literary critics & your thoughts about the literary criticism – agree…disagree?

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