Modern Anti-Hero – Guy Montag

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

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~ by meghan66 on June 19, 2010.

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