Modern Anti-Hero

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.
-Sarah

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~ by sarahswe on June 20, 2010.

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