Evolution of Montag

Evolution of Montag
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  • Ecstatic Ignorance
  • Powerful Influence
  • Her dress is white and it whispers.
  • Sickness of the Mind
  • What is this ?? (Pg 53)
  • "Get away," said Montag (Pg 53)
  • "For God's sake, let me be!" cried Montag passionately (Pg 53)
  • "You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can't have our minorities upset and stirred." (Pg 56)
  • Guy Montag, the main character of "Fahrenheit 451", is a fireman who lives in a society where burning books is glorified. He takes satisfaction in his job and believes that the society he lives in is perfect. Montag even feels as though "It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed." (Pg. 1) Not only did the firemen burn books, they also took pleasure in burning the homes' of the individuals who had books. As Montag finishes the job, he usually congratulated himself a job well done. "Montag grinned the fierce grin of all men singed and driven back by flame. He knew when he returned to the firehouse he might wink at himself, a minstrel man, burnt-corked, in the mirror." (Pg. 2) Even afterwards he still felt that smile stretched across his face, it never went away for as long as he remembered. (Pg. 2)
  • You Are Never Too Old to Learn
  • As Montag is walking home from the firehouse he meets a  sixteen year old girl by the name of Clarisse, who also happens to be his neighbor. Clarisse is a crazy, unusual, and curious girl who sees the world differently than Montag. Clarisse asked Montag several questions that makes Montag question everything that he thought he knew. This conversation also changed Montag's mindset and perspective on the society that he lives in. The once happy and content fireman has now stopped and looked at the world he lives in.  Even after the encounter, Montag still thinks about Clarisse and all of her insightful questions. "He felt his smile slide away, fold over and down on itself." "Darkness. He was not happy. He was not happy. He said the words to himself. He recognized this as the true state of affairs. He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back." (Pg. 9)
  • Ruthless Rebel
  • After Montag and the other firemen receive an alarm they head to a two story building, in which there are books in the attic. While in the process of pouring kerosene over the books, Montag commits a crime - he steals a book. He also witnessed the gruesome act of an older woman commit suicide due to her beliefs. This leaves him in an abyss of emotions that resulted into physical sickness. Due to this sickness, Montag decides to skip work and even thinks of quitting altogether. While on this day off Captain Beatty decided to visit Montag. Captain Beatty knew that Montag was sick, he also knew that he stole the book, because this has also happened to him "Every fireman, sooner or later, hits this. They only need understanding, to know how the wheels run. Need to know the history of our professions. They don't feed it to the rookies like they used to." (Pg 51) Captain Beatty told him many stories and assured him that he was not the only one. He just told Montag to make sure to turn the book in to him so that they could burn it together.
  • Fulfillment
  • Montag has continued to question his beliefs and has become more observant to his surrounding society. Montag needs to understand more about why books are hated and determines to ask someone he knew he could trust - Faber, an old friend he met in the park one day. "Montag went to his bedroom closet and flipped through his file-wallet to the heading: Future Investigations (?). Faber's name was there." (Pg 71) Montag decides to take a trip to Faber's house in which he receives an understanding of books and their history. Faber has opened Montag's eyes to their society and teaches Montag why books are hated and feared. "So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life." (Pg 79)
  • Montag has decided that its time he goes to the firehouse and turn in the book he stole. While there Beatty tells him of a dream he had where him and Montag got into a heated debate. Beatty told Montag about this dream to hopefully get a rise out of Montag. "God, what a pulse! I've got you going, have I, Montag? Jesus God, your pulse sounds like the day after the war. Everything but sirens and bells! Shall I talk some more? I like your look of panic." (Pg 104) Before Montag could respond they received a special alarm that just so happened to be Montag's home. On arrival, Beatty made Montag use a flamethrower to finish this job - unknowingly to the fact that this flamethrower would soon lead to Beatty's death. "Montag shot one continuous pulse of liquid fire on him." (Pg 113) "Beatty flopped over and over and over, and at last twisted in on himself like a charred wax doll and lay silent." (Pg 113)
  • Ahhhhhh!
  • Montag has now gone through something so agonizing that he felt it was too much to handle. He didn't know what to do or where he was even going after he floated out of the river. Montag decides to just follow the railroad tracks that leads him to a group of clean men, that are peacefully sitting by a warm fire. "He hadn't known fire could look this way. He never thought in his life that it could give as well as takes. Even the smell was different." (Pg 139) The men welcomed him and told him not to worry because they all did something to get to the place that they are in now. Granger, one of men sitting, also told Montag that they memorized books and kept them in their brain to one day have the next generation publish the books. "We'll pass the books on to our children, by the word of mouth, and let our children wait, in turn on the other people." (Pg 146) After sitting with the men, Montag has decided to stay with them and fulfill his beliefs. Montag has found people who accepts him for him and even feels as though his presence will be put to great use. Montag has now found his place and can be truly happy.
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