Fahrenheit 451 Essay

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The restriction of individualism, exploration, and hope can rot an individual from within and inspire them to seek out change. In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Montag undergoes stages inspired by characters, some who have lost touch with their ability to hope and others who exude hope, who spark a revival of the humanity within him. Montag encounters different characters – Mildred, Clarisse and Faber – at their own levels of awareness that, together, push him toward a necessary self-examination and, eventually, his own level of self-awareness. The original image of Montag that is given is somebody who thrives in the heat of the fire, his hands the hands “of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning” (1). He feels content with his work, satisfied with the day’s events so much so that he smiles as he sleeps. However, Montag does illustrate that his mind is already on the cusp of change when he hints to the hidden books in his air conditioning vents (8). Nevertheless, he has not yet taken any steps toward interpreting the action. The government of 451 uses the limitation of opinion, contrasting views and independent thought as a way to control the people. Leaving people in a state of blissful ignorance, the systematic destruction of literature subdues any idea of an alternative way of thinking. The beginning of the book introduces Montag and Mildred as products of this society. They are stripped of their individuality and given mindless activities. This leads to each of the characters not having any conscious awareness of their lack of hope or individuality because they have never been exposed to a world full of creativity or uniqueness. As Montag remarks later in the book, the people of his society have become like “the faces of saints in a strange church…[whose] enamel faces [mean] nothing” (95). Although books, and the people, have

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