Fahrenheit 451 Novel Profile
1. Although it was written in the 1950s, the novel is set in a futuristic dystopian world sometime in the twentyfourth century in an undisclosed city. The tone of the book is poetic and menacing, while bitterly satirical.
2. The main character, Guy Montag is a fireman who burns books in a futuristic American city. In Montag’s world, firemen start fires rather than putting them out. The people in this society do not read books, enjoy nature, spend time by themselves, think independently, or have meaningful conversations. After an encounter with seventeen year old, Clarisse McClellan, Montag begins to question every choice he has made, including his career. He then encounters hardships, including his wife, Mildred, suicide attempt by overdose and an old woman with a stash of hidden books chooses to be burned alive along with her books. Distraught by the unhappiness in his life, he seeks the help of
Professor Faber to save these burning books. Eventually, he returns to work on to respond to an alarm on his house, where he is forced to burn it to the ground himself. In rebellion,
Montag refuses and kills Captain Beatty with the kerosene hose, becoming a fugitive. On the run, he meets a group of retired professors, who came together in hopes of find lost literature and encourage others to read again. While a war is raging and a bomb just hit, he novel ends with them walking together in the distance in hopes of finding another city to rebuild a proper civilization in.
3. Guy Montag A fireman who suddenly realizes he is unhappy with his life and starts to search for meaning in the books he is supposed to be burning. He is determined to break free from the oppression of ignorance. He befriends a young teenage girl, who opens his eyes to his ignorance, as well as an old English professor named Faber. With these new found friendships, he is able to break the mold and become a new man.
Captain Beatty The captain of Montag’s fire department. Although he is wellread, he hates books and people who insist on reading them. He is cunning and devious. He almost seems to have the ability to read Montag’s mind.
Professor Faber A retired English professor whom Montag had talked to a year before.
Faber admits that society is due to the cowardice of people like himself, who would not speak out against book burning when they still could have stopped it. He hates himself for being a coward, but he redeems himself when he acts with great courage when in the face of danger.
Clarisse McClellan A seventeenyearold girl who opens Montag to the world’s potential for beauty and meaning with her gentle innocence and curiosity. She is an outcast from society because of her odd habits and always asking questions, but she seems genuinely happy with her life until she was killed by a speeding car.
4. Through the novel, the protagonist, Montag goes through many life changes. In the beginning of the novel, he takes pride in his work with the fire department. In the last two years, however, a growing discontent has grown in Montag, a "fireman turned sour" who cannot yet name the cause of his emptiness and disaffection. He characterizes his restless mind as "full of bits and pieces," and he requires sedatives to sleep. His hands, more
attuned to his inner workings than his conscious mind, seem to take charge of his behavior. Through his friendship with Clarisse McClellan, Montag perceives the harshness of society as opposed to the joys of nature in which he rarely partakes. When
Clarisse teases him about not being in love, he experiences an epiphany and sinks into a despair that characterizes most of the novel. Montag's moroseness reaches a critical point after he witnesses