From Passion for Burning to Burning Passion Essay

Submitted By Takingyouwithme
Words: 1324
Pages: 6

From Passion for Burning to Burning Passion “He saw himself in her eyes, suspended in two shining drops of bright water, himself dark and tiny, in fine detail, the lines about his mouth, everything there, as if her eyes were two miraculous bits of violet amber that might capture and hold him intact” (Bradbury 5). This is the only appearance based description of Guy Montag, Ray Bradbury’s main character in his novel Fahrenheit-451. Although Guy Montag’s appearance is not vividly described in Fahrenheit-451, when I think of him I imagine Guy Montag as average. Even first his name, Guy, is average. I believe Ray Bradbury created him this way on purpose. Bradbury didn’t describe him in great length or note physical attributes that made him stand out in a crowd because the whole point is for him to blend in. Guy Montag is a normal, basic, ordinary fireman. He is just like everyone else. At least that’s the way he appears. Montag’s speech habits change throughout the novel. In the beginning, he seems childish. He laughs when he doesn’t understand Clarisse is being serious and he never stops to think about the questions she asks him. He has no thought process; he just says the first thing that pops into his head. On one occasion, Clarisse remarks, “You laugh when I haven’t been funny and you answer right off. You never stop to think what I’ve asked you” (Bradbury 6). Montag gradually grows up as the novel proceeds. The second chapter shows Montag with a will to learn about books and knowledge. He has even sought out Faber as his new teacher. However, Montag is unable to keep his temper under control and he can’t seem to understand why people act the way they do. He even blows up at his wife’s friends, “Did you hear them, did you hear these monsters talking about monsters? Oh God, the way they jabber about people and their own children and themselves and the way they talk about their husbands and the way they talk about war, dammit, I stand here and I can’t believe it!” (Bradbury 94). If Montag had been able to take Faber’s advice and keep his mouth shut, Mildred’s friends might not have reported him and then he wouldn’t have had to escape from the The Hound. But, being juvenile and self-centered, Montag lost his temper and read the ladies a poem from an illegal book. In the end, trying to make his wife and her friends understand the knowledge of books only made matters worse for him. However, if you think about it, Montag would never have been able to fully mature if it hadn’t been for the chase. The chase and the way it ended, with innocent blood shed, forced Montag to stop and think about things. Towards the end of the novel, Montag admits to being wrong. He says, “I don’t belong with you […] I’ve been an idiot all the way” (Bradbury 143). This is Montag’s shining moment. The light bulb has gone off in his head and he now realizes that instead of being brash and brazen he should have been more patient. He should have waited until the world was ready to listen. Montag’s actions, much like his speech, grew up as the novel went on. He started out as a fireman who always did what he was told and never thought twice about burning. Every chance he got “[…] he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black” (Bradbury 1). As Bradbury’s novel proceeds, we see Montag as more than just another fire starter. After Mildred overdoses on sleeping pills we see the panicked, scared, almost desperate side of Montag. As soon as he finds Mildred lying cold in her bed “He felt his chest chopped down and split apart. The jet bombers going over […] did all the screaming for him. He opened his mouth and let their shriek come down and out between his bared teeth. The house shook. The flare went out in his hands. The moonstones vanished. He felt his hands plunge toward the telephone” (Bradbury 11). Montag’s reaction is delayed by the shock and pain he experiences finding his wife