Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury: Three Mentors

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“It was a pleasure to burn” Bradbury (1) Is the first line of Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451, the line itself is thought by the book's main protagonist Guy Montag. Although from that line alone he wound not exactly seem like the ideal protagonist of a science fiction novel. Throughout the story Montag has some life altering experiences that change him; he starts out as a fireman (the kind that burn books, as opposed to saving lives) and ends up belonging to group of intellectuals who memorize books in order to someday write them down again. Ever since he met a young girl named Clarisse he had been consumed with thoughts, thoughts of what things looked like, thoughts of what things smelled like and even thoughts of why things were the way they are. Guy Montag goes through many changes in a fairly brief period in the story. Throughout his journey he has three mentors: Clarisse, Faber and Granger. Clarisse is the first, the one who opens Montag’s eyes to the world around him, Faber gives him wisdom and helps him shape what he is now thinking and feeling, and Granger helps him establish his own identity. Clarisse is Montag’s first mentor in his journey; she is the one who first opens his eyes to the world around him, as well as asking the ultimate question “Are you happy?” (7) To which Montag cried “Am I what?” He never gave whether he was actually, truly happy a real, legitimate thought in his entire life. He just woke up, ate breakfast, went to work, ate lunch, went home, ate dinner, and went to sleep; and all with a big grin fixed on his face. But now, after a bit of consideration he came to the realization that “He was not happy…. He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask a... ... middle of paper ... ...radbury the protagonist Guy Montag had three mentors that helped him along his journey; Clarisse, Faber and Granger. Clarisse is the one who first opens his eyes to the world around him, Faber teaches him how he should approach this new way of thinking, and Granger establishes him as an intellectual who can help society rebuild after the destruction from the war. A line from the Book of Ecclesiastes Montag remembers very well sums up his transformation: “And on either side of the river was there a tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (158) Now Montag is finally learning who he is and what he should do with his life; through his three mentors he has found his identity. Works Cited Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967. Print.

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