Jason Cronje Mr. Williams HSE 3, Per 3 02/13/2014 The Blaze in the Firemen’s Eyes Fire is a simple human necessity that is capable of sustaining life, but if misused can easily destroy it. Guy Montag a firemen destine to burn books, meets a young girl named Clarisse who changes his view on everything. His character slowly starts to change as he realizes books are in fact pieces of art, doomed to the flames. Montag digs deeper and deeper, until eventually it may tear the society wide apart. In the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, the main character Montag’s view point of fire progresses from a weapon capable of destroying anything, eventually the fire disinfects Montags head, and in the end causes him to changes completely.
One example is how he mentioned the fire hose. He called it "the great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world." (Bradbury 3) This made the reader not only visualize the hose but get a feel for the mood about the firemen at that time. Another example of good description is how he described the physical appearance of the firemen. "Their charcoal hair and their soot-colored brows and their bluish-ash-smeared cheeks where they had shaven close."
Understandably, at the beginning of the novel, Montag is very proud to be a fireman. It is one of the few jobs in the society, and he takes a certain primal joy in doing it. However, there is a specific moment in the beginning of the book when Montag begins to realize that maybe there is something bad with burning down houses and killing people because they had books. On page 40 Ray Bradbury writes, “The woman on the porch reached out with contempt to them all and struck the kitchen match against the railing.” When any other fireman burns a house, they enjoy destroying it. Everyone else on the street also comes out to watch because they think of it as a carnival, a somewhat rare event that e... ... middle of paper ... ... at all, but cruel and unjust.
Ray Bradbury is able to incorporate careful details and ideas which change the reader's opinion of Montag and allow him to become the hero of the story. As Fahrenheit 451 begins, Guy Montag is burning the books of a house, and is thoroughly enjoying his feast of flames. Bradbury places several subtle metaphors in this section that cause the reader to equate Montag with a detestable, serpent-like human being. As Montag stood "with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head. .
In fear, Montag turns the flame thrower on Beatty, making him a “shrieking blaze, a jumping, sprawling gibbering manikin no longer human or known.” After burning the mechanical dog, Montag reassures himself that Beatty wanted to die. Montage burns his first house, showing his pleasure and joy in his job. “It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten and blacken and change.” By the end of the novel, Montag watches the sun as he floats down the river. Montag decides that he must never burn again; “The sun burnt everyday.
Captain Beatty, chief of the fire department, believes that "fire is bright and fire is clean. "(60) This belief develops when he explains to Montag the reasoning behind burning books. The reader is at this time given an image of Beatty, his character, and his way of thinking. In one instance, the flames were used to cleanse the fire department of its evils by its elimination of the chief. In this case, "Montag shot one continuous pulse of liquid fire on [Beatty]" until "he was a shrieking blaze, a jumping, sprawling gibbering mannikin, no longer human or known, all writhing flame on the lawn.
The recurring image in the “Lord of Flies” is fire. Fire symbolizes all the boys characteristics and supports their main archetypes. The fire reflects the moods and actions of the many boys especially Jack, Ralph and Simon. Fire surrounds these boys and helps to form the meaning of being left unsupervised and lost on a deserted island. Where rescue is futile because their home country is under attack by an Atom Bomb threat The fire can be significant to each of the boys because fire symbolizes many different things.
The story concludes with the hunters hunting Ralph (the head and last of the fire-watchers). After lighting half of the island on fire in an attempt to smoke Ralph from his hiding place, they chase him on to the beach only to find a ships captain and crew waiting there to rescue them, because he saw the smoke. The novel is packed full of symbolism and irony. Golding also communicates his message quite well. “The title refers to Beelzebub, most stinking and depraved of all the devils: it is he, and not the God of Christians, who is worshipped (Burgess 121).
Hands, water, and fire are three primary symbols that enhance the plot, characters, and theme. One way Bradbury uses primary symbols to enhance the novel is by intensifying Montag's actions with his hand. Montag’s hand represents his conscience and what he truly wants to do. In this scene, Montag is burning books and slips one into his jacket when the other firemen are not looking. He is afraid because he, “... had done nothing.
Fire can be seen as a method of renewal and purification of the past. The main protagonist, Guy Montag, in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, is a dynamic character whose understanding of fire drastically changes throughout the novel. A model citizen in the dystopian society Bradbury constructed is molded to view fire in a specific way. The public is led to believe that books must be forbidden to prevent quandaries. Eliminating books from the society leaves the community with an emptiness of knowledge and happiness.