Guy Montag is a central character in Fahrenheit 451 whose development and growth impress, teach, and prove that dynamism is an integral part of a person’s life. The dynamism of Montag as a character can be proved with the help of several examples. At the beginning of the story, Montag is introduced as an ordinary citizen of a totalitarian society, a man who has a job he does not completely understand, and a wife he does not even love. In a short period, however, he starts questioning his feelings, knowledge, and attitudes to the people around him and the life he has. None of the other people who stand by his side are ready to take the same steps as he has. Montag can see how unfair and prejudiced society can be and recognizes that he has the opportunity to change something. The dynamic aspect of the character is proved by his readiness to start reading the books he had burned without any regret just days before. It was Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield that was the first book read by Montag (Truffaut). His sacrifices, small changes, and considerable acts make him a purposeful and confident man who is ready to live his own dynamic life.
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The setting of Fahrenheit 451 plays an important role in the story. It is not enough to say that it is a dystopian society in which people are ready “to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history” (Bradbury 1). It also is important to understand that the author of the novel, as well as the director of the movie, wants to introduce a world that has survived two atomic wars since the middle of the 1990s. It is hard to give the specific year or name of the specific city, yet it is possible to identify the mood of people, their lifestyles, and the decisions they have to make to survive. It seems that people in this society have already lost their ability to be independent. They want to believe in their power and freedom; however, they do not even notice how dependent on television and the media they have already become. The chosen setting helps readers and viewers interpret the events of the story and realize that people are weak and that any new rule or standard can deprive them of emotions and feelings or, at the very least, make them forget about everything that matters.
The tone of dystopia is a tone of despair and fear (Anwar 247). As a rule, such a tone may be set due to the already-existing doubts and concerns about the lifestyle and rules to be followed. For the author of the novel, it is not enough to present a foreboding image. It is also necessary to explain that people are not the victims of such circumstances but rather the direct creators. It is hard to read the chosen tone in any other way because from the very first lines, it becomes clear that people are tied to their past fears, to an inability to be politically aware, and to the desire to avoid any conflict that could lead to war or destruction. The tone of the novel, as well as the setting, proves that people prefer to avoid conflict, change, and innovation to avoid putting themselves under threat. People believe that it is safe to take mind-altering pills, watch TV, and stay unconcerned as long as they are always able to live out their long and empty lives. This is what Bradbury wanted to say in his novel.
Anwar, Maria. “Postmodern Dystopian Fiction: An Analysis of Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451”. International Journal, vol. 4, no. 1, 2016, pp. 246-249.
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. Web.
Truffaut, Francois, director. Fahrenheit 451. Universal Pictures, 1966.