Changes in Fahrenheit 451

Essay by winniecooperHigh School, 10th gradeA, April 2004

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Throughout the beginning of the book Fahrenheit 451 written by Ray Bradbury, the character Guy Montag goes through tremendous character development. Initially, Montag welcomes each day with a smile and relishes in the excitement of each night's new book burning ceremony. This idea is emphasized within the very first two sentences of the book "It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed"(3). This quote describes Montag's feelings for his occupation. Montag loves the burning, the adrenaline rush, the excitement of a new location, which he knows he will burn, Montag lives for those moments. There is a well-known quote which in some people's eyes could apply to Guy Montag, this is "ignorance is bliss". This quote symbolizes the importance of ignorance in the society in which Guy lives. Before Guy meets Clarisse, he thinks his life is relatively good.

Clarisse attempts to open his eyes to the real world surrounding him, by asking such questions as "are you happy?" (10). To this peculiar yet logical question, he becomes defensive about the idea of his happiness. He initially acts defensive, because like most people, when one challenges their lifestyles and or beliefs the people's first reactions are to defend their customs. This is why Guy becomes defensive. Clarisse provokes Montag, by asking him personal questions, which he does not know the answer to. Yet, after dissecting the question and how it applies to his life, he begins to realize that he truly is not happy. Though Clarisse is only seventeen and is young enough to be Guy's daughter, she opens his eyes to ideas he never thought of before. Slowly through time he begins to accept the thoughts and feelings she expresses, which she does hoping that...