A Look Inside Guy Montag
Any goodness spread on earth has its own reward after its punishment. In Ray Bradburys novel Fahrenheit 451 Guy Montag is a prime example of this. In this novel Montag, the protagonist sets out on a mission of his deepest desires to rebel against the status quo and find a meaningful way to live his life. Montag undergoes a major transformation as a character, and ultimately tries to revive lost pieces of civilization, his attempt rebels against him leaving him with nothing but the internal thrive and desire to do the right thing.
Before the readers eyes, Montag transforms from a person who had no thought process to someone who starts to realize the wrong doings in his civilization, and analytically changes his way of life. In the beginning of the novel Montag is very ignorant and closed minded about his way of life, but after encountering Clarise, a young open minded girl, Montag starts to question his way of life, and says, I dont know anything anymore. Montag saying this shows the reader how Montag was confused about his life, and starts to want to change his lifestyle. The only way Montag could escape from his old self and lifestyle, was to see the way he wanted to live in the mirror of someone elses eyes, which is what Montag saw in Clarise a new and better way of life. When Montag says, Im going to do something, I dont even know what yet, but Im going to do it portrays this. At this point in Montags life he has realized that Clarise was right, and that he is not happy with his life, he is not in love, and he does not notice or know the things in life that she does, because he is encapsulated by Captain Beatty and the ways of his society. In other words, Montag is finally reaching a decision that he does not want to be like everyone else living in the fast lane, and he wants to make a difference and a change in his society. Montag finally comes to a realization that his key to making a change in his civilization the quench to the thirst of his deepest desires to go against the status quo when he says, We have everything we need to be happy, but we arent happy. Somethings missing. I looked around. The only thing I positively knew was gone was the books Id burned in ten or twelve years. So I thought books might help. This quote marks the light bulb point in Montags internal quest to define and comprehend his life. In this quote Montag understands that he can no longer burn the books he takes from people, he can no longer be convinced by Captain Beatty that books are not important and should be burned, because books are the key to his happiness.
As man sows, so shall he reap, thus, Montag is a prime suspect of this when his attempt to make a change in his civilization backfires. An example of this would be when Captain Beatty tells Montag, You think you can walk on water with your books. Well, the world can get by just fine without them. Look where they got you, in slime up to your lip. If I stir the slime with my little finger, youll drown! Captain Beatty the reader how Montag is trapped in his own good deed. Montag thought that he was making a difference in his civilization by saving books, but he ended being turned in for having books by his wife and once again encapsulated by Captain Beatty who can destroy him at any minute. Montag follows his internal thrive to do whats right and kills Captain Beatty and says quote, Beatty, he thought, youre not a problem now. You always said, dont face a problem, burn it. Well now Ive done both. Good-bye, Captain. Montag finally rids himself of his barricade and drives forward in his mission to change his civilization, by using Captain Beattys saying against him. Not only has Montag faced his problem which is Beatty, but he has burned it, just as Beatty manipulated him into believing that books were are problem and needed to be burned for ten years. Montag finally makes it to the end of his quest to finding a purpose to his life by the means of books and ultimately changing his society when he is told quote, If anything should happen to Harris, you are the Book of Ecclesiastes. See how important youve become in the last minute! In this quote told to Montag by Granger, Montag is told about how important he is now to his civilization. Yes, Montag may not be important now, but someday the information and knowledge that he has retained will be important to his society, and he will be the only one with that particular information which is what he had set out to do in the first place.
Guy Montag has learned that life is composed of a construction-destruction cycle not by reading it in the Bible, but by experiencing it. Montag went from realizing his wrong doings and trying to do whats right, to having it backfire in his face, leaving him with nothing but the want to do whats right all to be rewarded for it in the end. This relates back to the universal truth, any goodness spread on earth has its own reward after its punishment.