The Metamorphosis of Guy Montag Essay

2184 Words9 Pages
Ray Bradbury originally wrote his novel, Fahrenheit 451, as an indictment against the censorship evident during the McCarthy era of America, and it has since become one of the few modern science fiction books that can be considered a classic. The adulation of this novel is due to its plethora of symbols, metaphors, and character development. Bradbury's character development is singularly impressive in this book because he shows the evolution of the main character, Guy Montag, "from book-burner to living-book" (Johnson 111). His maturity is displayed by his growing understanding of the world in which he lives and by seeing the flaws in his society. Bradbury illustrates Montag's metamorphosis with him changing from a mindless burning drone…show more content…
(Watt 41). Bradbury reinforces this contrast by causing Mildred to relate only to the subject of herself, while Clarisse's favorite subject is other people. When Montag meets the Mechanical Hound, he discovers that it is a "dead beast, [a] living beast" (Bradbury 24). Donald Watt describes it as a "striking and sinister gadget" and it "is most terrifying for being both alive and not alive" (41; Huntington 113). The Hound becomes "Montag's particular mechanical enemy…[and it] becomes more suspicious of him" as time passes and Montag develops a greater freedom from his society (Johnson 112). Thus, Montag is thrust into the realization that his culture is not flawless, but instead is rife with abuses of human freedoms. The final catalyst that convinces Montag that creativity is not to be destroyed is his last job as a fireman. He is taken to an old woman's house, and he finds hundreds of books that "fell like slaughtered birds" when the "suddenly odious" firefighters walked among them (Bradbury 35-6). Montag feels the woman's presence in the house; he feels her accusations, and he suddenly feels guilty about his actions. The firefighters pour kerosene on all the books, and when they are ready to set the blaze, the woman will refuses to leave her library. Instead she lights a match
Open Document