Ray Bradburys science-fiction novel Fahrenheit 451 has literary elements that strengthen its interpretation. The theme of this novel is the significance of a persons independent thought. The literary movement of this piece of literature is Romanticism. Through the use of Guy Montag, an emotionally distressed individual who realizes the importance of independent thinking, Fahrenheit 451s theme and literary movement are better understood. The theme of Fahrenheit 451 is the importance of an individuals independent thought and the individuals creative ability.
Guy Montag never thought about what he did because he was told what he did was appropriate for society, and also he is happy with his role in society. He felt like that until he met Clarisse McClellan, a 17 year-old girl that society calls a mental case because she questions society. She teaches Montag about the past when society did not fear the firemen. When he talked to the his colleagues they laugh at him because they believe what their handbook says. The only action these characters take is to maintain their status quo-the way things are.
In contrast, Clarisse, Montag and Faber are individuals who wonder about their world and, in the case of Montag and Faber, are able to make attempts to change things (Telgen 145).He had been taking the books at some of the midnight runs he had, but never really wanted to find out what is written in them until after he found out that Clarisse died. A person that helped Montag expand his creativity was Professor Faber. He was a man that Montag remembered he had met when he needed someone elses guidance to do the right thing for himself. Professor Faber tells Montag about how society has depended on technology for many things and that Shah 2 technology threatened the development of the mind. In Bradburys novel, educations emphasis on technology leads to a culture where people understand how things are done but never bother to wonder why things are done (Levy 1314).
This type of education does not encourage the persons with unique abilities to look into depth and find a reason for why things are done. School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies about after work. Why learn anything, save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts? (Bradbury 55-6). This is the quote that Captain Beatty, Montags boss, said to Montag when Montag was not sure about being a fireman.
Novels have many aspects that influence the author in determining the type of plot they should include. The literary movement of Fahrenheit 451 is Romanticism. It has six different characteristics: 1) emphasizes individualism, spontaneity, and freedom from rules; 2) shows a solitary life, not a life in society; 3) shows a belief that imagination is superior to reason; 4) reflects a devotion to beauty; 5) shows a love and worship of nature and fascination with the past, especially with myths and the supernatural; 6) shows a passionate love of country (Donnell 2). Montag emphasizes disposition, whimsical tendency, and salvation from regulations by changing his belief about community after being a fireman for 12 years. Bradbury has been called a romantic, and his romanticism often surfaces in the themes he investigates: the conflict between human vitality and spiritless mechanism, between the creative individual and the conforming group,.. (Paradowski 356). Clarisse McClellan and her family showed a life not within the standards of society and also they are people that remain alone and not associate with society.
We had some false alarms on the McClellans, when they lived in Chicago. Never found a book. Uncle had mixed records; antisocial. The girl? She was a time Shah 3 bomb. The family had been feeding her subconscious, Im sure, from what I saw of her school record.
She didnt want to know how a thing was done, but why. (Bradbury 60) What Captain Beatty said about the McClellans proves they were considered outcasts. Professor Faber shows the confidence that imagination is greater to understanding. This was proven by the quote, The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us (83). This means that the only things that is needed is the information provided in books that help explain the items that are not explained by the reason.
The plot and theme are captured more thoroughly through the use of distinct characters and their points of view. The protagonist of the novel is Guy Montag, a thirty-year-old fireman who followed his fathers and grandfathers footsteps. Montag has black hair and brows. Had he ever seen a fireman that didnt have black hair, black brows, a fiery face, and a blue-steel shaved but unshaved look? These men were all mirror images of himself! (33). He is a person who likes children and is a diligent worker.
Montag is a person who respects his role in society and does not ask any questions about it. In the beginning, he has no real motivation, but one can say that his motivation is to burn the books and live a life along the standards of society. He knew that when he returned to the firehouse, he might wink at himself, a minstrel man, burnt- corcked, in the mirror (4). This is what Montag depicted himself after he does his job and comes into the firehouse to wash up. His most important accomplishment was when he went to Professor Faber to understand what books were for and why they are considered to be destructive. After his encounter with Professor Faber, he believed that books were worth risking his freedom for, and saving them should be his top priority. His relationship with his wife Mildred was not based on complete happiness.
Montag got along with Professor Faber because he went to him for wisdom, and he was willing to do anything he was told to. Professor Faber wants Montag to start thinking and deciding what he wants to do by himself and not follow anyone elses instructions. The authors style was based on the structure of the novel. Each part of the novel has something to do with Montags feelings and thoughts. Part one is called The Hearth and Salamander. Montag enjoys his work as a fireman in this section, but also begins to find his inner voice as doubts set in (Telgen 145). The title of this section is related to how Montag is described in the beginning.
The analysis of a novel can be presented in many ways in accordance with the manner of writing shown by the author. Ray Bradbury provided the theme for the novel Fahrenheit 451 with the use of the literary movement Romanticism. The theme of the novel was the importance of an individuals thought and aesthetic capability. Guy Montag is used to enhance the interpretation of this theme and literary movement. Hence, the use of Guy Montag has proved to be beneficial in understanding this piece of literature.
His qualities have helped Ray Bradbury prove his point to his audience and teach them the dangers of depending of technology more than on the human mind, which is far more powerful and capable according to him.