In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury shows 6 stages of the Hero’s Journey using Guy Montag, the protagonist, as he journeys to find the meaning behind books, to conquer death and be reborn into a new society, like the hero in the hero’s journey. Montag revealed his society’s secrets and flaws while also discovering the importance of books. Relating Fahrenheit 451 to the 17 stages of the Hero’s Journey, helps show readers the stages, physically and emotionally, that the hero goes through to complete their journey.
Although Montag represents the hero in this story, Clarisse plays a very important role as well. Clarisse is responsible for Montag’s change in his ways of thinking. She brings an innocent perspective of their society to change the way Montag thinks. She questioned him and made him actually think instead of just going through the daily actions in his life. He then realized that were inconsistencies in the way that his society went about life and their beliefs. “Do you mind if I ask? How long have you worked at being a fireman?” “Since I was twenty, ten years ago.” “Do you ever read any of the books you bum?” He laughed. “That’s against the law!” They walked still further, and the girl said, “Is it true that long-ago firemen put fires out instead of going to start them?” “No. Houses. have always been fireproof, take my word for it.” “Strange. I heard once that a long time ago houses used to burn by accident and they needed firemen to stop the flames.” (Bradbury 3) Clarisse represents what Montag is trying to realize and become. She shows him the beauty of books and the importance of realizing the discrepancies in their society. Montag did not even know Clarisse when she approached him, so naturally he denied all of her suspicions. Montag said he loved Mildred and he was very happy with his daily life which was not true in any way. When she asked him if he read any of the books he burned, he formed so many questions about the way society did things. “What a shame,” she said. “You’re not in love with anyone.” “Yes, I am!” “It doesn’t show.” “I am very much in love!” He tried to conjure up a face to fit the words, but there was no face. “I am! (Bradbury 10) He stopped walking, “You are an odd one,” he said, looking at her. “Haven’t you any respect? (Bradbury 3) Montag was used to being molded to fit their dystopian society’s views on life. He realized that everyone looked at certain aspects with one perspective. He was being challenged to question what he has known and been taught since he was young.
Clarisse was not the only thing that helped Montag question his society. In addition to Clarisse, there were many events that took place that helped him to change his perspective about the world. Montag’s experiences and interactions really helped to shape Montag’s character which we the end result of at the end of the book.
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