The book Fahrenheit 451 is a novel written by Ray Bradbury reflecting a society that is insensitive to the plight of the minority. The book presents a society where the majority has their way, while the minorities do not have their right. The protagonist of this book is Guy Montag.
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Montag is a firefighter who, among others, is responsible for burning any book that is in the hands of the public. The majority of people in this society have embraced the belief that books are generally bad, and should be eliminated because they go against nature (Otten 73).
Society has come to trust technology over nature. Given the fact that books were considered to support nature, they were seen as a threat to the prosperity of this society. For this reason, such books were burnt irrespective of the sentiments of their owners.
Montag is convinced that it is right to burn these books. He works with other firefighters to burn the books. At this stage, Montag is a loyal employee who would not hesitate to follow the orders of the relevant authorities. His loyalty is so strong that he gives no concern to the life of the minority (Umland 89).
This is demonstrated when they burn books of an old woman who valued her books so much. The woman commits suicide after this incident. Upon meeting Clarisse McClellan, Montag has a change of mind. Initially, the main question that Montag would ask was how to undertake instructions. However, Clarisse comes in with the question of why this should happen.
She is a more independent-minded girl who loves nature. This earns her hatred in school, but this does not change her love for nature (Bradbury 56). Instead, she manages to free the mind of Montag. This new mindset puts Montag in confrontation with his boss and his workmates. This confrontation makes him kill his boss when he and other firefighters realize that Montage had been keeping several books for himself.
At this stage, Montag has completely changed and considers books as items of high value. Mildred, the wife of Montag, paints a picture of a puppet that is willing to follow instructions as given (Hiner 71). She is a fearful woman who would not dare go against authorities. She is a betrayer as witnessed when she calls firefighters to burn books of her husband. Her trait sharply differs from that of Clarisse who would want to be given a reason why a given action should be taken.
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She is a fearless woman who would not be swayed from her belief by the hatred from peers and teachers. Another important character in this book is Captain Beatty. His character is brought out as an understanding boss who is loyal to authorities. He is not ready to break the rules even if it means hurting a friend or a junior officer (Bloom 67). He orders Montag to burn his own house. Another character is Faber. He is a firm believer in books and nature. He dies fighting the law given by higher authorities.
It is apparent from the discussion above that there are different characters in this book with different traits. Some of them change their behavior after realizing that they were following oppressive laws. Others stick to what they believe in even if this costs them their lives. The third category prefers the following laws that are favored by the majority of those in authority.
Bloom, Harold. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, New Edition. New York: Chelsea House, 2008. Print.
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. Woodstock: Dramatic Publishing Company, 1986. Print.
Hiner, Kristi. Cliffsnotes Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Foster City: IDG Books Worldwide, 2001. Print.
Otten, Nick. Fahrenheit 451: By Ray Bradbury. Saint Louis: Milliken, 1990. Print.
Umland, Samuel J. Fahrenheit 451: Notes. Lincoln, Neb: Cliffs Notes, 1995. Print.