If a stranger or a neighbour came up to you and talked about the history of your job, what would you do? If you worked against the law, what would your reason be? In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, books become illegal and the protagonist, Guy Montag, is a fireman who starts fires rather than extinguishes fires, his objective is to burn any house with books in them. One day, he decides to break the law by hiding books in his house because he overheard a family talking about books and also because an old man wanted his help to save books. Guy Montag is a foolish person because he is easily convinced and he only listens to orders
Guy Montag is a foolish person because he is easily convinced. When Guy met a man, Faber, who wanted to preserve books, he immediately agreed, not knowing what the consequences would be. When he first tells Faber he hides books, he goes to his house and asks for advice, not knowing what the consequences were if he hid the books for more than 24 hours. The rule was to “let the fireman keep the book for 24 hours. If he doesn’t burn it by then, we would burn it for him.” (Bradbury, 59) Even though Captain Beatty told Montag this rule, he still hid the books, thinking that he worked for Faber and not the fire department. When he goes back to firefighting, Captain Beatty orders him to burn down his own house for having books, to which Montag absent-mindedly accepts. After realising he had burnt down his house, he kills Beatty when Beatty would “drop in on your friend” (112) and runs to Faber’s house and asks advice to preserve books. This episode of unfolding events shows that Guy Montag is incapable of making his own decisions and thinks like a mercenary, he switches from one side to the other.
What also makes him a foolish person is his inability to make his own decisions. When he goes to work or goes to Faber’s all he does is work by the rules, and he does not think about the consequences nor thinking about his actions. Sometimes, when he realises what his actions had cost him, it would already be too late. When Montag starts hiding books and the firemen find out, the firemen go to his house. Despite Faber’s instruction to “get away, run” (109), He decided that “fire was best for everything.” (110) After everything was burnt down, he would be put under arrest for hiding books, he turns on Beatty and runs away. This made him a fugitive, something he was working against if he had followed the laws.
All of these reasons have the same root. This happened when Montag was returning home from work and bumped into a new neighbour who begins to question Montag’s job, stating that firemen used to put out fires instead of starting them and asks if he was happy. Montag knew he was not happy. When a woman who had books in her house would have her house burnt down, she stayed and burnt herself as well. This made Montag feel very uneasy and starts saving up books himself, claiming “We never burned right” (113). Therefore, Montag is foolish because he cannot make his own decisions and he is easily convinced.