In the book Fahrenheit 451, the main character is a fireman named Guy Montag. The conflict in the story is Person v Society, in this dystopian place everything is opposite from our own. People fear firemen and curiosity, books and any type of literature is banned, and the meaning of social is to not speak or to think.
The firemen are the police in the book, where they catch the criminals and punish them for breaking the law. The firemen would start the fire and burn the literature and books as well as the house. But the house is fireproof so it would look like there is no damage done to the house from the outside. “So many people are. Afraid of firemen, I mean. But you’re just a man, after all. . .” (Pg. 11) Many people are afraid of the firemen because of the fires that they start or the stories and history that they burn. The firemen are different from the world that we know of and the one inside the book. “Is it true that long ago firemen put fires out instead of starting 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.” (Pg. 12) The fires are all started just to prevent the people from even thinking or considering breaking the law.
Established, 1790, to burn English-influenced books in the Colonies. First Fireman: Benjamin Franklin.
Rule 1. Answer the alarm swiftly
- Start the fire swiftly
- Burn everything
4. Report back to firehouse immediately
- Stand alert for other alarms
The rules or code of the firemen is to burn, they don’t stop and burning until all the books and the people that are rebelling are all gone or obeying the law. Reading these rules you can tell that there would be resistance since the last rule stand alert for other alarms shows that people are constantly going to rebel against the law and government, as they would think that the law isn’t fair or isn’t right to everyone.
From Montags point of view he sees all the burning and destruction as normal until he meets a 17-year-old girl named Clarrise. She changes his point of view about everything, as she is very curious about everything. She is an example in the book as the odd one out. She is very social, which in the book shows as antisocial.
“I’m antisocial, they say I don’t mix. It’s so strange. I’m very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social doesn’t it? Social to me means talking to you about things like this.” She rattled some chestnuts that had fallen off the tree in the front yard. “Or talking about how strange the world is. Being with people is nice. But I don’t think it’s a social to get a bunch of people together and not let them talk, do you? An hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures, and more sports, but do you know we never ask questions, or at least most don’t; they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film teacher. That’s not social to me at all. It’s a lot of funnels and a lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom, and them telling us its wine when its not.” (Pg 33)
This quote from the book in page 33 is when Montag is talking to Clarrise. She describes a normal day at school inside that book, it shows that the school is trying to teach that you don’t need to talk as much to learn and grow. “Sometimes I sneak around a listen in subways. Or I listen at soda fountains, and do you know what?”
“People don’t talk about anything.” (pg. 34)
People grow up to be used to not talking or communicating as much so they become less social. Men and women walk around without talking or any type of communication. After talking to Clarrise and becoming more curious Montag feels different and has a feeling of realization about the place he lives and works in.
I can connect to Montag about his feeling, as people are less and less social everyday. Since technology is beginning to take over the world giving us the answers and goods to every problem we would every have. Can’t calculate or solve this? Use your phone and find the answer. But as technology is increasing our social time is also rising bit by bit. But slowly it is beginning to fall behind, as many people have other “things” to do now. As well as books are beginning to lessen, people buy and have literature in technology, downloaded or torrent. But printed books, and other types of literature is less used now, libraries are sometimes used. Our civilization is beginning to become similar to the book. But instead we don’t know who is rebelling or is wrong in our world.