The novel Fahrenheit 451 written by Ray Bradbury published in 1953 is considered one of Bradbury’s best works. The main character “Guy Montag” is an average citizen in his average town. In this dystopian time era books are frowned upon by society enough to ruin one another’s lives completely. Montag fills the occupation referred to as a “fire man”, fire men burn down houses if they contain books. However Montag thoroughly enjoys his job until a 17 year old girl named Clarisse befriends Montag. Despite their differences Clarisse does not fear Montag despite his occupation “”You know, I’m not afraid of ou at all.
He was surprised. “Why should you be? ” “So many people are. Afraid of firemen, I mean. But you’re just a man after all.. ” (Bradbury, 7) Clarisse states. Clarisse eventually opens Montag’s eyes when she asks “Are you happy? ” (Bradbury, 10) which sends Montag reeling. Montag ultimately stages a revolution and escapes certain death multiple times just as any protagonist does. However, being the protagonist does not directly correlate to being the hero. The typical hero cycle at bare minimum includes: a call to adventure, meeting of the mentor, saving another significant character, eceiving a reward of sorts, and saving the day.
Saving the day is absolutely necessary to be considered a hero. All of the notorious champions save the day; it’s the largest and most imperative requirement to being considered a hero. Guy Montag in the novel Fahrenheit 451 has many heroic attributes however he does not “save the day” which ultimately trumps all other weak characteristics he may possess. In the heroic cycle there are certain characteristics that are more significant than others. For example the specifics or their call to adventure is of less importance to whether or not they have a mentor. Guy Montag encounters three mentors unlike most other heroes.
He meets a 17 year old female named Clarisse, his boss, Beatty, and Faber an elderly man who used to be an English teacher. Clarisse is extremely free spirited and “17 and insane”. She is said to be “anti-social” and doesn’t have any friends however Montag soon befriends her and genuinely enjoys her company. Very soon after meeting her she is rumored to be hit by a car and killed. Beatty, a possible second mentor has been his fire captain for all of the time Montag has been working with them (10 years) and when Montag stays home sick one day Beatty tops by and gives him some words of wisdom about books. The word intellectual of course became the swear word it deserved to be. ‘ (Bradbury, 58) Beatty states” Beatty informs Montag, in length about why books should be and are banned. He explains that people want to be happy and when two sides are offered one gets stressed. To be happy there must not be any sides offered at all. “If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, topheavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than people that people worry over it.
Peace, Montag. ” (Bradbury, 61) Beatty informs Montag. Beatty attempts to persuade Montag to continue burning books but the mentor who truly prevails is Faber, the former english teacher. Faber uses fewer words to persuade Montag however it is just as effective. Faber, within hours of associating with Montag teaches him to speak with his own mind ” That’s the good part of dying; when you’ve nothing to lose, you run any risk you want” (Bradbury, 85) Montag enerally made his own decision without Faber’s help but Faber definitely contributed quite a bit. He guided Montag on the path to the revolution Montag desired.
Montag ultimately chose to follow Faber because of his wisdom and he knew what Montag required to succeed or get as far as one could get in their society. Ultimately however it was Montag that saved Faber. An imperative part to the hero’s journey/cycle is the saving of another significant character. In most cases the other character is of the opposite gender but in this rare case it turns out to be Montag’s mentor. Faber was saved by Montag when they first meet and Faber reveals that he had a book stashed under his coat and Montag does not burn his house despite Montag’s obligation to his job.
Saving a significant character truly defines the hero’s stance and what they’re willing to do. It shows the rest of the fictional world where he stands. If one analyzes most texts it will have the hero save another character in a flourish of danger and risk. Fahrenheit 451 is no different, Montag saves Faber knowing this could risk him his job and that he definitely hould turn him in and do what is “right” but for some strange reason he does not. Although Montag saves Faber however he fails saving the day. For any hero story to be just that, a hero story the protagonist must save the day.
Saving the day is absolutely the most imperative aspect, however Guy Montag neglects to do so revoking his hero status. Montag attempts to stage a revolution, he has a plan, allies, and all that a successful hero would need however in the end he makes a vital mistake which then causes a domino effect and leaves everything in ruins including his opes for a rebellion. He ends up murdering his superior which in most other hero tale would pass without a hitch but in Fahrenheit 451 it includes advanced technology that could track any rule breaker down in minutes. -nose so sensitive the Mechanical Hound can remember and identify ten thousand odor indexes on ten thousand men without resetting! ” (Bradbury, 133) the Mechanical Hound has never failed at finding a man until Montag. Montag narrowly escapes the beast and runs away from his problems like a coward (not facing it like a true hero) and hides away. Escaping the beast is an accomplishment in itself but saving the day actually helps the citizens and is much more beneficial than saving one’s self and then cowering.
Montag acted on true cowardice and failed to save the day by any means which ultimately did not save none the less help anyone. He had the option to save the day but instead made a bold move and ruined the plan and let himself and his mentor down then asked Faber for help and after left him to die. “What did you give to the city, Montag? Ashes. What did the others give to each others give to each other? Nothingness. ” (Bradbury, 156) He leaves the city in ruins then runs away. Faber’s advice of “Do your own bit of saving and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore. (Bradbury, 86) was utterly disregarded by Montag, he did anything but that, he saved himself and only himself. In the end Montag turned out to be arrogant and overall extremely self-centered. The canonical novel Fahrenheit 451 written by Ray Bradbury depicts it’s main character as a normal man or an Average Joe thrust into extraordinary circumstances similar to any other tale ith a hero however as Guy Montag fits most criteria he fails to fulfill the single most important section of the hero’s cycle, saving the day.
When Montag neglects to save the day his hero status is revoked and he is thrown into failure. It is an unfortunate fate however inevitable if one’s plans fall through and all ends up worse. Whether or not Montag saved the day ultimately decided his entire role in the story therefore when Bradbury chose Montag’s fate he made the conscious decision to thrust Montag into a whirlpool of disappointment. If Montag did however prevail would the same fate become of him?