Fahrenheit 451 Essay, Research Paper
John F. Kennedy once said, ” Conformity is jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” This quote relates directly to the novel Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. According to this statement, when a person is told how to live their own lives they often forget to make their own decisions, and they are no longer their own person. Conformity is following all commands and laws regardless of one’s own beliefs. In the story, Guy Montag followed the rules set forth by the government, never second-guessing them. He never once thought of what these regulations really meant, or what the effects of his actions were. He never really experienced freedom. This quote expresses the changes that he made in his life.
The book Fahrenheit 451, set in the future, shows rules that the world today would think of as “outrageous laws”. The most apparent law shown in the novel is that citizens of the country are unauthorized to own any type of book, or medium that expresses knowledge or the opinions of people. Although that this law is very well known in the land, it is often broken by those who refuse to give up reading books for entertainment or religious purposes. What the modern world’s definition of a Fireman is today does not match the definition of a Fireman in this novel. Firemen in Fahrenheit 451 are employed with the sole purpose of starting fires as opposed to putting them out and saving lives. The fires started by these Firemen are provoked by reports that the owners of the building that is to be destroyed are hiding illegal books in the establishment. Guy Montag is a Fireman in this novel. He lives his whole life never thinking about what a book is or why it was so important for people to risk their lives to have them. His whole mindset on life changes when he meets an amazing girl named Clarisse McClellan. She begins to have Montag question his lifestyle and other aspects of life in general. This girl fully believes that she is has the right to live her own life, no matter what the rules of the government may be. McClellan begins to serve as an inspiration to Guy Montag. By the end of the story Montag has totally gone against the regulations of the government and his employers, and he begins a new, free life.
Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451, uses many literary techniques to express the importance of freedom in a man’s life. In the story “Firemen”, along with the government, are used as the antagonists of all problems that take place. The protagonist is at first Clarisse, and finally Montag, at the end. This shows that the character of Montag did change in the story after he no longer subsided to any rules. Irony was also used in this novel. This technique took place when Guy Montag, a Fireman, began to collect books and defy his country’s laws. This was a very unpredictable and surprising situation for the reader. This irony pertains to the quote by explaining that once a man truly believes that he is free he no longer abides by ridiculous laws or regulations. The author of this story also compared the wife of Montag to her friends. Because the three women abided by the same laws, they each acted the same, and seemed to have identical personalities. The quote explains this by saying that conformity is the enemy of growth. Therefore, Ray Bradbury wrote this novel exceptionally, and he used many different ways of writing to get his point across.
In Conclusion, when one does not choose to live their own life, and they follow the rules set forth by others, neither change nor growth will occur in a person’s life. Guy Montag, of the novel Fahrenheit 451, chose to live by this quote toward the end of the story. He learned that by following his own guidelines he would be the controller of the outcome of his life. Once he began to demonstrate actions that he felt were acceptable his personality changed enormously. The author of this novel, Ray Bradbury, did an admirable job expressing the changes that Montag experienced. He used many different literary techniques to show the growth that Mr. Guy Montag went through in the novel. This story was a perfect example of what may happen when a human is told what to do, instead of having the option of doing what they truly believe they should. According to John F. Kennedy, ” Conformity is jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”