In the novel, FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury, Guy Montag lives in an inverted society, where firemen make fires instead of put them out, and pedestrians are used as bowling pins for cars that are excessively speeding. The people on this society are hypnotized by giant wall size televisions and seashell radios that are attached to everyone’s ears. People in Montag’s society do not think for themselves or even generate their own opinions; everything is given to them by the television stations they watch. In this society, if someone is in possession of a book, their books are burned by the firemen, but not only their books, but their entire home. Montag begins realizing that the things in this society are not right. Montag is influenced and changes over the course of the novel. The strongest influences in Montag’s life are Clarisse, the burning on 11 Elm Street and Captain Beatty.
Firstly, Montag is influenced by Clarisse McClellan because she is the first person he has met that is not like the rest of the society. Clarisse is a young 17 year old girl that Montag quickly becomes very fond of. Clarisse influences Montag by the way she questioned Montag, the way she admires nature, and her death. Clarisse first influenced Montag by the way she began questioning him often. Her questions would make him think for himself unlike the rest of society. “Then she seemed to remember something and came back to look at him with wonder and curiosity. “Are you happy?” she said. “Am I what?” he cried. But she was gone- running in the moonlight” (Bradbury, 10). Clarisse was one of the only people that Montag had ever met that had ever asked him that. This question that she asked him influenced him because he thinks about, and Montag asks himself that same question a few times. Clarisse is different from other people Montag has met, because she admires nature. “The psychiatrist wants to know why I go out and hike around in the forests and watch the birds and collect butterflies” (Bradbury, 23). This quotation shows that Clarisse is considered different in this society, and she must see a psychiatrist because she admires nature. Clarisse influences Montag by admiring nature, because Montag is now starting to realize the beauty of nature, and beginning to develop his own opinion. Clarisse strongly influenced Montag after her death.
“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, that is a last drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindness there is at last one which makes the heart run over” (Bradbury, 71)
This quotation shows that Montag is starting to have feelings unlike the rest of society. Clarisse has come to influence Montag through her questions, her admiration of nature and her death. Clarisse influenced Montag enough to get him to begin having feelings. Although Clarisse influenced Montag to begin feeling emotions, the fire on Elm Street was a big influence for Montag.
Secondly, the fire at...