Appropriately named after a paper-manufacturing company, Montag is the protagonist of Fahrenheit 451. He is by no means a perfect hero, however. The reader can sympathize with Montag’s mission, but the steps he takes toward his goal often seem clumsy and misguided. Montag’s faith in his profession and his society begins to decline almost immediately after the novel’s opening passage. Faced with the enormity and complexity of books for the first time, he is often confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed. As a result, he has difficulty deciding what to do independently of Beatty, Mildred, or Faber. Likewise, he is often rash, inarticulate, self-obsessed, and too easily swayed. At times he is not even aware of why he does things, feeling that his hands are acting by themselves. These subconscious actions can be quite horrific, such as when he finds himself setting his supervisor on fire, but they also represent his deepest desires to rebel against the status quo and find a meaningful way to live.
In his desperate quest to define and comprehend his own life and purpose by means of books, he blunders blindly and stupidly as often as he thinks and acts lucidly. His attempts to reclaim his own humanity range from the compassionate and sensitive, as in his conversations with Clarisse, to the grotesque and irresponsible, as in his murder of Beatty and his half-baked scheme to overthrow the firemen.
More characters from Fahrenheit 451
Below you will find four outstanding thesis statements / paper topics for “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury that can be used as essay starters. All five incorporate at least one of the themes found in “Fahrenheit 451” and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements for “Fahrenheit 451” offer a short summary of different elements that could be important in an essay but you are free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: Guy Montag as a Heroic Figure in “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag is, in the opening lines of “Fahrenheit 451”, clearly aligned with the “bad guys.” He is a firefighter who burns books simply because that is what is expected him, not necessarily because he holds the deep conviction that books are dangerous. Yet Guy undergoes a major transformation as a character, and ultimately attempts to revive lost pieces of civilization. As such, he might be considered a heroic figure. Write a persuasive essay in which you attempt to convince your reader that Guy Montag should or should not be considered a heroic figure, and substantiate your claim with evidence-based reasons. If this topic does not strike your fancy, you might go for a more challenging argumentative essay on “Fahrenheit 451” that explores ways in which he is a tragic character as well.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: The Symbol of the Phoenix in “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury
At the end of “Fahrenheit 451”, Granger introduces and explains the metaphor of the phoenix. (See Selected Quotes for this explanation). Far from being a verbal aside, Granger’s musing about the phoenix has great symbolic weight for the theme of the novel. Digging a bit deeper than Granger himself, consider what Bradbury wanted to convey with the symbol of the phoenix, and suggest what aspects of humanity and society it might be referencing. Looking beyond the more simple conclusions one could make by paralleling the story of the legendary phoenix, dig deeper and discover themes both stories have in common.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: The Role of Clarisse McClellan in “Fahrenheit 451”
Clarisse McClellan is a young woman who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Guy Montag, a friendship which causes Guy to question some of the assumptions and beliefs that he has followed blindly for much of his life. Analyze the role that Clarisse’s life and death play in Guy’s development of consciousness, as well as in the trajectory of the novel “Fahrenheit 451″as a whole. You may also choose to consider whether Clarisse’s character was necessary in order for Guy to undergo his transformation. If you choose to do a character analysis of any characters present in “Fahrenheit 451” looking beyond Guy to Clarisse might be one of the best options.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: The Current Relevance of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 was published in 1953, yet more than 50 years later, it remains a relevant social commentary about certain conditions in the United States. Write an essay in which you compare and contrast social conditions in 1953 and contemporary conditions and consider how the novel can both reflect those conditions and be applied as a way of understanding them.
Reference: Bradbury, Ray, Fahrenheit 451. New York: Ballantine, 1953.