What is Guy Montag's view on censorship in Fahrenheit 451?

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Montag began his life's work of censorship blindly. His father had been a fireman (one who burns books, not necessarily saves lives), and so had his grandfather. Being a censor was just what Montags did. However, he did not realize what they were actually doing until the night when he saw a woman willing to die with her books. In that moment he must have come to understand that there is something valuable in books if not having them was worse than death.

Viewing this type of suicide brought out a piece of humanity in Montag that he may not have known that he had. From this point on, Montag begins a process that moves him from not just believing that censoring is wrong, but it is worth fighting against. Upon meeting Faber, Montag began to learn what books contained - thought, power, encouragements to act, and leisure. These were qualities he had never really valued before, but they began to become human attributes worth obtaining. He therefore begins a quest to frame the other firemen and overthrow the establishment, but this never really happens. By the end of the book, Montag maintains his belief that censorship has robbed the society of human emotion and joins a band of vagabonds who share similar beliefs.

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