How do specific instance in the plot aid or harm the main character in "Fahrenheit 451"?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In the end, most of the instances that occur in the plot aid in helping Montag to have the courage to shed his old, meaningless life, and the conviction to start anew.  All of these instances, stacked together, even if they seem to be sad events at the time, are the building blocks for Montag's transformation.  I'll provide some examples below.

1.  He meets Clarisse.  Her refreshing personality and different take on things gets him thinking about his own life, and how unhappy he is.  He feels the urge to find answers.

2.  He discovers his wife's suicide attempt.  This confirms his suspicions that they are unhappy, and makes him actively desire changes in his life.

3.  Mrs. Blake's fire.  Mrs. Blake chooses to die with her books rather than give in.  Her conviction moves him, and he starts tying things together:  maybe the changes he is looking for are in books.

4.  Beatty gives the history lesson, and "gives permission" to Montag to read, so, he does.  But he ends up frustrated with it.  So, that leads him to

5.  Seek out Faber.  Here is a key plot addition.  With Faber, who explains why books are important, Montag finally steps over the line into active plans for rebellion.

And, so on and so forth.  Each step taken in the book can be tied to Montag's final destination, as a rebuilder of society, a society with books, thinking, and meaning.  I hope that these thoughts help; good luck!

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machinegunziz | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

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In the end, most of the instances that occur in the plot aid in helping Montag to have the courage to shed his old, meaningless life, and the conviction to start anew.  All of these instances, stacked together, even if they seem to be sad events at the time, are the building blocks for Montag's transformation.  I'll provide some examples below.

1.  He meets Clarisse.  Her refreshing personality and different take on things gets him thinking about his own life, and how unhappy he is.  He feels the urge to find answers.

2.  He discovers his wife's suicide attempt.  This confirms his suspicions that they are unhappy, and makes him actively desire changes in his life.

3.  Mrs. Blake's fire.  Mrs. Blake chooses to die with her books rather than give in.  Her conviction moves him, and he starts tying things together:  maybe the changes he is looking for are in books.

4.  Beatty gives the history lesson, and "gives permission" to Montag to read, so, he does.  But he ends up frustrated with it.  So, that leads him to

5.  Seek out Faber.  Here is a key plot addition.  With Faber, who explains why books are important, Montag finally steps over the line into active plans for rebellion.

And, so on and so forth.  Each step taken in the book can be tied to Montag's final destination, as a rebuilder of society, a society with books, thinking, and meaning.  I hope that these thoughts help; good luck!

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