How does Mantag change throughout Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451? How does he feel towards the end of the novel?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the novel, Montag feels numb and indifferent to his meaningless life until he meets Clarisse, whose presence encourages him to analyze himself. Montag becomes disenchanted with his job, his wife, and society in general. Montag begins to search for answers and commits a crime by possessing and reading books. As the novel progresses, Montag's search for meaning brings out his anger, until he finally snaps and kills Captain Beatty during a routine call. Montag officially becomes an enemy of the state but manages to escape by floating down the river and living with a band of hobo intellectuals outside of the city. Initially, Montag feels discouraged about his drastic life decisions until Granger explains to him the essence of life, which is to create, experience, and affect individuals and nature in a positive way. Montag is unsure of his ability to remember The Book of Ecclesiastes but slowly realizes the meaning of his life. By the end of the novel, Montag has transformed from a lost, disillusioned individual to an enthusiastic man with a purpose. He begins to remember significant verses from The Book of Ecclesiastes as he walks towards the recently destroyed city, in hopes of rebuilding a better society.

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Fahrenheit 451

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