How and why does Guy Montags attitude and beliefs towards fire change over the course of the novel?

1 Answer

mattbuckley's profile pic

mattbuckley | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted on

Character change and transformation is one of the major themes of this novel. Montags response to fire throughout this story shows that change. 

The beginning of this novel starts off with the sentences "It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed." In this opening we see that fire is used as a symbol for change. Montag loves to burn. His change begins shortly after this when he meets Clarisse and she inquires about his happiness. Montag later discovers, upon thinking about it more, that he is not in fact happy and his change begins. As the story continues, Montag questions the role and history of firemen. Finally, fire engulfs his house and he is on the other side. However, due to the changes that have taken place in him, he makes his stand and uses the fire against the oppressors, permanently changing his life forever.