Fahrenheit 451 Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 book cover
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In Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, how is Montag a peculiar hero?

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Perhaps what makes Montag a peculiar hero in Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is that he begins the novel as a villain of sorts. He is a fireman responsible for burning homes that hold books—items that are forbidden by the government. He sees nothing wrong with it, enjoying the process of burning:

It was a pleasure to burn.

It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.

However, when he responds to a call to burn a house and finds the owner still there, and further witnesses her willingness to die for her books by starting the fire that takes her life, he is a changed. It becomes a personal issue for him, and he can no longer continue as he had before.

Montag begins to think about the ideas that Clarisse McClellan presents to him. She advises him to slow down, pay attention—to think and live more fully. He starts to read and hide books. He gets in...

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