Guy Montag Character Traits

What are four of Guy Montag's personality traits in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Guy Montag of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is definitely a very richly developed protagonist who, like a real person, has many different personality traits. Below are a few ideas to help get you started.

For one thing, although the protagonist of the story, he starts out by not being the leader one might expect of a protagonist but rather a follower. He starts out as a follower by working for his government as a fireman, responsible for burning books, including any houses containing books. However, even once he begins to question the rightness of his occupation and whether or not all society is merely wearing a "mask of happiness," he tries to continue to cling to his ways, even asking Captain Beatty, his boss, to explain the history of firemen. Therefore, in this sense, he is a follower.

Regardless of being more of a follower, he also proves to be very intelligent, far more intelligent than his wife. He is intelligent enough to question his own happiness, his wife's happiness, and even the happiness of all society and to read, as we especially see in the early passage:

He was not happy. He said the words to himself. He recognized this as the true state of affairs. He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way to going to knock on her door and ask for it back. (p. 5)

He is even intelligent enough to understand the books he steals from work. In contrast, his wife fails to see any meaning behind the books, failing to see them as "real people" in the way that characters on TV are "real people."

He even proves to be quite rash, which is especially demonstrated towards the end of the novel when he kills his own boss.

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Fahrenheit 451

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