What are the personality traits and physical descriptions of each character in "Fahrenheit 451"?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Montag: He is the novel's protagonist, who searches to find happiness in Bradbury's dystopian society. Montag is also a fireman, who challenges authority by possessing books. After meeting Clarisse, Montag has a change of heart and rejects his old life as a fireman. He enlists the help of Faber and ends up fleeing the city to live among the hobo intellectuals.

Clarisse: She is Montag's affable, exuberant teenage neighbor, who loves nature, family, and conversations. She is a petite girl with a very thin face and likable personality. However, Clarisse is viewed as an outcast in the dystopian society. She opens Montag's eyes to his superficial life and meaningless existence by asking him if he is happy.

Mildred: She is Montag's superficial, callous wife, who is obsessed with watching her interactive television shows. Mildred is described as being dull and fake throughout the novel. She continually wears too much makeup and refuses to recognize her own feelings of unhappiness.

Captain Beatty: He is Montag's boss and the antagonist of the novel. Beatty is a strong, physically intimidating man, who challenges Montag's intellectual pursuits throughout the novel. Although Beatty subscribes to society's views on literature, he is surprisingly well read and intelligent.

Faber: He is an old man and former professor, who helps Montag challenge the authoritative government throughout the novel. Faber gives Montag insight into the value of literature and helps him escape from the city.

Granger: Granger is the leader of the hobo intellectual group that travels the countryside. He dresses in ragged clothes in order to remain inconspicuous as he travels. Granger helps Montag remember the Book of Ecclesiastes and plans on helping create a literate society after the nuclear bomb destroys the city.

sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unfortunately, there is not enough space here to do justice to each character.  However, I have provided a link to the Enotes Character Guide for Farhenheit 451.  You should find it very helpful for your purposes.

Here is a quick overview:

Montag - a firefighter.  He is the protagonist, and begins to not only question the work that he does but the aims of socity itself.  He is a timid person and susceptible to coercion, but he learns to stand up for his own beliefs in the end.

Beatty - Montag's boss, a strong and emotionless man.  Beatty believes firmly in his work and is very persuasive.  Ironically, he is well-read, and uses his literary background to his advantage in trying to convince Montag that burning books is the right thing to do.

Mildred - Montag's wife, a heartless and unhappy woman who wants to feel but is scared of her own feelings.  She betrays Montag in the end.

Clarisse - a young woman who is headstrong and firm in her own beliefs.  A rebel, Clarisse opens Montag eyes to the beauty of human interaction and shared experience.

Faber - a professor, and the anti-Beatty.  Faber helps Montag to articulate his own interest in books and, although Faber himself is not an activist, he is a catalyst that helps Montag stand up to the firefighters.

Read the study guide:
Fahrenheit 451

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