What roles do Clarisse, the Unidentified Old Woman, Faber, and Beatty play in re-educating Guy Montag? a brief description of each character

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Clarisse is the catalyst who influences Montag to reevaluate his life and closely analyze the way he is living. After Montag meets Clarisse, he begins to realize that his life is unfulfilling, and his marriage is meaningless. She motivates Montag to assess his life, and he discovers that he must make a drastic change in order to attain genuine happiness.

The unidentified woman, who dies with her book collection, motivates Montag to search for answers in literature. After witnessing her commit suicide with her books, Montag realizes that literature may hold the answers to his most pressing questions.

Montag seeks Faber's help in learning how to comprehend the texts that he is reading. Professor Faber also explains to Montag why literature and preserving knowledge is valuable and important. He assures Montag that his quest for knowledge is admirable and offers his support when Captain Beatty attempts to confuse Montag.

Captain Beatty is the novel's antagonist, who supports censoring literature and conforming to society's superficial standards. He attempts to persuade Montag to believe that searching for knowledge is meaningless. He also attempts to convince Montag that destroying literature is a positive endeavor. In order for Montag to grow as an independent intellectual, he must first defeat Captain Beatty.

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gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Clarisse is the original spark (if you'll permit the fire-related pun) that wakes Montag up. He'd been sleepwalking through his life before she shows him there is more than the programmed routine.

The unidentified old woman in the house of books shows him how much there is to books (that someone would die for them).

Beatty's role is more complex. Beatty first lets him know that he's been watched, and second that he's not alone and that all firemen have been tempted. After that, he essentially tries to counter-brainwash Montag. Finally, when Montag torches him, it is an education for Montag in how far things have gone.

Faber lets him know some of the underpinnings behind the society: how it came to be, what sustains it, and what the risks are.

Greg

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