What are some examples of Man vs. Society in Fahrenheit 451?
In Fahrenheit 451, there are a number of examples which demonstrate a conflict between Man and Society:
- Montag vs. the Majority: According to Beatty, it is the majority who first turned their backs on books and encouraged the government to introduce the fireman system. Montag's real battle with the majority begins in Part Two when he develops an "insidious plan" with Faber to bring down this system and to reintroduce books into society. But the majority are unwilling to embrace literature, as we see when Montag reads Dover Beach to Mildred and her friends. Montag does, however, put this plan into action when he plants a book in a fellow fireman's house and calls in the alarm.
- Montag vs. the Government: After killing Captain Beatty in Part Three, Montag does battle with the government: they send the Mechanical Hound after him and broadcast the chase on live television. This conflict is resolved when Montag escapes the city while the government publicly executes an innocent man.
The most obvious example of a man vs. society conflict throughout the novel Fahrenheit 451 is Montag's struggle to educate himself and become an intellectual in Bradbury's dystopian society. In Bradbury's dystopian society, it is illegal to own books, which makes Montag a wanted man. He is forced to run and hide from the authorities throughout the novel because he possesses illegal books. The authoritarian government censures knowledge by burning books and sends the Mechanical Hound to track down Montag, who is on the run. Other characters throughout the novel also struggle against the dystopian society. Clarisse is treated as an outcast for her peculiar behavior and is kept under the close watch of authorities. Faber is forced to live an isolated life because he is an intellectual. Granger and his group of traveling intellectuals are also forced to live on the outskirts of society because they value and seek knowledge.