In Fahrenheit 451, can you provide an example of man vs. nature?

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In Fahrenheit 451, an example of man vs. nature occurs when Montag escapes into the river to flee the Mechanical Hound. Initially, the river provides a comforting escape, but as he emerges onto land, Montag confronts overwhelming fear and memories of a traumatic childhood incident involving water. This intense interaction with the natural world highlights his struggle against the elements and his own fears as he seeks freedom.

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Man vs. Nature means that a person is dealing with something in nature that could harm him, his family, or society. For example: a hurricane could be a force of nature that could harm you, your family, or society.  Another example might be a volcano.  Another one might be a storm at sea. The antagonist is nature, and man has to overcome it and survive through it.

When Montag escapes the Hound, he changes into Faber's clothes, douses himself with liquor, and jumps into the river.  He finds the river very comforting.

"He floated on his back.....the river was very real; it held him comfortably and gave him the time at last, the leisure, to consider this month, this year, and a lifetime of years.  He listened to his heart slow.  His thoughts stopped rushing with his blood." (pg 140)

However, when he reaches the land, it is a different story. After he has floated a while, his heels scrap on the pebbles of shore. He sees the land as a menacing creature.

"He looked in at the great black creature without eyes or light, without shape, with only a size that went thousands of miles, without wanting to stop, with its grass hills and forests that were waiting for him." (pg 141)

When he steps from the river, he is overcome with fear.  The land is causing the fear.  It brings back memories of a fearful childhood incident.

"The land rushed at him, a tidal wave.  He was crushed by darkness and the look of the country and the million odors on the wind that iced his body.  He fell back under the breaking curve of darkness and sound and smell.  He whirled......He wanted to plunge in the river again and let it idle him safely on down somewhere.  This dark land rising was like that day in his childhood, swimming, when from nowhere the largest wave in the history of remembering slammed him down in salt mud and green darkness, water burning mouth and nose, retching his stomach, screaming!  Too much water!

Too much land." (pg143)

He sees two eyes in the darkness, and he thought it was the Hound.  He gave a last loud shout, and the eyes exploded and were gone.  It was a deer.  He then started walking and was filled with all the scents of the earth.  Suddenly his fear diminished.

"He stood breathing, and the more he breathed the land in, the more he was filled up with all the details of the land.  He was not empty. There was more than enough here to fill him.  There would always be more than enough." (pg144)

However, his greatest comfort comes when he finds something manmade; railroad tracks.

"Here was the path to wherever he was going.  Here was the single familiar thing, the magic charm he might need a little while, to touch, to feel beneath his feet as he moved on into the bramble bushes and the lake of smelling and feeling and touching, among the whispers and the blowing down of leaves." (pg 145)

It was the fear of the unknown, of what those forest and hills could offer him. He was unfamiliar with the land and he had no idea how to survive.  He was terrified.

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In Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, what are a few examples of person vs. nature?

This is an interesting question because the majority of the conflicts are person vs. person or person vs. technology. One way to think about this is to consider Montag's human nature. He has been taught to suppress any "natural" curiosity about literature or critical thinking. Indeed, he is born with the ability to be curious and with the ability to read and think critically. But Beatty and other people in power have brainwashed him to suppress these abilities. So, in a sense, Montag is fighting against his own nature. Upon talking to Clarisse and Faber, he fights through this brainwashing and eventually gives in to his natural curiosity about literature and human thinking. In this case, thankfully, nature wins.

For a more traditional notion of person vs. nature, consider Montag's race to freedom at the end of the book. He runs through people's yards in order to get to the river. He has to risk swimming through the river in order to escape the Mechanical Hound. He does float peacefully down the river, happy to be away from his old life. But when he reaches land, he is overwhelmed with what he has been through and with the journey that awaits him:

He wanted to plunge in the river again and let it idle him safely on down somewhere. This dark land rising was like that day in his childhood, swimming, when from nowhere the largest wave in the history of remembering slammed him down in salt mud and green darkness, water burning mouth and nose, retching his stomach, screaming! Too much water! Too much land!

After all the running and rushing and sweating it out and half-drowning, to come this far, work this hard, and think yourself safe and sigh with relief and come out on the land at last only to find . . . The Hound!

It turns out to be a deer. But these passages shows how Montag does have to struggle against nature during his mad dash to freedom.

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