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Fahrenheit 451: Critical Review

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Fahrenheit 451 is a novel that was written based on a dystopian society. It begins to explain how society copes with the government through conformity. Most of the characters in this story, for example: Mildred, Beatty, and the rest, start to conform to the government because it is the culture they had grown up in. Individuality is not something in this society because it adds unneeded conflict between the characters. The government tries to rid of the individuality it may have. Individuality was shown in the beginning quite well by using Clarisse McClellan and Montag. Clarisse McClellan shows her individuality quite clearly, more towards Montag. After Montag has been living off conformity, he decided to start questioning the world and ends up becoming his own person as well.

When individuality is brought into a society, they can choose their aspects which they feel are needed for life whether it be good or bad. Clarisse McClellan shows a great example of individuality in the novel. She “liked to smell things and look at things, and sometimes stay up all night, walking and watching the sun rise” (Bradbury 5). Clarisse’s question and curiosity showed how different she was than the others. She was a great thinker and Montag thought this made her strange. While she was talking to Montag, she tells him “You’re not like the others. I’ve seen a few; I know. When I talk, you look at me. When I said something about the moon, you looked at the moon, last night. The others would never do that. The others would walk off and leave me talking. Or threaten me”, she saw something in Montag that showed how he was willing to be like her, different (Bradbury 21).

Clarisse’s character is quite peaceful, She isn’t towards violence nor does she like TV as much as everyone else does. She’s not shy and is able to ask questions to Montag about his job, The way she acted towards him started to influence him to make a change in his life and start becoming different like her. Clarisse insists that she has to show him things she had talked about. She opens the door for him to discover what has been hidden in this new world they are now living in.

Beatty had said, “You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred”, notably saying that people are most likely better off conforming to the culture they are growing into so it doesn’t bring unhappiness (Bradbury 56). In Fahrenheit 451, everyone tries to evolve around conformity. Clarisse explains to Montag “People don’t talk about anything… they all say the same thing and nobody says anything different from anyone else”, bringing up the point that people aren’t too fond to ask questions and be the different person (Bradbury 28).

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At the start of the novel, Clarisse asked Montag if he has ever read any of the books that he burned. Montag knows that if he answers, it will be illegal in the society they are in right now. Clarisse appears in the beginning of the book because she gets in the way of the government’s doing because she is an individualist.

Clarisse turned out to be a big influence in Montag’s life. His choice of becoming into an individual himself changes him into a completely different person. As the book gets closer to ending, Montag ends up meeting up with professor Faber. Professor Faber is one of the outcasts because of everything he knows. Montag asked him for help because he started to become interested in reading books. Montag explains to Faber “Nobody listens any more. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me. I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls”, Montag started to feel different from the others because society started to move him away from his old actions (Bradbury 78). Also in the beginning, Clarisse asks Montag about the smell of kerosine. This part started to foreshadow Montag as an individual and thinking for himself. Montag would be characterized as the protagonist of this novel. Clarisse’s way of thinking was the reason that mostly influenced Montag to change into an individualist. Her personality made him want to be like Clarisse.

As we get start to close in on identifying Montag’s individuality, he lets it all out when he talks to Beatty. Montag started to defend Clarisse from Beatty and said, “She saw everything. She didn’t do anything to anyone. She just let them alone” (Bradbury 108). This being said from Montag, it emphasizes that Clarisse was being herself, an individual who only wanted to see the world different without harm. Other people saw her as a threat only because they all thought she would rot other’s minds like Beatty had responded.

The government started to go after Montag because he had went against the society of conformity by using individuality. Individuality sets oneself apart from other people in a society, As he decided to make the big change from conformity, he was lead to a group of outcasts who have also decided to change like him. He then settles with them. People will soon understand that conformity does not cause any happiness like they had thought it would. They learned that conformity causes conflicts with each other. This leaves the readers with hope that there is still a way to get through society through individualism.

Individuality created conflict amongst others in the culture of the novel Fahrenheit 451. The only reason it did this is because the government was trying to demolish any person that tried to break the law. Individuality is not accepted in this novel because it gave the opportunity to question actions that were not sane or the right thing to do. For example, when Clarisse explains to Montag that people weren’t interesting with how they talked. With individuality, society is able to be what it wants to be. Fahrenheit 451 shows an idea of how individuality changes a society into viewing new things and how people are different from each other.

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Fahrenheit 451: Critical Review. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 6, 2023, from
“Fahrenheit 451: Critical Review.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022,
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Fahrenheit 451: Critical Review [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2023 Jun 6]. Available from:
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