The book changed my life forever, as well. My first reading was in 9th grade (for me, that is 1969), and I went from being a total non-reader (except Mad magazine and Marvel comics "Make Mine Marvel!") to being a rather zealous reader. I ended up with Masters Degrees in both English and Philosophy, and I attribute it to Bradbury's influence on my life. I'm also on the city's Library Advisory Board, and that is due, in part, to Bradbury's influence -- who has always loved the library.
As to interesting characters in the book.
Montag for his willingness to re-examine his life and for his sense of "malaise" which made him open to the influence of Clarisse's questions. Also, I like the "new convert" zeal Bradbury is able to show in Montag.
Faber, for being like so many. Good, but afraid to get in and "mix it up". Montag brings him alive, and in turn, he assists Montag in his development in understanding books and ideas.
Beatty, for being the complex, and intelligent character he is. The discussions he has with Montag, and his obvious affection for him, are highlights of the book. Altough Beatty clearly represents the suppression of thought, I was still sad when he was killed.
Clarisse, for her ability to give life by living simply and honestly. Her enthusiasm and sense of humanity and beauty are also high points of the novel.
[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 11-19-2004).]
I would have to agree with Montag. He evolves from an automaton of the state into a free-thinking man.
I liked Prof. Faber, because he was so smart.
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