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Guy Montag's Contradiction
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We were discussing Farenheit 451 in my english class,and I realized something when we were discussing the main motives of the character Beatty; he tells Montag that bascially, books lead to destruction. He's sort of the Judas to Montag's Jesus, and believes that books are useless and only lead to pain and suffering. To me, he made it sound like if the government didn't decided to ban literature, it would've brought about the end of the world. Montag doesn't believe this, however, and decided to read books in belief that they can help SAVE the world. However, after he actually reads a number of books, his world really does end...which is exactly what Beatty believed. Montag's city goes up in smoke, and his entire life had been burnt away in one fell swoop. So, in a way, you could say Bradbury makes Montag look wrong...and Beatty look right. Does anyone else see this in the book?
 
Posts: 3 | Registered: 25 August 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good observation, up to that point in the story. But what happens next? Does the word "phoenix" mean anything to you?

Phil
www.bradburymedia.co.uk

[This message has been edited by philnic (edited 08-26-2004).]
 
Posts: 5025 | Location: UK | Registered: 07 April 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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'Lo Joeski, you've brought forward a very interesting aspect to the main theme of F451 that I honestly have never seen before, the aspect of Beatty being correct about the nature of books and literature. I have my personal pet peave about cliffhanger endings, and of course, Ray never said exactly what happened once the professors go back into the city; did the people accept books? Did they reject them? So acctualy either Beatty or Montag could be correct about books, Ray doesn't tell us, he leaves it up to our imaginations, personally, I say books win.

Dan
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: 27 August 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It doesnt say that the "phoenixx" effect made the city one big place that all of the people agreed with him the city that they go back to make may also take the same form that Beatty aggreed with.
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: 27 August 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well joeski, I do see your point. However, Montag doesn't exactly look wrong, and Beatty doesn't exactly look right. Montag is supported by fellow professors near the end. Doesn't this give him some credit to look like he did the right thing? Plus, the city has been destroyed. We don't know exactly what happens next. If the books return, then Montag wins, and if they don't then we see how Beatty was right. But we don't, so personally I can't make the decision of who was right and who was wrong.
 
Posts: 4 | Location: Lemont, IL USA | Registered: 25 August 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The phenix is a bird that dies by ashes and is reborn by ashes. We have just learned about this in class, this actually realates to the end of the book. When the city is destroyed, and Montag and the proffesers are left they could rebuild the town with all different kinds of rules and a place where reading books is allowed. This is why i think Ray Bradbury put the word "phenix" in the book because how it perfectly fits the end of the story.
 
Posts: 3 | Registered: 26 August 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I believe that in a sense that Bradbury leaves the choice to be up to you to decide whether or not Montag was right about the books. There is evidence in the story that could lead to either point of view. For example, in Beatty's speech, he does indeed state clearly that if books had not been censored from the world, they would eventually lead to the downfall of mankind. Montag strongly disagrees with this point, thinking that books may be the key to happiness. But when he reads books and gets caught doing it, he leads to a major uprising and causes a lot of destruction in the fire department. So his reading books did bring about destruction to a part of civilization but it did not lead to the city being bombed. Also, a point that you can argue in Montag's case is the speech that Granger gives about mankind being sort of like a "phoenix". He states that when mankind makes an error or destroys itself, they rebuild based off that error, kind of like how a phoenix rebirths itself from its ashes. So, the reader is left to choose between these two points. I believe that Montag actually is right because of the fact that censorship of anything seeming negative for mankind led to the destruction of civilization and that if books were around people would be less afraid of their emotions because they could see that they are expressed in writing and are normal so they would possibly have been able to prevent the bombing of the city.
 
Posts: 4 | Location: Lemont, Illinois, United States of America | Registered: 25 August 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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