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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Killer Character: Best Protagonist award goes to ...

Guy Montag of Fahrenheit 451.

Montag is a "fireman" in a futuristic dystopian society where his job is destroy books in order to promote societal harmony. While the government ultimately enforces this total censorship of the written word, it was in fact the citizens in this society who initiated literature's downfall. 

As people became more entranced with television programming (Mildred Montag, Guy's wife, watches TV nonstop), they began to be irritated by books, which were simultaneously taxing to understand and controversial. They asked the government to get rid of them, and the government happily complied.

Montag had always accepted this as a status quo and enjoyed his work until little things began to eat away at him -- his neighbor Clarisse, a free-thinking teenager, disappeared, allegedly killed by a hit-and-run.  A woman refused to leave her burning house and abandon her books.  His drug-addicted wife overdoses, and he watches how indifferently go about reviving her, as if she is a car to be fixed, not a person of value. 

Then one day, Montag accidentally picked up a book to be burned and read one line out of it.  And that's when Montag decides to start collecting books.

(If you haven't read Fahrenheit 451, go do it. I'll wait. If you're not a science fiction fan, don't worry, you'll still like it. And whatever you do ... don't watch the movie(s). They're the worst.)


"There must be something in books, things we can't imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don't stay for nothing."

11 comments:

  1. I haven't read this since high school. I think I must go back and do so. I remember loving this book. Great job!

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  2. Such a great book! I hadn't even realized they made movies about it.

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  3. Havent heard of Guy. Though I have a "guy" outside my house we built for Halloween. We call him "Guy" after "Guy Fawkes"--the guy who tried to blow up Parliament, and got caught, and was burned alive. So there is some creepy similarities there!

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  4. have never red this book but will check it out

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  5. I didn't realize they made movies either. The book is unforgettable. Great choice!

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  6. I haven't read these yet! How awful. Sounds like I need to read them before I watch the movies. Cool stuff. :)

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  7. Wow! Where have I been? I heard of this as a movie and just assumed it was a fire fighter movie and never got around to seeing it. Now you tell me its a book and a sci-fi one at that. It sounds great! I'll have to check it out. The protag sounds very brave and curious. My kind of protag for sure:)

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  8. excellent choice!
    love how he is like Paul, changing from stone thrower to follower!

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  9. Great choice! I haven't read this in a while, but I think I'm going to dig it out and make it this weekend's mission. Thanks for reminding me.

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  10. EXCELLENT! Wow, I hadn't thought about Fahrenheit 451 for years--another classic I'll probably find on Kindle easier (on this island of mine a "classic" is Danielle Steele's first books). Great choice for a protag. What has always amazed me about these "old" dystopian stories (like Animal Farm or Brave New World, or even Bradbury's Martian Chronicles) is how similar they are to the reality of today. Not that book burning has become common practice, but... *sigh* We come closer every day. Thanks for this reminder, and I hope more people will read it :)

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  11. It's been on my list for ages. I need to finally get around to it.

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