Fahrenheit 451 Character Analysis – Introduction
This novel follows protagonist Guy Montag on his quest to find personal enlightenment in an oppressive society. The antagonist, Captain Beatty, represents the oppressive forces of this society that control people through manipulation.
Just as Captain Beatty tries to suppress Montag’s urges to learn more truths, the society at large works in endless subtle ways to keep people complacent and controlled. The story is told by a third person omniscient narrator, but the view is limited to Montag’s experiences.
Fahrenheit 451 Characters
Who are the main characters in Fahrenheit 451?
- Protagonist – Guy Montag
- Antagonist – Captain Beatty
- Narrator – Third person omniscient (limited view)
Guy Montag Description
Who is Guy Montag? – A fireman who, thanks to an unusually inquisitive neighbor, suddenly realizes how futile and empty his life is. As a fireman, his job is to burn books. He begins to realize that books may hold the answers to his burning questions, and he quits his job and starts to learn how to read. He is determined to break free of society’s oppressive nature at any cost necessary. He ends up losing everything he once felt so comfortable with, but he replaces it with new people, things, and scenarios that offer greater chances of fulfillment.
Mildred Montag – Guy’s wife. She is sickly and fragile and seems completely happy to ignore her inner needs for individuality and creativity because just going along with things and finding fulfillment through her “TV family” is all so much easier. Although she harbors a deep and wretched psychological pain, she refuses to admit it even to herself.
Captain Beatty – Montag’s boss and captain of the firemen. He is cunning and works to enhance Montag’s oppression.
Who is Faber? – The retired English professor who Montag seeks out to teach him to read. He is cowardly and afraid to act against the status quo, until Montag convinces him to take action,
Clarisse McClellan – Montag’s seventeen-year-old neighbor whose strange behavior helps Montag see his life more clearly. Her willingness to be open, questioning, and to enjoy the simple beauties of life inspires Montag to find these traits within himself and to question how they went missing in the first place.
Granger – The leader of the “Book People” who Montag finds after he escapes the city.
Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles
Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles – Shallow friends of Mildred’s. They represent the idea person in the novel’s oppressive society.
Stoneman and Black
Stoneman and Black – Two firemen with whom Montag works. They work their jobs without questioning the deeper implications.