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Have you ever had a mentor that changed the person you were, and the way you viewed life? The effects of such a mentor can be life-changing . We read about such a mentor in the novel Fahrenheit 451. In the novel, Ray Bradbury writes about Guy Montag and his life- changing journey. Montag begins in the novel as a conformist who doesn’t really think for himself but throughout the novel with the help of mentors he begins to think for himself and doesn’t just conform to society. The title, Finny’s Break, is revealing of not just the physical break that occurs, but also in a deeper sense it is symbolic of the friendship’s emotional and psychological break that transpires. This decision to jounce the limb has many disastrous repercussions which are unremitting upon Gene, his friends and the school itself.
The first and probably most significant of the mentors is Clarisse. Clarisse is a free spirit, who claimed to be seventeen, but with her wisdom she spoke as a seventy year old woman. With her sweet, innocent charm, she opened Montag’s eyes to see his life for what it truly was. For instance, when Clarisse says “Did you look at the stretched-out billboard like I told you.” This illustrates Clarisse influence on Montag to actually analyze his surroundings. She was the first mentor to spark Montag’s curiosity to ask why.
Clarisse showed Montag that individuality is important from tasting rain to having a deep conversation with family. Clarisse definitely brought Montag out of his old way and encouraged him to think. When Montag and Faber first met, Montag knew that he would make a huge impact on him one day. Faber taught Montag to take his ideas to a grander scale. For instance when Montag says “I thought if it turned out that book were worthwhile, we might get a press and print some extra copies”. Faber replies with “Now, if you suggest that we print extra books and Miller arrange to have them hidden in firemen’s house all over the country”(85). In addition, Faber explained the deeper meaning of books to Montag, “It’s not books you need, it’s some of the things that once were in books”(82). Montag needed this wisdom to in order to understand what he was fighting for.
Beatty may not seem like much of a mentor to Montag, however he was, but the way he taught him was in a negative way that it pushed Montag to be bold. For example when Captain Beatty said “Go ahead now, you second-hand litterateur, pull the trigger.” in which Montag responded “we never burned right… ”(119). This shows how Beatty’s negative influence toward Montag helped him realize that he wasn’t burning the right things in his life. Instead of burning books they should have been burning the televisions and the ignorance that the society had. This push lead to Montag burning Beatty, which is the start of his vendetta. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury illustrates how a mentor can have a life changing impact. This “I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly.” This novel illustrates the importance of mutual friendship and that the choices we make will often times follow us throughout our lives.