Example research essay topic: Theme And Plot Development Of Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451 – 1,155 words

Written By Ray Bradbury “Guy Montag enjoyed his
job. He had been a fireman for ten years and he
had never questioned the joy of the midnight runs,
or the joy of watching pages consumed by flames.
Never questioned anything until he met a
seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past
when people were not afraid. Then he met a
professor who told him of a future in which people
could think. Guy Montag suddenly realized what he
had to do. Guy Montag was not the same person at
both the beginning and end of Fahrenheit 451. The
answer to this question is a definite no.

Montag
transformed dramatically throughout the story. Guy
Montag is a fireman in charge of burning books in
a grim, futuristic United States. The book opens
with a brief description of the pleasure he
experiences while on the job one evening. He wears
a helmet emblazoned with the numeral 451 (the
temperature at which paper burns), a black uniform
with a salamander on the arm, and a “phoenix disc”
on his chest. On his way home from the fire
station, he feels a sense of nervous anticipation.
After suspecting a lingering nearby presence, he
meets his new neighbor, an inquisitive and unusual
seventeen-year-old named Clarisse McClellan. She
immediately recognizes him as a fireman and seems
fascinated by him and his uniform.

She explains
that she is “crazy” and proceeds to suggest that
the original duty of firemen was to extinguish
fires rather than to light them. She asks him
about his job and tells him that she comes from a
strange family that does such peculiar things as
talk to each other and walk places being a
pedestrian, like reading, is against the law.
Clarisse’s strangeness makes Guy nervous, and he
laughs repeatedly and involuntarily. She reminds
him in different ways of candlelight, a clock, and
a mirror. He cannot help feeling somehow attracted
to her: she fascinates him with her outrageous
questions, unorthodox lifestyle, perceptive
observations, and “incredible power of
identification.” She asks him if he is happy and
then disappears into her house. Pondering the
absurd question, he enters his house and muses
about this enigmatic stranger and her
comprehension of his “innermost trembling thought.
Montag is disturbed by his meeting with Clarisse
because he is not used to talking with people
about personal subjects. Upon returning home, he
realizes that he is not happy after all, that his
appearance of happiness up to this point has been
a pretense.

He continues to experience feelings of
foreboding. He finds his wife, Mildred, in bed
listening to earplug radios called “Seashells,”
just as he has found her every night for the past
two years. By her bed, he accidentally kicks an
empty bottle of sleeping pills and calls the
hospital just as a sonic boom from a squadron of
jet bombers shakes the house. Two cynical hospital
workers arrive with a machine that pumps Mildred’s
stomach (Montag later refers to the device as the
“Snake”) and another that replaces all her
poisoned blood with fresh blood. Montag goes
outside and listens to the laughter and the voices
coming from the brightly lit McClellan house.
Montag goes inside again and considers all that
has happened to him that night. He feels terribly
disoriented as he takes a sleep lozenge and dozes
off.

The next day, Mildred remembers nothing about
her attempted suicide and denies it when Montag
tries to tell her about it. She insists on
explaining the plot of the television parlor
“family” programs that she watches endlessly on
three full-wall screens. Uninterested in her
shallow entertainments, Montag leaves for work and
finds Clarisse outside walking in the rain,
catching raindrops in her mouth-she compares the
taste to wine. She rubs a dandelion under her chin
and claims that if the pollen rubs off on her, it
means she is in love. She rubs it under Montag’s
chin, but no pollen rubs off, to his
embarrassment. She asks him why he chose to be a
fireman and says he is unlike the others she has
met, who will not talk to her or listen to what
she says to them.

He tells her to go along to her
appointment with her psychiatrist, whom the
authorities force her to see due to her supposed
lack of “sociability” and her dangerous
inclination toward independent thought. After she
is gone, he tilts his head back and catches the
rain in his mouth for a few moments. Montag
reaches down to touch the Mechanical Hound in the
fire station, and it growls at him and threatens
him. Montag tells Captain Beatty what happened and
suggests that someone may have set the Hound to
react to him like that, since it has threatened
him twice before. Montag wonders aloud what the
Hound thinks about and pities it when Beatty
replies that it thinks only what they tell it to
think, of hunting and killing and so forth. The
other firemen tease Montag about the Hound, and
one tells him about a fireman in Seattle who
committed suicide by setting a Hound to his own
chemical complex.

Beatty assures him no one would
have done that to Montag and promises to have the
Hound checked out. Over the next week, Montag sees
Clarisse outside and talks with her every day. She
asks him why he never had any children and tells
him that she has stopped going to school because
it was mindless and routine. On the eighth day, he
does not see Clarisse. He starts to turn back to
look for her, but his train arrives and he heads
for work. At the firehouse, he asks Beatty what
happened to the man whose library they burned the
week before.

Beatty says he was taken to the
insane asylum. Montag wonders aloud what it would
have been like to have been in the man’s place and
almost reveals that he looked at the first line of
a book of fairy tales in the library before they
burned it. He asks if firemen ever prevented
fires, and two other firemen take out their rule
books and show him where it says the Firemen of
America were established in 1790 by Benjamin
Franklin to burn English-influenced books. Then
the alarm sounds, and they head off to a decayed,
old house with books hidden in its attic. They
push aside an old woman to get to them. A book
falls into Montag’s hand, and without thinking he
hides it beneath his coat.

Even after they spray
the books with kerosene, the woman refuses to go.
Beatty starts to light the fire anyway, but Montag
protests and tries to persuade her to leave. She
still refuses, and as soon as Montag exits, she
strikes a match herself and the house goes up in
flames with her in it. The firemen are strangely
quiet as they ride back to the station afterward..

Research essay sample on Theme And Plot Development Of Ray Bradburys Farenheit 451