Fahrenheit 451

by: Ray Bradbury

Burning Bright

Montag is not as different from Mildred, Beatty, and others as he thinks. In this section, he confides in Faber that he has been going around all his life doing one thing and feeling another, an unconscious dualism that resembles the conflicted psyches of Mildred and Beatty. Also, when he and Faber watch the sensationalist TV news coverage of his escape and the chase, the possibility of watching the unfolding drama on TV fascinates Montag, and he finds all the glitz and tabloid glamour he has inspired somewhat flattering. If he is killed on TV, he wonders if he could sum up his whole life in a few words in the brief moments before his death so as to make an impact on the people watching. Montag has not yet escaped from the culture against which he revolts—he is still concerned, even in his most dire moment, with surface appearances, fame, and sensationalism. However, the last image at Faber’s house suggests a hopeful end for Montag and his world: it is of rain (from the sprinklers), countering the images of fire associated with the men pursuing Montag.

Bradbury’s writing style is particularly poetic in this section. He uses figurative language extensively (especially stage and circus metaphors) and often bends the rules of grammar, using sentence fragments as transitional devices and one lengthy sentence to convey the breathlessness of Montag’s flight.