In the novel “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, the protagonist Guy Montag is a fireman whose job is to burn books rather than protect them. However, as Montag becomes more and more disillusioned with the censorship and lack of intellectual freedom in his society, he becomes determined to preserve as much literature as he can. In this article, we will explore the various works of literature that Montag works to preserve and the significance of each one.
One of the first works of literature that Montag begins to secretly collect and preserve is the Bible. This is a significant choice for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Bible is a cornerstone of Western literature and has had a profound impact on the development of culture, art, and thought. It is also a text that has been banned or censored in various societies throughout history, making it a natural choice for Montag as he rebels against the censorship in his own society.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Another work that Montag preserves is the complete works of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare is considered one of the greatest playwrights in the history of the English language, and his works have been widely studied and adapted for centuries. In addition to the artistic value of Shakespeare’s works, they also contain a wealth of historical and cultural information. For Montag, preserving these works represents a commitment to preserving the intellectual and cultural heritage of humanity.
The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson
Montag also preserves the collected poems of Emily Dickinson, an American poet known for her unconventional style and use of language. Dickinson’s poetry explores themes of mortality, love, and the nature of the self, and her works have been widely anthologized and studied. Preserving Dickinson’s poetry is important to Montag not only for its artistic value, but also because it represents the voice of a woman in a society that often suppressed the voices of women.
Through his efforts to preserve works like the Bible, Shakespeare, and Dickinson, Montag demonstrates a deep commitment to the value of literature and the importance of intellectual freedom. These works represent a diverse range of genres, styles, and perspectives, but they all share a common thread: the power to inspire, challenge, and enrich the human experience.