Fahrenheit 451 compared to the movie The Power of One
"So it was the hand that started it all … His hands had been infected, and soon it would be his arms … His hands were ravenous." Montag had just stolen a book. It was something that he believed had to be done in order to change the world and make it better. His idea had started in his head and then went to his heart. This is what caused his hand to grab the book without him telling it to. Montag, Faber, Granger, and Peekay have affected their society in many ways. They took something that they strongly believed in, or something they felt should be changed, and went after it until they had succeeded greatly and had gotten what they wanted out of it.
"Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores." Faber says this to Montag towards the beginning of part two in the book Fahrenheit 451. He was trying to explain to Montag that it was not books he was looking for; it was the meaning they hold. The society in the book Fahrenheit 451 is very messed up. They are not allowed to think freely. They never have the chance to. An example of this is when Montag was on the train, trying to read a book. But he couldn’t because the speaker kept on repeating "Denham’s Dentriface" and other advertisements. This made Montag very mad because he couldn’t understand the book as it is, and the speaker was interrupting his thoughts. Another thing is that the people have no feelings, and they don’t care about other people. For example Mrs. Phelps, who is one of Mildred’s friends, doesn’t even care that her third husband had been sent off to war. And that when he left, he said to her go find someone else and marry him if I die. It seemed as if Mrs. Phelps didn’t care if her husband would die in the war. And another one of Mildred’s friends, Mrs. Bowles talks about her divorce, how one husband was killed in an accident, one husband committed suicide, and her two kids that hate her terribly as if she didn’t even care. She then talks about the many abortions she has had. And also, how she sends her kids to school and they only come home two days out of a month. And when they are home, she wishes she never had them. So she turns on the TV for them and they just sit there. This makes Montag very mad. In their society they aren’t allowed to look at things closely, or just sit there and do nothing. There is only a minimum speed limit so everyone goes about one hundred miles per hour. The twenty foot billboards are ripped down and two hundred feet ones are put up so that when people drive by so quickly, they could at least glance at them. And most importantly people are not allowed to read books. Their government feels that books only put down people and their beliefs. Books also make people smarter than others, which would be unfair. People should be born different but then made equal to cause no hate. This is why Montag must be a fireman, so he can go around burning down houses that hold books. Soon, there will be no more books left in the world to cause hurt feelings.
Montag, Faber, and Granger tried to change the world. At first Montag went to Faber for help. Together they made up a plan; Montag would go around planting books in firemen’s houses, while Faber started secretly reprinting books. But they never got to finish this plan. Montag then later met Granger, who already had a brilliant plan with many people involved. Spread out all over the world were people who had read one book. Granger then taught them how to use photographic memory so they could remember the book word by word, forever. This plan was great because no one would know that these people had read books because after they read the books, they would burn them so there would be no evidence. Montag was the back up for the book of Ecclesiastes in case the first person keeping it in their memory, died.
South Africa in the 1940’s had a terribly cruel and out of hand apartheid. Some of the things that were going on then were the soldiers were being incredibly vicious. They would beat up on the blacks whenever they felt necessary. They would choke, slap, or hit a black person for no reason at all. And sometimes they would even shoot them. The soldiers believed that everything was their way. So when they asked a black a question, and the black would answer correctly, but it was not what the soldier wanted to hear, the black would be killed. One time, a soldier made a black man eat manure. Peekay believed that the apartheid was unjustly savage and that something needed to be done to stop it.
"First with the head, then with the heart." If we could hear what was going on inside Peekay's mind, that quote would be all that we heard. It was given as advice to Peekay from Hoppie Groenewald, Peekay’s boxing teacher. Peekay uses what he calls "the power of one" that comes from deep inside your spirit, which allows you to survive any situation, to help bring the blacks justice. He does this because the blacks are suffering terribly from the oppressive government. Peekay first helped the blacks by becoming their translator. He could understand them because as he was growing up at home, that was the language that his nanny spoke to her son in. This is what made it easier for Peekay to become friends with the blacks. Second, he brought them tobacco. Peekay was able to do this because he was allowed to leave the camp whenever he pleased because he had done nothing to be locked up for. Peekay also taught the blacks music. Doc would play the piano while Peekay arranged the blacks into groups and taught them a song. This made the black people happier and helped them take their minds off of the terrible life they lived inside the camp. The song had a great beat and sounded really cool when they added in the clapping. Peekay also started a school for the blacks. But it had to be kept secret. This was because by law, blacks were not allowed to read or write. But Peekay taught them. And he explained to them that after he taught them everything he knew, they would go off and teach other blacks to read and write. Peekay was a great helper and a friend to the black people.
Montag, Faber, Granger, and Peekay have inspired me in many ways. First I have learned that if you believe in something, you should follow through with it no matter what the consequences. Just like Montag, Faber, and Granger did to try and get books allowed again. The quote that Peekay used "First with the head, then with the heart" is very inspiring. It tells you to think of something you want in your head and then to follow through with it into your heart and go achieve your goal or desire. I have learned from them that anything is possible as long as you truly believe in yourself and follow through with everything.