Realism vs. Surrealism
Why is he so important? What makes is death so significant? ” Realism vs.. Surrealism Books are a major piece in the puzzle of life. When books, a source that points out a society’s imperfections, are taken away, humanity is lost. In Ray Bradbury scientific novel Fahrenheit 451 , firemen are the people to start fires, rather than extinguish them, as they do in the modern world. They also investigate homes that are reported to be sheltering books.
Owning books and reading books is against the law in this eating, and if any are found during the investigation, the owner is arrested and the books are burned. Captain Beauty, the leader of the firemen, is portrayed as a mysterious and suspicious man, who goes around quoting books during the day, and burning them at night. Later on in the story it was made clear that Captain Beauty has read books in his lifetime; however he turned away from them because he was required to think on his own.
Ray Bradbury created this character to show that the awareness of imperfections in society can, in some case, lead to the missing desire to use the knowledge. Beauty is the type of person, who after learning the truth and reality, returns to the unreality he was used to. This relates to Plat’s Allegory of the Cave. The cave that Plato thought of was set up with prisoners chained up, facing a wall that projects shadows originating from puppets behind the prisoners on a platform. Beneath the platform and behind the prisoners is an opening which leads into the real world.
The essence of the philosophy is that a prisoner is let go into the real world with the knowledge they have, such as the puppets’ shadows. For example, if a prisoner saw a go in the real world, he would think that it is fake, because he accepted the reality of the shadow of the dog projected on the cave wall. The slave then realizes, the images shown in the cave are an unreality. Once they are exposed to the truth they cannot return to the life they once knew. The character Beauty was a representation of a prisoner or slave chained up in the cave.
Beauty became free, and he started reading books and questioning society, representing the transition from the cave to the real world. The moment he was exposed to the truth, he did not enjoy it, because he had o think on his own. Beauty then returned to the life he knows is a lie. Despite the fact that Beauty returned to the cave, he read the books so intuitively that he was able to quote them and give them some significance to his life. When Montage felt sick, Beauty visited him because he knew Montage had stolen a book from the reported house they investigated the previous night. He lectured Montage on how nothing valuable comes from books.
For example, during the lecture Beauty says “Well, Montage, take my word for it, I’ve had to read a few in my time, to know what I was about, and the books say thing! Nothing you can teach or believe” (62). By saying this to Montage, Beauty is trying to prevent him from “leaving the cave” or learning that humanity has many imperfections. Beauty feared that if Montage learns the truth about the society they live in, he will also be cowardly to make a difference and return to the unreality as Beauty has done. Despite the fact that Beauty returned to the false world, his ‘contaminated’ mind could not forget the lessons he had learned from books.
Beauty’s character served a purpose to demonstrate that there is a restriction towards what en can do; however, with all the knowledge of humanity Beauty has acquired, he chooses not to do anything. Beauty served as a very significant character throughout the novel. He is a combination of Montage, someone who wanted to learn about the imperfections, and Mildred, a shallow and a cowardly person. He is similar to Montage in the sense that he read books, and questioned society. Montage, however, wanted to make a difference, so he came up with a plan. “If you thought it would be a plan worth trying, I’d have to take you word it would help” (86).
Montage thought of a plan to sabotage he lives of the firemen by planting books in their houses, having them arrested, and as a result their houses would be burned. They would be left with nothing and they would be in Jail. This would give Montage and his helper, Faber, time to plant more books in other civilian homes. Beauty displayed many of the qualities that Montage possessed, despite the fact that Montage was proactive to solve problems. Beauty is similar to Mildred because he learned all this valuable information, yet he threw it away, because he did not want to burden himself with thinking about the books and hat they truly meant.
When Montage shows Mildred, his wife, all of the books he has been hiding, he asks her to read them with him. As they are reading Mildred, who is too confused and frustrated, shouts “What does it mean? It doesn’t mean anything! ” (68). Mildred did not understand why she had to think about the book, and Beauty returned to the cave’ for the same reason. He did not want to go through the tedious process of thinking about what the books mean. Despite the frustration, when Beauty quotes the books throughout the novel, it indicates he received meeting from books; however, it was not enough for him to completely leave the cave.
With Beauty being aware of the knowledge he has, but refusing to make a change, his death is instantly made significant. Before his death he quotes the famous line from the Shakespearian tragedy Julius Caesar “There is no terror, Cassias, in your threats, for I am arm’s so strong in honesty that they pass me as an idle wind, which I respect not! ” (119). Beauty says this to Montage, while he is pointing a flamethrower directly at Beauty, to show him that he is not scared to die. In that same vein, when Montage kills Beauty, before him is the path he must take to make a difference; however, without the obstacle: Beauty.
Montage is no longer surrounded with the constant reminder that books and independent thoughts are useless. Later on in the novel, a terrifying realization dawns over Montage; that Beauty wanted to purposefully die. He says “Beauty wanted to die,” as he comes up with an explanation for Beauty’s unusual wish. Beats desire to die, was because he was not satisfied with what his life has become. He had gone through the trouble of escaping the cave, reading the kooks and trying to understand their content. Unfortunately, Beauty was unwilling to think on his own, therefore he returned to the unrealistic life.
While seconds away from his death, Beauty sees an image of what he could have become if he put aside his frustration with comprehending the books ; Montage, a person who chooses to use the knowledge he has gained. Both firemen started out the same way. They both loved their Job, but one day they started questioning society which led them to reading books. Montage, however, wanted to make a differ Renee and learn to understand the world that was hidden away from him, while Beauty returned to the cave because it was the easier life to live.
Ray Bradbury novel Fahrenheit 451 follows the framework of Plat’s Allegory of the Cave, and although many characters have to partake in the Journey of leaving the cave, a single character Beauty, has a unique participation in the Journey of exiting the cave. When Beauty is introduced in the setting quoting books, his character’s demeanor takes an unexpected turn. He is perceived as a tough and loyal fireman; however, no one knows that in the past, he was a law-breaker.
Beauty was curious to discover the content of those mysterious books and he read many attentively, and received enough knowledge to quote them in any type of circumstance. He became too frustrated with comprehending the books which led to his willing transition from reality to unreality. Ray Bradbury created this character to show the ignorance of humanity when one must think independently. Captain Beauty was important to the novel because he was a controversy between Mildred, a shallow prisoner, and Montage, a prisoner trying to escape. Without the combination of the two, there would to be any balance.
Captain Beauty’s death, allowed Montage to continue his Journey with the eradication of his main obstacle. It also was significant because it revealed to the reader that Captain Beauty was miserable living in the fake world when he had already been exposed to the true imperfections of society, and he could not live with himself that he sacrificed a chance to make a change, the way Montage has. Without books, the imperfections of society are not pointed out and many people gain the courage to understand the truth rather than accepting the reality that is presented to them.