A fireman and the book's protagonist. As the novel opens, Montag takes pride in burning books and the homes of people who illegally own books. After meeting Clarisse McClellan, however, he begins to face his growing dissatisfaction with his life, his job, his marriage, and the pleasure-seeking, unthinking culture in which he lives. In fact, he has been secretly hoarding books, without actually reading them. After Clarisse's death, he eventually begins to read the books. From that point on, there's no turning back, and Montag begins to take action against his oppressive society.
The Fahrenheit 451 quotes below are all either spoken by Guy Montag or refer to Guy Montag. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of Fahrenheit 451 published in 2013.).
Part 1 Quotes
It was a pleasure to burn.
"Are you happy?"
"You're not like the others. I've seen a few; I know. When I talk, you look at me. When I said something about the moon, you looked at the moon, last night. The others would never do that."
"I'm antisocial, they say. I don't mix. It's so strange. I'm very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn't it? Social to me means talking to you about things like this."
"Speed up the film, Montag, quick... Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline!... Whirl man's mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!"
"Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don't step on the toes of the dog lovers, the cat lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV serial are not meant to represent any actual painters, cartographers, mechanics anywhere. The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that!... Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did."
"The important thing for you to remember, Montag, is we're the Happiness Boys... you and I and the others. We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought. We have our fingers in the dike. Hold steady. Don't let the torrent of melancholy and drear philosophy drown our world."
Part 2 Quotes
"We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren't happy. Something's missing. I looked around. The only thing I positively knew was gone was the books I'd burned in ten or twelve years. So I thought books might help."
He would be Montag-plus-Faber, fire plus water, and then, one day, after everything had mixed and simmered and worked away in silence, there would be neither fire nor water, but wine.
Part 3 Quotes
"Now, Montag, you're a burden. And fire will lift you off my shoulders, clean, quick, sure; nothing to rot later. Antibiotic, aesthetic, practical."
Page Number and Citation:
The timeline below shows where the character Guy Montag appears in Fahrenheit 451. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Before leaving, Beatty mentions that every fireman eventually feels the urge to read a book. Montag asks what would happen to a fireman who accidentally took a book home. Beatty says... (full context)
...the earth, but whom Hercules defeated after lifting him off the ground. He agrees when Montag relays Mildred's contention that TV seems more real than books, but he responds that he... (full context)
...Mildred's friends Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles arrive to watch the White Clown. Faber, through Montag' earpiece, tells him not to do anything and to be patient, but Montag pulls the... (full context)
...books to a next generation until the people of the cities are ready. Granger wants Montag to understand that they must not feel superior to other people. They consider themselves "dust... (full context)
...The shockwave from the explosion knocks the men down. As he huddles against the ground, Montag thinks of Clarisse, already dead, Faber, on a bus to another annihilated city, and Mildred,... (full context)