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Fahrenheit 451 Through the Lens of “We Wear the Mask” and “Barn Burning”


Ray Bradbury’s unique Fahrenheit 451 checks out the concept of a person living a tiresome, restrictive life while attempting to fool himself into believing in a sense of happiness. Similarly, Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, “We Use the Mask,” proposes the concept that people are using masks in order to deceive themselves and others and reduce their real emotions. Fahrenheit 415 additional elaborates that a person can only discover real happiness if he decides to abandon whatever familiar and simply flee, accomplishing serenity and inner delight. “Barn Burning,” a short story by William Faulkner, likewise presents the life changing decision to leave from the undesirable, well-known life in order to find true contentment. This essay, through explicit use of “We Use the Mask” and “Barn Burning,” will check out the superficial city life of Person Montag, the primary character in Fahrenheit 451, and later on his important decision to escape from civilization, hence finding his true self and inner peace. In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury argues that the best method to break devoid of the vicious circle that is exhibited by a fake tedious life without real feelings or enjoyment is by making a mindful choice to escape from this reality and find a brand-new location to start checking out one’s inner self and observing new surroundings.

While going through this empty, false life, an individual capable of thinking for himself needs to pretend that he is foolishly content and oblivious to the faults of his lifestyle. The characters in these texts find various methods to escape or hide the genuine sensations about their own lifestyle. In “We Wear the Mask,” the mask represents one’s face as something still and immutable, and this is the requirement. “We smile” due to the fact that this has actually become the only appropriate behavior. These 2 words insinuate that placing on this phony smile is uncomplicated and easy. The genuine emotions, on the other hand, are greatly suppressed, and people “let them only see us, while/ We wear the mask.” Permitting others to see one without his typical, content countenance is regarded as an indication of weak point. For that reason, this individual might feel sorrowful or miserable however “let [s] the world dream otherwise,” for concealing his true sensations deep down inside the mind serves as the only method to ephemerally escape them. In “Barn Burning,” Sarty’s consistent moving embodies the method he and his household try to break away from their critical issue. His father’s bellicose burning tortures the whole family, so they run away from one town to another without knowing “where they are going” (Barn Burning, 7) in a desperate effort to temporarily forget everything about the Abner’s problems. “It was constantly somewhere, always a home of sorts waiting for them a day or two days or perhaps three days away” (Barn Burning, 7). This quote highlights Sarty’s attitude towards this nomad-like existence. He continuously keeps a little ray of hope inside, for he feels that there will always be a suitable place for the family, and they can carry on pretending to be delighted in a new location. In Fahrenheit 451, people are accustomed to hiding all authentic emotional bursts and living this pseudo-delightful life, just revealing what lays on the surface area, similarly to “We Use the Mask”. Montag and his wife, Mildred, are “not in love with anyone,” (Fahrenheit 451, 51) but pretend they enjoy with their marriage. When he challenges her in regard to something real like “t [aking] all the pills in [her] bottle last night,” (Fahrenheit 451, 27) Mildred has actually already absorbed this problem, saying that she “wouldn’t do that” (Fahrenheit 451, 27) and dismisses it as an invention of Montag’s creativity. These 2 passages demonstrate that in Fahrenheit 451, people are unable to handle untainted feelings, so they just conceal them at the bottom of their minds.

At the most mindful level of one’s mentality, on the other hand, is situated the standard command to be loyal and follow the orders released out by his superiors. Sarty “had not been permitted to choose for himself,” (Barn Burning, 21) so his dad’s commands are performed without concern or hesitation. An easy “Go.” sends out the kid “moving, running, outside your house, towards the stable” (Barn Burning, 21). This single word conveys the strength of Abner’s influence over his son, for Sarty appears frantic, desperate to fulfill the commands provided. In the exact same way, Montag is also being roughly managed by his employer, Beatty. “Whatever to its appropriate location. Quick with the kerosene! Who’s got a match!” (Fahrenheit 451, 44). These fast-paced, energetic orders demonstrate how Montag has been taught to succumb to directions without believing individually in his mind. Like other firemen, he has actually become a meaningless slave as he “grin [s] the intense smile of all guys singed and driven back by flame” (Fahrenheit 451, 11). This quote offers much more insight on the ways that Montag, comparable to his coworkers, has actually been brainwashed. He has actually been tricked into believing that he enjoys and enjoys this dreadful profession, however in reality, he only burns these books since such orders are released out to him.

Under this shallow appearance, an individual can quickly keep his true identity intact. In “We Wear the Mask,” our true feelings are being hidden behind the fake, plastic smile. The mask “hides [one’s] cheeks and shades [his] eyes,” as these two parts of the face are a dead giveaway of one’s emotions. Therefore, they are kept secret from others. In “Barn Burning”, Sarty explains his own father as being “without face or depth– a shape black, flat, and bloodless as though cut from tin in the iron folds of the frockcoat which had actually not been made for him, the voice severe like tin and without heat like tin,” (Barn Burning, 8). This vivid illustration of Abner evokes the belief that he is this unreal entity, inhuman and nearly alien in appearance and habits. He does not need to hide behind a mask, for he stays stolid, like a blank canvas. Montag, on the other hand, starts hiding behind a mask intentionally, for he begins believing in a more vivid, poetic way, which shocks and petrifies him. “What?’ asked Montag of that other self, the subconscious moron that ran babbling sometimes, quite independent of will, practice and conscience” (Fahrenheit 451, 18). Guy tries to mentally distance himself from this other better personality since being different is something really terrible and dangerous in his world. The reality that these authentic ideas come at random times make them even more uncommon for Montag. As a result, he feels obliged to keep this part of his entity concealed well.

The 2nd crucial action of a person’s path to finding his true self includes the numerous little ideas that there is something incorrect in his life, leading to the lightning-fast minute in which he realizes that his existence up until now had actually been everything however ideal which his previous outlook had been tinted by rose-colored glasses. While using the mask, an individual takes into account all the troubles he had experienced, forcing him to put it on in the very first place. As “We Use The Mask” exposes,” [A] ll [his] tears and sighs” have actually been thoroughly kept under control, but one lastly comes to describe with these bad luck. The unbearable discomfort triggered by the “broken and bleeding hearts” finally catches up with the individual, and he recognizes that he needs to alter something in the name of his future existence. In “Barn Burning,” Sarty completely recognizes that his household’s life is not in its appropriate state, however feels powerless when it concerns enhancing it. He is “not heavy sufficient to keep him footed solid in [the world], to resist it and attempt to alter the course of its occasions” (Barn Burning, 9). Being so young, Sarty has absolutely no impact over the other family members, so any type of resistance on his part would be useless. In Fahrenheit 451, Man has lots of minutes in which he questions his actual sensations towards his marriage and overall way of life. “Well, wasn’t there a wall between him and Mildred, when you came down to it?” (Fahrenheit 451, 51) He has already learnt the answer, however within, he refuses to believe that his marital relationship is stopping working. After a while, as he begins to think increasingly more, Montag recognizes that his relationship with Mildred can be described as being “a ridiculous empty guy near a silly empty lady …” (Fahrenheit 451, 51). This further shocks him due to the fact that he had ended up being utilized to thinking that he had a best, strong marriage full of mutual love. From this point on, Montag begins believing in a completely new way, feelings like” [h] e was in somebody else’s house …” (Fahrenheit 451, 49). He finally realizes that there is no space for him in his own ordinary, sub-urban home, where he stays with his emotionless wife, sharing no real connection with him; analogically, his previously docile mind can no longer contain the new untainted ideas, hurrying though his head. Montag’s realization of his synthetic life marks an important minute, for it starts the snowball effect, causing his freedom.

In order to make this sort of life more meaningful, a person starts making mini, but considerable changes to his own lifestyle. In “Barn Burning,” Sarty begins to freely question his father ´ s orders and makes sure that other individuals find about the daddy ´ s pyromaniac tendencies. At one point in the story, Abner provides orders to Sarty, anticipating the boy to react like always; nevertheless,” [t] he kid did stagnate. Then he could speak. “What …” he sobbed. “What are you …” (Barn Burning, 21). This quote demonstrates Sarty’s initial step towards finally reaching a better life. Even if he winds up adhering to the father’s orders, in the beginning, he attempts to reason out why he needs to follow. Correspondingly, in Fahrenheit 451, Montag also attempts to comprehend the function of his job, but at first, he really starts altering his life involuntarily. “His hand had done it all, his hand, with a brain of its own, with a conscience and an interest in each shivering finger, had turned burglar” (Fahrenheit 451, 45). Guy almost steals the book, however due to his mindful childhood that books should be burned, he is scared by his own act. As an outcome, he attributes this to his body’s impulses. Later on in the book, he ponders that by using the power of books, he might be able to unite individuals once again. “Perhaps the books can get us half out of the cave. They simply may stop us from making the exact same damn crazy mistakes!” (Fahrenheit 451, 81). Montag is really concerned with making modifications to the whole world. He feels that the knowledge people can get from books is too valuable to be burnt away. As an outcome, Montag chooses to lastly break away from his firefighter occupation in order to find out everything about books.

These modifications start to escalate, and in the end, an individual is pushed to make a life-changing choice. In “Barn Burning,” Sarty makes this option in a “flight or flight” minute. “I could keep on, he thought. I might run on and on and never look back, never ever need to see his face again,. Only I can’t. I can’t …” (Barn Burning, 21). He either has to follow his father’s orders like always or he can disobey the commands and think for himself for the really first time. Sarty has actually lastly developed enough to realize that his father’s actions are wrong and unforgivable. He leaves in panic and confusion, and” [a] t midnight he [sits] on the crest of a hill. He [does] not understand it [is] midnight and he [does] not understand how far he [has] come” (Barn Burning, 24). Sarty’s decision has terrific influence on himself and probably his household. The young boy is overwhelmed by his own freedom and his senses are numb. Neither time, nor weather make any impression on the stupefied Sarty. In Fahrenheit 451, Montag makes a series of important decisions, but the most substantial one is his choice to leave the city behind and escape to fulfill individuals residing on the railway tracks. Upon exiting the city, he discovers himself around nature. “However he was at the river. He touched it, simply to be sure it was genuine” (Fahrenheit 451, 147). This quote exemplifies Montag’s disbelief that he can be at a location up until now far from the phony, commercial city and so tranquil and relaxing. “He felt as if he had left a phase behind and lots of actors” (Fahrenheit 451, 146). This quote further illustrates his attitude towards his wife, Mildred, and all the other residents. Man thinks that none of them ever took off their mask, and he feels thrilled to be away from all this. Montag’s choice to desert the city phase life of unsuspecting actors, ironically uninformed of their own outfits, transforms him into an entire beginner.

After such a cleansing decision, an individual has to come to terms with his brand-new outlook and being. Sarty’s feelings are summarized in precisely five words. “He did not recall” (Barn Burning, 25). He feels no remorse due to the fact that he can lastly make decisions for himself, without a barn burner telling him what to do, what to get, or what to state. Similarly, in Fahrenheit 451, Person finds peace and psychological balance when he is alone, exploring his brand-new scenery. He “float [s] in an unexpected tranquillity, far from the city and the lights and the chase, far from whatever” (Fahrenheit 451, 147). The word “away” is worried in this quote since it demonstrates how Montag has distanced himself from everything that had formerly made him sick. He is finally a new person in a new location. Where he satisfies the group of new people, they even more reassure him. “You’re welcome here” (Fahrenheit 451, 154). Guy lastly belongs to a neighborhood with the exact same sense of awareness as him, and he understands that he becomes part of an initiative bigger than simply taking books. At last, Montag has actually come to terms with all the modifications around and inside him, and he feels that his real life is just starting.

Through “We Wear the Mask” and “Barn Burning,” this essay shows the personal course of Fahrenheit 451’s primary character, Man Montag, as he evolves from being a regular face behind a normal mask to ending up being a new individual with real thinking skills, who lastly makes the gigantic decision to desert civilization. Montag becomes liberated from the urban chains, hampering his psychological power, and he can go on to achieve his new objectives, connected with his realization that books benefit individuals.

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