Montag and Theo are the main characters who feature in the novel Fahrenheit 451 and the film Children of Men respectively. These characters are developed throughout to portray various themes that are made for the purposes of developing the plot in an important manner. The characters are similar in many ways especially through their interaction with other characters in the novel and the film and also how they manage to develop and transform as the plots advances. The paper will present a comparison of Montag and Theo based on the context of the novel and also the play.
At the beginning of the novel, it is evident that Montag is the protagonist of the play who is largely influenced by the policies of the regime that does not want to preserve the literature that is developed by people inform of books. It is clear that Montag is a fireman who is loyal to the authoritarian rule but does not understand what is contained in the books in the first place. This is evident when Clarisse, a young neighbor thinks critically and asks Montag, “Do you ever read any books you burn?” (Bradbury 8). This is an interesting question which makes the audience to understand that Montag is just being used by the regime for purposes of advancing its agenda of denying people the right to information. Furthermore, the experiences of Montag makes him to be lonely.
On the other hand, we are introduced Theo as a person who has emotional issues. He has experienced a difficult childhood in the past whereby he is somehow alienated from his family especially after the traumatizing death of his father. However, we understand that he is an intelligent person who takes up important role as the play advances. According to Travers, “Theo is a shell of a man until his former lover Julian begs him to help the Fishes”. The statement is a clear indication that Theo is a character who experiences emptiness probably due to his past experiences that made him to be alienated from people.
Montag is a person who is largely attached to his work. As a fireman, he sticks to what his work entails without thinking about the consequences. The experience of his work clearly indicates that those who are in authority are determined to destroy information at all cost. Ideally, the work of Montag is contrary to our expectations since firemen are supposed to help in preventing destruction of property. Unfortunately, it seems the regime is using firemen for all wrong reasons. This makes people to be afraid of firemen as Montag thinks – “so many people are afraid of firemen” (Bradbury 7). Theo is caught up in situation of war where there is blood shade. In this case a young man is killed and a café explodes after Theo exits. These are terrifying moments and clearly there is need for action for purposes of standing for humanity. Britain is a country that is involved in the war but unfortunately her borders are closed (Cuarón).
The transformation of both Montag and Theo is evident in the play. Although Montag was initially attached to the regime, we understand that he has started viewing the future in a different dimensions especially after a series of events. Through the character of Montag, we understand that it is possible for transformation to be undertaken in a society where the regime is rigid. According to Bradbury, “Nobody listens anymore. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me, I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk long enough it’ll make sense. And I want you to teach me to understand what I read.”(451). The statement shows that Montag really wants change. In this regard, his ideas and thoughts help him to join the rebelling side especially after destructions. This is a great awakening which makes someone who was always willing to destroy books to change his mind and embrace change.
On the part of Theo, we also see great change due to his transformation. According to Rainer, “He initially takes on the responsibility of not only to help Julian, but also for the money he will collect”. Clearly, this shows that Theo has transformed to become a responsible person who cares about people despite his initial state whereby he was seen as a lonely man who was empty and did not want to associate with people in a free manner. Ebert asserts, “Along the way, they are pursued by Homeland security troops, and there is a chase scene with one of the most sudden and violent moment ever seen in the film”. Based on the statements, Theo is acting like hero and he is actually cooperating with other people so that they can overcome the evils of the regime that does not care about the needs and the plight of the refugees.
In conclusion, Montag and Theo are characters who are used by the novel and play developers to pass their message. Although Montag is not intelligent like Theo, it is evident that they both agents of change. Montag ends up working with other people to fix the mess that he has done for 10 years. Although he was brainwashed by the regime that wanted people to have one sided of the story, he later comes to his senses after a series of events and experiences. On the other hand, Theo uses his intellectual capabilities to help people affected by the war. He is seen as a hero who survives in the events of the war.
- Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451: Ray Bradbury. Spark Pub., 2014.
- Cuarón, Alfonso, director. Children of Men. 2006.
- Rainer , Peter. “Children of Men Imagines a near Future in Which Mankind Faces Extiction.” 5 Jan. 2007.
- Travers, Peter. “Children of Men: Review by Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.” 28 Dec. 2006.
- Ebert, Roger. “Children of Men by Roger Ebert.” 4 Oct. 2007.