Look around. I’m sure if you look around your house, you will find a book or two. Now imagine living in a society where books were not allowed. How would you learn things? How would information be passed down? Books provide so much to life, and think what life would be like if there was nothing to read. Regardless of whether you’re a reader or not, you still use books. They provide the information that is the basis of life; the everyday things. People that live in the communities of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and The Giver by Lois Lowry don’t have books. How do they live?
It seems very hard to a erson in today’s society to understand the lives of the people without books. In Fahrenheit 451 books are completely banned. The protagonist Guy Montag’s job is to burn books so that others can’t read them. Jonas, the protagonist of The Giver, is the only person in his community that is allowed to read books, and he is the only one that has the privilege because his job is to use knowledge to make decisions. Nobody else in his community is allowed to read books. In these classic dystopian novels, we wonder if the author uses the common theme of banning books to show a change in a community.
In Fahrenheit 51 and The Giver, the authors, Ray Bradbury and Lois Lowry, write to show the protagonists want change. They want something to be different. And each time the change is rebellion. Knowledge is the foundation of change, and this causes people to rebel against the rules when they are unfair. In life, many people want to make a change, so they stand up for what they believe. In some cases, that involves rebelling. In both The Giver and Fahrenheit 451 the protagonists use rebellion to try to make a change.
Throughout Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury notes to the reader how powerful the government is. In this quote, “Any man’s insane who thinks he can fool the government and us,” it shows that a possible reason for Montag rebelling is because of the power of the government (Bradbury 33). In The Giver, Jonas takes a small child the family has been nurturing and runs away with him. Jonas figures if he and Gabe escape the community, the people of the community might realize that killing a baby, just because they’re underweight, is wrong.
In Fahrenheit 451, Montag doesn’t want firefighters to keep burning books, so whenever Montag goes to a fire, he starts taking a book. After a while, the books start to add up, nd Montag knows that what he is doing is wrong in the eyes of the society. He does it anyways knowing he will get caught. Montag thinks keeping books will draw attention to the banning of books and possibly make the community reevaluate the idea of banning them. However, Jonas and Montag rebel in different ways. Montag is much more vocal about his protest, while Jonas’ actions are much more subtle.
Montag told his friends and wife he was hiding books in his house, which at many points could have gotten in trouble. By Montag keeping books and telling people he has them, Montag shows how brave he really was. Jonas, on the other hand, doesn’t tell anybody his plans to make a change. Jonas has been planning a getaway with the Giver, but one night Jonas was forced to leave the community and take Gabe with him. This shows that both Jonas and Montag used rebellion to make a change, but Montag was vocal about what he thought was right while Jonas was quiet with his words and loud with his actions.
Not only did Montag and Jonas rebel, but they also both used books for knowledge. In our everyday lives, we use books constantly. Books teach, tell, and make you think. Living without books would leave a huge gap of nowledge for the community. Montag and Jonas both realized this and used books as a source of knowledge. Both wanted the knowledge but in different ways. Books are completely banned in Montag’s community, which explains his unquenchable desire to read books. A quote from Fahrenheit 451 showed that Montag knew books told stories and people needed them.
The quotes goes, “And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books” (Bradbury 49). Since Montag is a firefighter, (the person that burns the books), he has access to the few books left. He tarts taking the books and reading them to gain all the knowledge he missed by not growing up with books to teach him. On the other hand, Jonas is allowed to have books, but only him. Jonas gets access to books because his job uses them, so he isn’t breaking the law by reading them.
In both cases, books are not used by the general public, which causes a rather ignorant population. Jonas and Montag both desperately want to learn from books, but it comes with consequences. Jonas is always reading, which gives him ideas about doing things such as running away. In Jonas’ eyes, running away could cause a ebellion and bring attention to the wrongness of release. Montag also realizes he can cause a rebellion by hiding books. Both Jonas and Montag find ways to cause a rebellion because of the book banning.
It is interesting that both communities crave the knowledge from books but do not have access to them. This proves books make knowledgeable people and great leaders for their community. Montag and Jonas are both distraught because books were taken away from their communities, so they run away. They run away as a sign of rebellion, but Jonas actually finds closure in his rebellion. Even hough Jonas found closure, Montag ran into another struggle. Somebody once said, “Running away from your problems is a race you’ll never win. ” This quote applies to Montag’s plan of escape very well.
Montag thought that running away from his community would diminish the problem of getting killed as a result of keeping illegal books. In a quote from The Giver Jonas talks about how different life could be once they ran away. The quotes goes, “It was not a grasping of thin and burdensome recollection; this was different. This was something that he could keep. It was a memory of his own,” (Lowry 178). However, his didn’t work for Montag. In the long run, Montag didn’t have to worry about being caught with books, now he did have to worry about making a life for himself.
Living in the wild with a bunch of men that don’t have a house was a bad idea for Montag, and his life seems to get worse. Problem after problem stack up for Montag and once he starts figuring out what to do with his life, more problems find him. As for Jonas, he found closure and a new life. After a long chase in pursuit of finding it for himself and Gabe, he found a new life. A warm, happy home with the noise of jingle bells was his now. Montag might have ad an easier time finding closure, but he chose to run away. Maybe that was the right choice.
Either way, Montag and Jonas both ran away to start a rebellion, and they ended up in very different situations. Running away seemed like a good idea to both people, however one found closure and the other didn’t. In summary, Montag and Jonas rebel because knowledge is the foundation of change, which cause people to rebel against the rules when they are unfair. Everyday there are people that want something to change, so they stand up for what they want. In The Giver and Fahrenheit 451, Jonas and Montag show people hey don’t agree with the community banning books, so they rebel to try to make a change.
Consider Rosa Parks. She didn’t believe in discrimination, so she went to the extreme of getting arrested to make a change. Although we don’t know if either one of the characters’ communities lifted the ban on books, we do know that people like Rosa Parks made a change. With change you must have knowledge. By the communities banning books, it made it hard for the citizens to gain knowledge. If Montag or Jonas had books in their lives, they might have had a different idea about how to change something.
Once they rebelled because of lack of knowledge, they had trouble finding new lives for themselves. Jonas seemed Montag ended up running into more problems down the road. Overall, Jonas and Montag shared many of the same battles, but find closure while battled them very differently. Both The Giver and Fahrenheit 451 teach the reader about rebellion to try to make a change because many times someone wants to make a change and feels like they can’t. Lois Lowry and Ray Bradbury show knowledge is the foundation of change, which cause people to rebel against the rules when they are unfair.