A Flower’s InfluenceA flower, flimsy and insignificant planted a seed in Montag’s mind that broke through the preconceived notions Montag had about his life.
Montag the protagonist from the book Fahrenheit 451, was walking one day when he saw Clarisse, the curious oddball 17 year old girl who changes his entire perspective of the dystopian society he lived in and question reality in a new way every time he saw her. Today was no different for once he talked to her, she pulled out a dandelion and told him of a silly game involving a dandelion. The dandelion is rubbed on a person’s chin and if the yellow dye rubs off that person is in love. First Clarisse tried it on herself and her chin turned yellow.
Next, Clarisse rubbed the flower on Montag’s chin and it didn’t rub off so Clarisse declared that Montag wasn’t in love. Montag denied this and said he did love someone and continued to believe this until the realization came. Montag started in denial but slowly became outright horrified not just from the dandelion but from the realization that even if it was just a silly game, the flower was right. The flower showed him what he needed to see, setting the action into motion, making him question even more about the seemingly simple life he thought he led and start him on a journey to uncover what the world was really like, a world filled with betrayal, death, distrust, and broken love.The emotional effect on Montag is combination of denial, horror, and finally complete realization . The denial was the emotion that occured right after Clarisse said that he didn’t love anyone.
He started by denying and saying “I am very much in love” and then made excuses like “It’s that dandelion, you used it all up on yourself that why it wont work.” The horror came when he asked Mildred if she remembered where they met and neither of them did and when he realized that if she died he wouldn’t cry for her. Finally the complete realization came when he saw the city get bombed and believed that Mildred was dead and he was completely dry eyed just like he thought would happen.The flower had such an effect on Montag because it wasn’t just the flower that affected him it was what the flower represented.
The flower represented what deep down inside he already knew deep down inside of him. It represented not just his lack of love but his lack of love for life itself, It represented his lack of true happiness and joy. It made him realize that everything he thought was true was a lie, his job, his life, his beliefs, and his society. The flower was the starting point of Montag’s journey to self realization.
It caused him to rethink his ways and his beliefs and caused him to accept what he already knew deep down inside. It caused him to open his eyes to the true world around in all of its wickedness.