Man and the Natural World Quotes Page 3
How we cite our quotes:
"Yes, I believe that, if there's nothing else I believe. It saved itself up to happen. I could feel it for a long time, I was saving something up, I went around doing one thing and feeling another. God, it was all there. It's a wonder it didn't show on me, like fat. And now here I am, messing up your life. They might follow me here." (3.152)
There is something unnatural about the way man is forced to live in the world of Fahrenheit 451. Montag, sensing this, rebels against these restrictions.
He touched it, just to be sure it was real. He waded in and stripped in darkness to the skin, splashed his body, arms, legs, and head with raw liquor; drank it and snuffed some up his nose. Then he dressed in Faber's old clothes and shoes. He tossed his own clothing into the river and watched it swept away. Then, holding the suitcase, he walked out in the river until there was no bottom and he was swept away in the dark. (3.225)
Notice that it is the river which cleanses Montag of his old smell, his old identity. Getting in touch with nature, as cheesy as that sounds, is his saving grace against the machinery of the government.
He was three hundred yards downstream when the Hound reached the river. Overhead the great racketing fans of the helicopters hovered. A storm of light fell upon the river and Montag dived under the great illumination as if the sun had broken the clouds. He felt the river pull him further on its way, into darkness. Then the lights switched back to the land, the helicopters swerved over the city again, as if they had picked up another trail. They were gone. The Hound was gone. Now there was only the cold river and Montag floating in a sudden peacefulness, away from the city and the lights and the chase, away from everything. He felt as if he had left a stage behind and many actors. He felt as if he had left the great seance and all the murmuring ghosts. He was moving from an unreality that was frightening into a reality that was unreal because it was new he was a thing of brush and liquid. (3.226)
Fahrenheit 451 is the battleground for a war between nature and technology. Here we see that Montag identifies with natural, almost primitive elements of identity more than with calculated, machine-like qualities.