Fahrenheit 451: Character Profiles

Guy Montag
Montag is the protagonist of Bradburys novel.  Though at the beginning of the story he is little more than a fireman who lives without thinking or feeling, by the end of the novel, he is transformed into a true human-someone who realizes the value of knowledge.  He changes from a fireman dedicated to burning books, to a wandering refugee devoted to their preservation.

Mildred is the wife of Montag who acts more like a robot than a person.  She is obsessed with television, and shuts out feelings of love and remorse.  At one time, she attempts suicide, but is unsuccessful.

Beatty is Montags fire captain.  Though he is well read in literature, he chooses to burn books because he feels betrayed by them. Beatty seems to be the mastermind, if there is one, behind government censorship.  He is not a robot like Montag, but a man who consciously chooses to do evil.

Clarisse McClellan
Clarisse is the next-door neighbor of Montag who is silenced by the government for living independently and learning the true meaning of life.  Her influence on Montag at the beginning of the story is profound; because of her, Montag decides to start reading for himself.

Faber, not coincidentally the name of a pencil-making company, is the elderly retired professor who helps Montag escape the city.  He also serves as a mentor to Montag, teaching him what he knows about the value of books.  On a metaphorical level, Faber symbolizes the tool (as his name implies) of learning.

Mechanical Hound
The Hound is a computerized animal used by the government to punish its enemies, such as Montag.  Though Montag torches the first Hound, a second one is brought in to track him.  The Hound represents the strong hand of dictatorship.

These are minor characters only seen briefly by the reader.  They are Montags fellow firemen, and have faces blackened by the smoke and soot of their occupation.  Eventually, Montag plants a book in Blacks house so that other firemen will burn it to the ground.

Mrs. Phelps/Mrs. Bowles
These women are also minor characters.  They are the friends of Mildred who are appalled when Montag reads them poetry.

Granger is seen in the last few pages of the work.  He is the leader of the resistance movement that Montag joins.  He has deep knowledge of literature and the world in general.  His goal is to preserve classical knowledge.