Granger in Fahrenheit 451

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In 'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury, Montag has gotten himself in a huge mess and does not see a way out. All alone and running from police, Montag escapes. When he meets Granger, Montag begins to see a way out.

On The Run

Have you ever felt completely alone in the world? That is how the protagonist, Montag feels as the world watches the Mechanical Hound that tracks criminals chase him….until he meets Granger. Montag was once a fireman who burned homes that contained illegal books, but ends up having to burn his own home down as he begins stealing books from his calls. When his boss, Beatty, mocks him and tries to arrest him, Montag kills him. Now wanted for murder, Montag is on the run. He meets Granger, who offers him hope to rebuild a better future. In this lesson, we will learn more about Granger from Ray Bradbury's novel, Fahrenheit 451.

Montag spots Granger and a group of men warming themselves by a fire.
camp fire

Montag and Granger Meet

When Montag makes his way across the river to escape the Hound, he comes across a small community of bearded men in blue suits who are warming their hands by the fire. The leader of the group is Granger. Granger immediately welcomes Montag and offers him coffee and a drink that will change the chemical composition of his perspiration so that the Hound will not be able to find him.

Granger and the other men have been watching the manhunt on television and expected Montag to arrive. Granger tells Montag that the Hound lost him at the river which forced the hunt to go in another direction. 'They know they can hold their audience only so long. The show's got to have a snap ending, quick! If they started searching the whole damn river it might take all night. So they're sniffing for a scape-goat to end things with a bang. Watch. They'll catch Montag in the next five minutes!' say Granger. Sure enough, within a few minutes, the Hound attacks an innocent man and kills him on-screen, and the TV announcers claim the man is Montag.

Granger Explains Their Purpose

After watching the murder of an innocent man on live television, Granger introduces the intellectuals who are sitting around the fire, including college professors and a reverend. Granger had written a book about individualism in society. Montag feels like he does not belong, but Granger explains that he himself has been on the run since he hit a fireman that came to burn his books. Each of the men in the group has memorized a book to keep. Montag knows the Book of Ecclesiastes, which makes him a possible contributor. 'Better to keep it in the old heads, where no one can see it or suspect it. We are all bits and pieces of history and literature and international law, Byron, Tom Paine, Machiavelli, or Christ, it's here,' explains Granger. These men have become peaceful containers of knowledge until such a time that the world changes and they can begin to teach others. Until then, they take care of themselves, and tell the stories to the next generation, hoping that someday, they will be able to commit their books to paper.

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