You’re not important. You’re not anything. ” Granger is talking about how utterly insignificant Montag, and all human beings for that matter, are in the long scheme of time. He continues by saying: “But even when we had the books on hand, a long time ago, we didn't use what we got out of them. We went right on insulting the dead. We went right on spitting in the graves of all the poor ones who died before us. ” Quite evidently, Granger is remarking on how important it is to relish the little moment your life consists of, to continually try throughout your life to make a withstanding impact.
More importantly, he draws on how, in recent times, the members of society have become conceited and complacent, assuming there is nothing more to life than what surrounds them, life’s true meaning belittled by the anti-intellectual vision of the government. It is through this manifest that Granger divulges the major themes of the novel, showing not only that life is a constant cyclic process, rather, how important it is that we recognize the position of literature in our social development. As we will explore, Granger acts as the hallmark for part three, and ultimately the underlying messages of the book.
Moreover, much like Bradbury seeks to impart on the reader, Granger (‘Modern Day Moses’), hopes to guide his group of literary disciples toward a promised land of free thought, alleviating the Dark Age and creating a new spark of intellectualism. This can be extended further, one could indeed say that Granger, remarking on how insignificant Montag is in the grand scheme of time and evolutionary expanse, is also saying that: on his own Montag isn’t much, but with the collective power of the group, the impact could be tremendous, a message quite similar to Bradbury’s.
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Throughout the novel we see Clarisse, then Montag, and then Faber, all try to create a humanistic spark within society, to change the minds of those who cannot see. However, despite their attempts, it is only when there is collective movement, that we see change. Bradbury is not saying that the individual is utterly useless when it comes to societal change, more so, if we want to avoid potential calamity within the social advancement of society, we too, must act collectively.
Granger introduces cyclically regenerated mythological creature, the Phoenix, which becomes an enormously important literary tool for one of the underling messages of the novel. Bradbury uses the Phoenix to describe how its regenerative cycle is eerily similar to the ’swinging cycles’ of society. Just as the Phoenix destroys itself, so does mankind. From destruction to peace, despair to rejoice, society inevitably falls into a pendulum like cycle. Our ruinous actions consistently, much like the Phoenix; result in the destruction of our societal being.
Then, the cycle swings back and new life is found, at least until our destructive habits once again reign. Bradbury, through the voice of Granger is invariably trying to warn us of this very cycle, armed with this knowledge mankind has the ability to prevent future calamity, to stop the cycle at its highest point. We differ from the Phoenix: “We know the damn silly thing we just did. " At this stage of the book, Montag is yet to realise the importance, position of influence, and subsequent responsibility he holds, or, the books hold.
Granger acts as the flame for Montag, showing him his importance, showing him how, in the pendulum of time, he is insignificant. More importantly, that it is he who can freeze such a motion, and help society, mankind and all, prevent self-destruction. Granger sets the final tone for the novel, being one of the final voices; he ultimately decides how the reader comes away from their reading. Through his remarks on society’s cycle of self-destruction, and one’s duty to make an imprint on future generations, Granger provides a summarised segment of the themes and motifs of the entire novel.
Perhaps one of these segments one not often recognised; the mirror factory metaphor. Toward the end of the novel Granger remarks, "Come on now, we're going to go build a mirror factory first and put out nothing but mirrors for the next year and take a long look in them. " To be able to change the complacency and destructive attitudes of society, they need a reflection of what they have done, to recognise who they have become. In stark contrast to the parlour walls , where one sees a human they want to be, instead of one they already are, the mirror will show society what they are, allowing them to decide for themselves.
It consolidates the process for self-reflection, helping society to rebuild, by first recognising their mistakes. Further, to an extent he also sets the tone for Bradbury’s final message: how are we to feel about the future, Hopeful? Depressed? Confused? It is Granger who acts as the cohesion for the themes and underlying messages of Bradbury and that of the entire novel. His outlook, hopeful: “The wonderful thing about man… [Is]…he never gets so discouraged…that he gives up…He knows very well it is mportant and worth the doing. ” Withal, through his remark “You’re not important. You’re not anything”, Granger not only poses a message to Montag, showing him how to relight society by creating a collective power to combat past destruction. Additionally, through the continuation of his speech, including his Phoenix motif, comments on the cyclical process of society and metaphorical use of mirrors, helps to solidify the underlying themes of the novel, and to a greater extent, Bradbury’s personal manifestation.
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