Seeking for Change in Fahrenheit 451 and a Lamb to the Slaughter


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Society consists of rules and standards in which not all individuals are joyful about. This can lead individuals into seeking change. This was portrayed by Guy Montag in Fahrenheit 451, and Mary Maloney in A Lamb to the Slaughter.

Fahrenheit 451

To begin with, Guy Montag is a key example of change. Books are shown to be terrible to humanity as the government wants to keep everyone complacent. This is all related to the government’s plan as his goal is to tell people what to think, instead of allowing them to think on their own. Montag, who notices this states, ‘There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine'(Bradbury). Montag realizes that there must be something the government is trying to hide from them, and that is found within books. Since he is a fireman who is told to burn books, he denies this, and instead starts to collect them.

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He is disobeying orders as he is seeking change. He embarks on a journey to find others who are also against this theory, and teams up with them to bring the government down. When the government discovers books in Montag’s house, he tries to arrest him. Montag decides to burn the government with his flame thrower. This act was committed out of anger since the government was not permitting freedom to the people, which resulted in society going against his orders. This develops the character of Montag as he was on the government’s side at the beginning of the story, but ended up going against him once he realized how wicked he really is.

A Lamb to the Slaughter

Additionally, Mary Maloney also seeks change. She started off as a caring, and genuine person at the start of the novel. She loved her husband immensely, and would always treat him as a king. Conversely, he would treat her terribly, and she would still reply back in a sweet tone. When he stated, ‘This is going to be a bit of a shock to you'(Dahl), this is when everything started to go downhill. He wanted to divorce his wife, even after all the kind, and generous actions she would do for him. This left Mary heartbroken, and enraged herself with anger. She whacked her husband with a lamb of leg to the back of his head.

This resulted in his death. She was exhausted from how impertinent her husband was, and decided to get back at him by ending his life. All Mary ever wanted was affection from her husband. Since she did not receive the love and attention she desired, this impacted her choices. She transitioned from a kindhearted person, to a psychotic maniac. If her husband was to display fondness towards her, she would not have developed into the crazy person she is. She giggled about this homicide at the end, which further shows how deranged she is.


To sum it up, a desire for change can lead a person to go through drastic measures. This was strictly shown through Guy Montag in Fahrenheit 451, and Mary Maloney in A Lamb to the Slaughter. Change is key to growth of an individual.

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