Change is often a good thing, and most people experience change at one point or another in their lives. Just like real people, characters in books experience change as well. More often than not, the way these characters respond to change defines who they are. In The Life of Pi and Fahrenheit 451, both Pi and Montag experience change at some point in their respective books. The way Pi and Montag deal with these changes defines who they are and changes them overall. The best way to respond to change, though, involves a few different things. You have to stay calm, not let the change overtake you, be positive, and understand that we often have to change when we experience change.
If you are stranded in the middle of the ocean, chances are you’re going to experience some kind of change. This is exactly what happens to Pi. While Pi is stranded in the ocean, his life completely changes. The change he experiences forces him to do things he would normally never do. Pi does not panic though. He stays calm and does what he needs to do to survive. For example, one big change Pi experiences are eating meat for the first time. Despite being a vegetarian, and going against one of his religious beliefs, Pi eats meat to survive. Pi does not let this change bother him because he needs to survive. Another reason why Pi’s response to change is ideal is he has a positive attitude. In the book, Pi says, “I was giving up. I would have given up – if a voice hadn’t made itself heard in my heart. The voice said, “I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen every day. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen” (Martel 148). Pi’s positivity as shown in this quote allows him to make the most out of the change he experiences as well as help him survive.
If you go from hating books to loving books, chances are you experienced some sort of change. This is what happens to Montag, the main character of Fahrenheit 451. At the beginning of the novel, we learn Montag is a firefighter who burns books for a living. However, one day Montag encounters a girl who makes him realize he is not happy with his life. He even says, “We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren’t happy. Something’s missing. I looked around. The only thing I positively knew was gone was the books I’d burned in ten or twelve years. So I thought books might help” (Bradbury 78). Sure enough, he acquires a book and begins to read. This encounter with the girl is the first part of the change Montag experiences. She changes Montag’s entire perspective on books and since owning books is illegal, Montag is willing to risk it all for what he believes is right. Montag encounters a second change when Captain Beatty torches his house. This changes Montag’s world as he knows it. Montag is no longer able to go back to his old life because he is wanted for owning books. Montag does not let this experience destroy his life though. Instead, he responds by doing what he thinks is right. He joins a network of people who have memorized books in hopes of restoring society back to how it used to be. Overall, the changes Montag experiences help him grow as a character and allows him to stand up for what he believes in – reading.
Everyone is going to experience changes at some point in their life. Just like real people, fictional characters experience changes as well. Both Montag and Pi experience changes and their responses to these changes help decide whether or not they will live or die. Ultimately the way Montag and Pi respond to the changes they encounter is the way anyone should if and when they experience changes of their own.
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