|A Change of Heart
Author: xxGaara'sAngelxx PM
Montag's conversation with Granger and the other men in the woods goes differently. One-shot class assignment. Feedback on how it matches Bradbury's writing appreciated.Rated: Fiction K - English - Suspense/Drama - Words: 1,179 - Favs: 1 - Published: 12-29-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7688382
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AN: This is one of those "I had to write this for class, so I might as well post it." The assignment was to write an alternate ending to the book in Bradbury's style. I didn't really follow the assignment that well so it's not much of an ending, more like a plot twist near the end of the book.
Disclaimer: I don't own F451, not that I have I particular desire to anyway...but I suppose that's irrelevant.
Fahrenheit 451 Alternate Ending
"I think I was blind trying to go at things my way, planting books in firemen's houses and sending in alarms."
"You did what you had to do. Carried out on a national scale it might have worked beautifully. But–"
"Do you really think that?" Montag interrupted abruptly.
"It's just," Montag stated idly and with a air of doubt, "Perhaps, with blind eyes I still saw."
"No, I'm afraid you are mistaken my boy. But don't worry, for the blind may be guided by those with clear eyes."
"You with your precious eyes, you're blind to the corruption of your life," Clement spoke quietly. Granger blinked, shocked.
"Sophocles," stated West.
"You think what we do is right, since we have been doing it so long. But things have been lost, pieces left behind, biases transcended inadvertently through generations of book keepers. We've become distorted nearly as much as the parlors."
"Yes, yes precisely," Montag said, suddenly in a rush.
"What do you mean exactly?" asked Granger shrewdly, turning as he spoke.
"What I mean is that your idea is all fine and well, but...people as books and books as people,"
Montag licked his lips nervously, "What if my idea were to work better?"
"Absurd! Such destruction! Such chaos! We would be handwriting our world's invitation into anarchy!"
"Who says we aren't already there? The world is starving. The world is suffering. The world is at war," came Clement's even voice.
"And we'll win this war just like we've done the others. There's no need to be hasty. The people are at peace. Woefully misinformed and ignorant, but at peace."
"How can you think that's enough?" shouted Montag angrily.
"It isn't! But that doesn't mean we have the right to drag them down into lawlessness."
"An unjust peace is better than a just war," spoke up Simmons.
"Marcus Tullius Cicero," came West's dull voice.
"The laws are followed by some and not others, abused and twisted. Reading is against the law when killing is not. We'd be better off lawless. This is not peace at all, but a thinly veiled war against sovereignty that is not just at all!"
"Even so, that does not justify starting a war against the government. We lack the supplies, the man power, and most importantly the will to do so. We are safe now. We are out of the way of the conflict. We have no reason to fight. Our way is simple. Our way is peace. We have the chance to end war. All we need to do is take the first step."
"If we don't end war, war will end us."
"I have never advocated war except as a means of peace," Clement shot back.
"Ulysses S. Grant."
"I'm fed to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in!"
"There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others!"
"Enough!" shouted Montag, "Your words make my head spin in circles. Just let me offer you this; if everyone acts as you do, if everyone refuses to take action, then nobody acts at all. You have nothing here. Nothing but the illusion that you are doing something. What has changed in the last year, in the last ten, in the last twenty? It's like Clement said about you and the parlors. There's this great sense of movement; like you're a part of something. But what has really happened? Can you tell me that?"
There was silence following Montag's words. Of the six men, three sat calmly around the fire, one of whom was perched on a rock, and three stood, breathing heavily from their debate. Granger let out a sigh and sat himself down on the ground. The light from the fire flickered over his face and revealed the many lines etched there. He regarded Montag with plain stare, then shook his head and smiled slightly.
"Your youth is invigorating, but I am not a man for war. I'll say it plain and simple right now. I shall not be involved in such things. I cannot dispute what you say, for much of it is correct. However, I also cannot stand by you, for I still do not agree."
"I understand. So all I ask of you now is to answer a question."
"Ask away my boy."
"Earlier you said my idea could have worked. Why did you say that?"
"Ah yes, to put it simply, the city has never cared about us enough to bother with. Just a couple of old crackpots in the woods. But you made them put on a show. Got them riled up. Got them scared. The cities are balancing on pinheads right now. Nothing makes sense, but no one wants to see it. A few more cases like yours and everything might just topple over. Things might change..." he trail off wistfully.
"Thank you. I understand that you won't be part of this, but is there anyone here that will?"
"I will," Clement said as he stepped forward.
"As will I."
"Count me out."
"It's an awfully big risk you fellows are taking. Are you sure about this? Clement? West? Padover?"
All three of them nodded to Granger, who then looked at Simmons, who in turn shrugged. Then, they all looked around as Montag spoke.
"When you've nothing to lose, you run any risk you want."
"Who said that?" asked Simmons.
"I did. To a friend. It was just something off the top of my mind."
"So that's how quotes are born," Granger laughed quietly, "You'll go far Montag, in one way or another. At the very least your voice has joined my private library and I will pass it down to the next keeper of my books.
You're starting a revolution my boy and I'll wish you the best of luck. Whatever you're going to do I'll guarantee you will need it soon, you all will. But for now, take a rest. You look like hell."
AN: So, what did you think? As my teacher apparently has no intention of reading this, or giving me feedback on it, (God only knows why she bothered to assign it) reviews would be most appreciated.
-Until next time
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