Compare and contrast Essay

        Society always provides a range of rules which are common for all its members. But it is well known that there are always exceptions. Montag and Leonardo da Vinchi- the protagonists of two well-known masterpieces: “Fahrenheit 451” and “Flights of the mind”. How do these two heroes oppose the existing society? What makes their behavior different from the accepted by all standard?  Montag – a fireman whose direct obligation is to burn books which are still read by some not reliable members of the society. His protest was gaining its strength step by step, gradually. His professional occupation wasn’t permitting him to reveal his protest in full strength. It can be clearly seen how Montag’s feelings have been changing all through the course of events. Originally story by Ray Bradbury describes the story of the future. On the one hand, this story is about the victory of machines and modern technologies over the human mind. On the other hand it’s a story about the great and free human spirit which will always express itself in such firemen like Montag. Montag is one of few who haven’t lost yet the feeling of freedom and protest. He doesn’t want to be one of many without any sense inside of their souls. The feeling of freedom results in collecting books by Montag. Even more, the professor Faber helps Montag to renovate the printing of books. This aspiration to preserve the huge world experience and wisdom expressed in books makes Montag’s protest brilliant.

        In “Leonardo Da Vinci : Flights of mind” Charles Nicholl gives rather a detailed description of the life of a great artist, scientist and technologist Leonardo da Vinchi. One can observe the life of this genius, his attending the Florence sculptor Andrea del Verrocchio in childhood, establishing of Florentine studio in 1447 and other events of Leonardo’s early carrier. The most prominent point of this work by Nicholl is that his book is not about the works by Leonardo but about Leonardo. There is a great number of Leonardo’s works mentioned in this book, some of them were successful projects (for example, ‘The Last Supper” and many others), some of them were never finished by Leonardo. But the very essence of Nicholl’s work is the purpose to show the powerful Leonardo’s aspiration for changing the world all the better, finding out new knowledge and making new sensational discoveries. Leonardo’s protest can be described as the protest against the human mind’s inertness. It is shown by Nicholl that  Leonardo managed to do a plenty of great things in his life. Leaonardo was an artist, engineer, writer, designer. He spent his life realizing his projects in his works and thus expressing his own opinion, his own vision of this world, his own issues and purposes. Leonardo shows how people have to use the great ability of “thinking” given to us by nature. And it’s his own protest against the common rules.

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        Comparing the protest by Leonardo da Vinchi and the protest by Montag it is necessary to note that surely their protests are different. Montag stands up against society in more silent way than Leonardo da Vinchi. Montag’s protest is the protest of a ordinary member of society who dislikes the environment in this society. He has not enough power to change the course of events but he does his best in order to change the situation and that’s why his protest is valuable. It is difficult to say whose protest is more dangerous and effective. Montag stands up against the social system in which he lives. Leonardo stands up against the greatest minds of his time. The protest by Leonardo – is the protest by genius. His protest is louder but it can’t be said  that it’s more or less efficient than Montag’s one.  Both protests by Leonardo and Montag are great. Both of them are efficient and of enormous value for humanity. The only difference is that Leonardo da Vinchi was an artist and his protest have remained for centuries in his beautiful works, Montag was a firemen, he didn’t create any  picture. But his protest is not less powerful.  Both Leonardo and Montag  served to a magnificent phenomena of Human Mind and Freedom of Human Spirit. Precisely thanks to such heroes (in full notion of this word) a huge treasure of human experience and wisdom is still alive.

           In conclusion it must be said that protagonists of  “Fahrenheit 451” and “Leonardo da Vinci – Flights of the Mind” from Charles Nicholl are different and original but they always must be investigated within same point of view as they represent the unique and eternal human purpose to realize the unlimited skills of human mind in full measure.


1.           Charles Nicholl, 2005, Leonardo Da Vinci: The Flights of the Mind, Penguin Books Ltd.

2.           Ray Brabbury, 1987, Fahrenheit 451, Del Rey; Reissue edition


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