Examples Of Conformity In Fahrenheit 451

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The Cost of Conformity There is a world that finds solace in the destruction of intellect, a world fearful of the limitless possibilities created by unrestricted knowledge, a world in which it is a pleasure to burn. In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, society is reimagined as a black hole, devoid of individuality and reliant on technology and materialistic objects, but failing to recognize the necessity of thinking in daily life. Our protagonist, Guy Montag, starts the novel as just another man in the machine. However, as the plot develops, so does Guy's character, as he finds merit in knowledge. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Montag's wife, Mildred, who is a static character throughout, consistently dismissing the chance at a deeper …show more content…

Both sides of the same coin, Mildred is the poster child of conformity, whereas Clarisse is the epitome of individuality. Throughout the story, the juxtaposition of Mildred, Montag, and Clarrisse's character development, or lack thereof, is used to reveal that it is crucial to be an individual and not conform.
Mildred Montag and her stagnant character development work to communicate the dangers of conformity. Mildred is portrayed as a very one-dimensional character who does not care about much besides her belongings, most of all, her parlor walls; this is especially prevalent in Mildred's discussions with Montag, in which she never expresses much emotion unless she is talking about her material possessions. When Montag comes home after witnessing the woman burn with her books and ponders quitting his job, "'You want to give up everything? After all these years of working, because, one night, some woman and her books–' 'You should have seen her, Millie!' 'She's nothing to me; she shouldn't have had books. It was her responsibility, she …show more content…

Clarisse is a free-thinking person who rejects social conventions. Never once straying from her personal beliefs, mainly those in the beauty of individuality. Other characters' reactions to Clarrise help to further this point. To others, Clarrise is disarming and disorienting; the way she lives her life leaves them baffled, especially Montag, "What incredible power of identification the girl had; she was like the eager watcher of a marionette show, anticipating each flicker of an eyelid, each gesture of his hand, each flick of a finger, the moment before it began. How long had they walked together? Three minutes? Five? Yet how large that time seemed now. How immense a figure she was on the stage before him; what a shadow she threw on the wall with her slender body! He felt that if his eye itched, she might blink. And if the muscles of his jaws stretched imperceptibly, she would yawn long before he would." (Bradbury 9). This quote shows how Clarrise is depicted as an almost otherworldly figure due to her willingness to create her perspective on life instead of blindly accepting those of the people around her. In this scene, Montag's reaction to Clarisse reveals how different she is from everybody else because of her refusal to conform. Additionally, Clarrise's curiosity about the past and how things were "before" indicates her inability to accept what she is told,"' Sometimes I'm

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