Individuality In Fahrenheit 451

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“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” -Ralph Waldo Emerson. In Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, one of the most prominent themes is conformity vs. individuality. The society in which the characters live is very boring and plain. Most of the population is inconsiderate and selfish, and the people that are unique are often made feel unwelcome. Mildred Montag -- the protagonist Guy Montag’s wife -- is almost identical to every citizen in the civilization. She watches television walls all day and rarely looks up from the screens. She possesses no individuality whatsoever. On the other hand, Clarisse McClellan is one of the most unique people in the society. She refuses …show more content…

individuality in Fahrenheit 451 in many ways. The first few lines demonstrate the conflict between conforming and being yourself. “She just wants to be beautiful / She goes unnoticed, she knows no limits / She craves attention, she praises an image / She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor”. These lines display Mildred’s thoughts about herself and how she felt when she tried to commit suicide. “But that was another Mildred, that was a Mildred so deep inside this one, and so bothered, really bothered, that the two women had never met” (Bradbury 49). Mildred is so obsessed with the idea of being perfect and like everyone else that she has become like two different people without realizing it. The Mildred on the surface is just like everyone else. She watches the television walls, stays inside unless critical to leave, and doesn’t care about anyone but herself. She “praises an image” of being perfect, and wants to be “sculpted by the sculptor”, or told what to do. On the other hand, a possibly younger version of Mildred deep inside her wants something more than what appears. She is conflicted by what everyone else is and what she wants to be. She is so obsessed with being the Mildred on the surface, but that isn’t really who she is. However, the Mildred without depth wins the conflict, and she gives into conformity instead of being …show more content…

individuality in another way. Alessia Cara sings of a girl who wants to be beautiful and perfect but ends up just starving herself of life’s experiences. “She has dreams to be an envy, so she’s starving / You know covergirls eat nothing / She says beauty is pain and there’s beauty in everything / What’s a little bit of hunger? / I can go a little while longer, she fades away”. The girl in this song is very similar to Mildred in multiple ways. As stated in the novel, “Leaning into the wall as if all the hunger of looking would find the secret of her sleepless unease there . . . heard her screaming, because in the millionth part of time left, she saw her own face reflected there, in a mirror instead of a crystal ball, and it was such a wildly empty face, all by itself in the room, touching nothing, starved and eating of itself, that at last she recognized it as her own”. In this excerpt, Mildred is about to die as a bomb strikes the roof of her hotel building. She is obsessed with being how society tells her to be, and she can’t really function without the technology of society. She wants to be perfect, and is “starving” because all she consumes mentally is the mindless junk that is on the televisions. Mildred thinks that the things she watches will make her happy, however, they just waste time and don’t ever solve anything. As the novel states, right before Mildred dies, she sees her true reflection,

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