Montag's Internal Conflict In Fahrenheit 451

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Neil Gaiman once wrote, “some books exist between covers that are perfectly people-shaped” (Gaiman xvi). The idea that books can be defined as the sharing of thoughts and information between people reveals a deeper meaning in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. In Fahrenheit 451, the protagonist faces a society in which books are censored and, thus, burned. This, according to his definition, means that if books become banned, certain connections between people will, too, be destroyed. Ray Bradbury reveals the theme (the importance of books) through the protagonist’s dynamic character, which comes as a result from his conflicts with society. To begin, the rising action of Fahrenheit 451 includes Montag’s internal conflict. This internal conflict initiates doubt in Montag. When Clarisse asks Montag “‘Are you happy?’”, he initially responds “Of course I’m happy” (Bradbury 7-8). However, it is evident that doubt has been planted in his mind, “What does she think? I’m not?” (Bradbury 8). Montag is faced, for the first time, with having to examine his life and if he is actually happy. It destroys his “mask”, allowing him to see the problems of his life, and, more importantly, society. The new perspective “kills” a part of him, the part that was content with his perfect life (having a good,…show more content…
When Montag reveals his hidden books to Mildred, she does not take time to understand them. “‘It doesn’t mean anything!’” (Bradbury 65). She, instead, worries about how it might affect her image if they are found out. “He could hear her breathing rapidly and her face paled out and her eyes were fastened wide” (Bradbury 63). Montag realizes that not everyone is willing to see the faults in their society. Trying to change that is futile. The reader, in turn, recognizes that many people are afraid of knowing more. They are afraid of seeing the wrong in what was perceived as perfect, as good, as
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