Fahrenheit 451

4) How and why does Montag’s perception of his society change?

Please answer thsi question its for an exam tomorrow

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The answer to this question can be found below in an excerpt from Gradesaver's themes.


Throughout the novel, the reader is presented with a conflict between knowledge and ignorance. What does true happiness consist of? Is ignorance bliss, or do knowledge and learning provide true happiness? Montag, in his belief that knowledge reigns, fights against a society that embraces and celebrates ignorance.

The fireman's responsibility is to burn books, and therefore destroy knowledge. Through these actions, the firemen promote ignorance to maintain the sameness of society. After befriending Clarisse, Montag finds himself unable to accept the status quo, believing life is more complete, true and satisfying when knowledge is welcomed into it. After making this discovery, Montag fights against ignorance, trying to help others welcome knowledge into their lives. For example, when his wife's friends come over, he forces them to listen to poetry. Although they become extremely upset after listening to what he reads, they are able to experience true emotion. In Montag's view, this emotion will give these women a fuller and more satisfying life.



At the beginning of the novel, Montag develops a friendship with his 17 year old neighbor, Clarisse McClellan, whose humanistic outlook and inquisitive nature prompt Montag to examine his life. Soon, he realizes he is unhappy and no longer loves his wife, Millie. Meanwhile, Millie is unwilling to deal with reality and instead chooses to immerse herself in interactive television, seashell radio, and an addiction to tranquilizers. Unfulfilled by his occupation and discontent with a society unconcerned with reports of an impending atomic war, Montag begins to question the ways of the world. Specifically, Montag wonders why books are perceived to be so dangerous and why some people are so loyal to them. What power lies in books?