In the country, Montag thinks about Mildred and her possibly dying in the city when the war comes. He feels guilty because, though she is his wife, he does not imagine that her death will make him feel any sadness.
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Granger's words serve to remind Montag that the people in our past leave a fingerprint on our minds........ that the memories and lessons stay with us. When Granger asks Montag what he gave to the city, he says, "Ashes". When asked what the others gave to each other, Montag says, "Nothingness". In essence, Granger uses the disconnect between Montag and Mildred to ease his conscience.