In "Fahrenheit 451", are there quotes that show how people live in a neglected society?  

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Follow the link listed below to the page discussing the themes of "Fahrenheit 451" and you will see that one of the major ideas presented by Bradbury in the story is that there is a great deal of loneliness in the society.  Early in the story, Clarisse tells Montag that she is afraid of people her own age (17) because, "They kill each other."  The value placed on life and people isn't a high value.  Clarisse asks Montag if he's noticed how long the billboards are.  She explains that they are that way because people drive so fast past them that in order for them to be read, they have to be tremendously long.   Her point is that people are in a rush to get from one place to another.  People don't make connections with other people because their lives are a rush like their driving.   Later, when Beatty comes to Montag's house the day that Montag calls in sick, Beatty says, "That's all we live for, isn't it? For pleasure, for titillation?  And you must admit our culture provides plenty of these."  This quote displays the idea that people only care about themselves and their own happiness. This self-centered attitude makes very isolated individuals. This is the apathy that is mentioned on the "Themes" page. Beatty goes on to tell Montag how, "Five minutes after a person is dead, he's on his way to the Big Flue, the Incinerators serviced by helicopters all over the country.  Ten minutes after death a man's a speck of black dust."  This also displays the alienation idea in that people aren't mourned after death, they are simply gotten rid of, like trash being discarded.  When Millie has her friends, Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles at her house before Montag comes home, the women discuss children.  Mrs. Phelps says she can't understand why anyone would want to have them because they are such a bother.  Mrs. Bowles says they are only home three days a month and then she just places them in front of the TV.  She goes on to say that her children would, "...just as soon kick as kiss me.  Thank God, I can kick back!"  Again, there is no sign of personal connections, not even with one's children.

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