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In "Fahrenheit 451", what does Mildred do to pass the time?

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hgriffin2012 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 11, 2009 at 6:39 AM via web

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In "Fahrenheit 451", what does Mildred do to pass the time?

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ophelious | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted October 11, 2009 at 7:05 AM (Answer #1)

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Mildred, in Fahrenheit 451, is really the shell of a woman.  She is frail, sickly, and almost devoid of personality and vitality. Unfortunately, in the story, she is essentially beyond redemption.  Only her suicide attempt gives us any idea that this woman might have feelings somewhere in her "bag of bones," but ultimately she really doesn't accept even the fact that she tried to take her own life.

Part of what makes her such a shallow character is how she spends her time.  The main part of her life is spent in a "television room."  This is essentially a virtual reality TV.  She likes to watch the soap operas and calls it "the family."  In fact, she is more interested in what this fictional family is doing than she is in her own life or the life of Montag.  Sometimes we see her with friends, but mostly this is as a prelude to watching the TV room with them.  She is kind of a zombiefied couch potato with the ultimate TV to veg out with.

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 11, 2009 at 7:17 AM (Answer #2)

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Another key thing that Mildred does, besides watch her precious television programs, is take the car out for drives.  She even tells Montag, when he is feeling down, to take the car and drive it around, saying that when "you get it up around ninety-five and you feel wonderful."  While she is out driving really fast, she also enjoys hitting the occasional rabbit and dog out in the country.  For her, driving really fast is a way to ward off depression, and all of those hankering thoughts of how miserable she is that creep in every once in a while.  Montag mentions how when you are going that fast, it's like the wind around you is tearing your thoughts and words right out of your mind and you can't think, at all.  This is a definite perk for Mildred, who hates thinking, because then she realizes that she is unhappy.

She also enjoys having her similarly ditzy and empty friends over so that they can watch television programs together, and validate each other in their empty thoughts and lives.  I hope that helps!

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worstgameever | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 24, 2009 at 11:32 AM (Answer #3)

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She submerges herself into the shell radio, watches the "families", or talking walls, and runs over animals.

Sounds like a nice lady, huh?

 

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