In "Fahrenheit 451" compare & contrast Montag and Millie’s first reaction to books and knowledge.  

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

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As the guidelines for this website allow for one question a day, I can help you with the first one, and I suggest submitting the other questions separately.

When Montag and Mildred start to read books together after Beatty's visit, they have pretty different reactions.  Montag is intense, focusing on what is before him, trying desparately to understand it.  He reads the words, suspects that they hold great knowledge and wisdom, and really tries to understand them.  He tells Mildred,

"Maybe the books can get us half out of the cave.  They might stop us from making the same damn insane mistakes!"

Montag clings to the books like they are a lifeline out of his misery and unhappiness.  Mildred, on the other hand, is indifferent.  She doesn't care about the books, she's bored, she's frustrated, and she just wants to be watching her t.v. walls with her friends.  She's putting up with the reading because Montag was so insistent.  She gets so bored and frustrated at one point that she "kicked at a book" and cried,

"Books aren't people.  You read and I look all around, and there isn't anybody...Now...my 'family' is people.  They tell me things:  I laugh, they laugh!  And the colors!"

She is baffled by these books because the information in them is not presented in technicolor excitement like her television shows are.  She is not equipped to even comprehend such a simple form of comprehension.  And because she is so trained by their society for the thrill, the immersion in excitement, music, noise and interaction, they are meaningless to her.

One way that Mildred and Montag are similar is that they really can't grasp the meaning behind the books.  Montag tries and tries, but can't get it, which is why he seeks out Faber.  He keeps trying.  Mildred on the other hand gives up, and goes to watch t.v. with her friends.  But, initially, they are both baffled and can't really understand the content of the books.

I hope that those thoughts help; good luck!

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