After meeting Clarisse and witnessing a woman commit suicide with her books, Montag decides to quit his job as a fireman and begin reading literature in search for answers to life's most difficult questions. Montag desperately wishes to live a fulfilling, meaningful life and believes that pursuing knowledge is an admirable journey.
While seeking knowledge, Montag befriends Faber, who explains to him the positive qualities of literature and helps him comprehend the texts he is currently reading. Montag also ends up killing Captain Beatty and fleeing the city to avoid being arrested by the authorities.
In the wilderness, Montag meets a group of traveling intellectuals, who teach him a method of remembering entire works of literature in order to preserve knowledge. After an atomic bomb destroys the city, Montag walks towards the ruins with the hope of rebuilding a literate, intelligent society.
Overall, Montag learns to leave behind the things in his life that are not intellectually stimulating or fulfilling. He learns to take risks and rebel against society in order to find inner peace. Montag also learns that pursuing knowledge is a worthy cause and that sharing his knowledge can benefit society.
From his conversations with Clarisse, Guy Montag learns to question things. He learns to reflect on what he thinks and does. Prior to this point in his life, Montag was quite passive. Above all, he learned to think about the personal and social implications of his actions.
The most obvious thing Montag learns is that his career as a book burner has been culturally and personally counter-productive. He had been destroying things that could have (mentally) set him free.
Another lesson he learns, although it is a philosophical cliche, is to consider whyhe (and others) lives the way he does. This was the problem for the passive people in Montag's society. Mildred is another good example. She never questioned why she was so engaged with the shows on her parlour walls. She never questioned the work of the fireman. Even when Montag, her own husband, tried to open her mind, she was in such denial, she could not bridge the question: why.