In "Farenheit 451"  what is the relationship like between Mildred and Montag?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the novel, Montag thinks that their relationship is just fine; in fact, he declares to himself that he is perfectly happy.  However, when he gets home that first night, to find Mildred comatose after a suicide attempt, then he starts to wonder if he and Mildred really are happy.  Then, when Clarisse pulls the dandelion "you're not in love with anyone" stunt, he is even more startled. He realizes that he can't even remember when he and Mildred first met.  He realizes that they don't really have a relationship at all--he goes to work, she watches her television, and they don't talk.  They don't connect.

Later, when Montag tries to drag Mildred into reading books with him, their distance is even more apparent.  Millie is irritated, wanting to go do her own thing, but Montag wants her to be there with him as he journeys towards change and enlightenment.  But, she won't.  In fact, she betrays him by turning him into the firestation.  She calls the alarm on her own husband.  So, they are not close.  They are so distant in fact that Mildred has more loyalty to her society than she does to her husband, and their house ends up getting torched as a result of it.  Montag chooses to leave her behind and goes on the run.  And, when the city burns to the ground, he imagines Mildred there, burning with her walls, and is oddly unemotional about it.  He remember where they met, and can picture it happening, and that's about it.

So overall, Millie and Montag are not close at all--she is a shallow product of their society, and he is not, so that gap causes a rift between them that ultimately separates them in the end.  I hope that helps; good luck!

MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mildred and Montag almost have no relationship. Their lives are so very different, especially after Montag meets Clarisse, that there's no hope of reconciliation or even communication among the two. In fact, the first time we meet Mildred, she has attempted suicide. Although she claims that her "family" (the three talking walls which interact with her) keep her happy, it is clear she is suffering some form of depression. This is evident in her other behavior. One of her favorite hobbies is to take "take out the beetle"- drive their car at insane speeds, killing whatever animals happen to get in the way. She rarely listens to Montag, often keeping a Seashell portable radio in her ear, whether sleeping or driving. She represents the apathetic portion of society. She doesn't care about war or books, unless it will interrupt her entertainment. Indeed, she is so numb, she doesn't even realize that all her shows are the same. She doesn't even realize she tried to kill herself.

Montag suffers under this passivity. Meeting Clarisse sparks a life in him that permanently keeps him from Mildred. He begins questioning his life, which is a dangerous thing to do in the novel's culture. He never watches "the family", finding the conversation inane and trite. That alone would probably have destroyed his marriage, but it's helped along by everything else he doesn't want to do. Apart from being a firefighter, he rarely enjoys technology for its recreational uses. He doesn't like to drive, doesn't listen to the radio, etc. So, we have someone who buys fully into the Government's satiating tactics, and someone who embarks on a rebellious mission to discover the truth.

zumba96 | Student

It is not good. He thinks it is absolutely fine but soon learns that in fact they do not have a great relationship and he does not even remember when he and Mildred first met. She even turns him in to the fire station for reading books. Basically she loves her society more than him

andiiibyprainstarz | Student

in my opinion Millie doesn't love Montag... It seems like a "fake"...

As Montag asks her when they met first time... she cant say anything... she said that it is a long time ago.. she only love the well payed job of Montag... only the things she get brought makes her happy

chelsearocks145 | Student

its not very good. he no longer is in loe with her anymore after she had tried to kill herself and also when he starts falling for his new 17 year old crazy neighbor


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Fahrenheit 451

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