How do ordinary people go about their lives in Fahrenheit 451?

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The majority of the people in Montag's society go about their lives thoughtlessly. Mildred is a good example. She lives her life almost completely vicariously through the shows on her parlour walls. Even when with her friends and Montag, the characters of these shows are what she discusses. She even claims that these characters are her family. Besides that distraction from her own real life, she takes sleeping pills. Mildred is a perfect example of the typical passive citizen in this world. All of her activities condition her to reject the reality of her situation by the use of distractions and opiates. Even Montag, before he begins to question things, goes about his work with pride, not really considering why he is so proud to burn the books. 

Aside from a few dissidents, most citizens in Montag's world question nothing and therefore lead passive lives, more robotic than human.