In "Fahrenheit 451" how does Montag feel when the bomb drops on his city?

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mrs-campbell's profile pic

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

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As the bombs approach, he is in shock. His first thought is, "This was not to be believed."  Then, he thinks immediately of those that he left behind in the city.  He thinks of Faber and Mildred, and implores them to "Run!...Get out, get out of there!"  He remembers that Clarisse is already gone, and that Faber should hopefully be out of the city, but he imagines Mildred in a room somewhere, watching her t.v. walls, oblivious to what is going to happen to her.  He imagines her

"wildly empty face, all by itself in the room, touching nothing, starved and eating of itself,"

and then oddly, he remembers where he had first met her, in Chicago.

After the bombs hit, he lies on the ground, "gasping and crying," and the first part of Ecclesiastes pops back into his head.  He repeats it over and over so that he won't forget it, and then shouts against the after-winds, with all of the other men.  And then, his thoughts turn to the future, to what they would do next.  The men gather and start walking, back to the city, to start again.  The book doesn't describe Montag having any specific feelings about his city being bombed, just a desire to start over and create something better out of the ashes.

gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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At the end of the novel, Montag stands outside of the city and witnesses the atomic bomb being dropped. He is shocked, saddened, and full of regret as he watches the city get destroyed. Montag immediately thinks of Mildred and wishes to save her. He yells her name as the first atomic bomb hits the city and can imagine the destruction in his mind. He falls to the ground, and his head begins to rush with memories of Mildred. Montag finally recalls where he met his wife, then looks up to see the city in ruins. Suddenly, Montag remembers parts of Ecclesiastes and Revelation. As Montag and the hobo intellectuals look out towards the scene of destruction, there is an air of hope and possibility. Montag and the intellectuals understand that they have an important job to do and walk with confidence towards the destroyed city in hopes of rebuilding a literate, sympathetic, understanding society.

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