The conflict in Fahrenheit 451 arises from Montag’s realization that his life is empty. As he discusses with Fabre what he’s noticed in society, he realizes that he’s deeply unhappy in spite of all the artifices in place to keep him placated. Faber explains to Montag that books offer humans experiences and freedom they can’t achieve with all the technology they have developed for themselves.
Books offer people free time—a leisurely activity that allows them to open their mind, not cramming it full of programming, drugs and technology. They also present a detailed examination of life—different lives than one’s own. Finally, Faber explains that books help people to understand the interplay between these two things and allow people to make decisions and better themselves because of it. In the end, Montag decides to go against the grain and defy society by reading books and hiding them away, an act of treasonous rebellion, and this is from where the conflict arises.
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