How does the prohibition of books affect the majority of Montag's fellow citizens?

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For the majority of Montag's fellow citizens, the prohibition of books appears to make them happy and contented. This is shown through many of the minor characters in the novel, like Mrs Bowles, who has become so desensitised as a result of censorship that she would rather watch the parlour walls than spend time with her children:

"They'd just as soon kick as kiss me. Thank God, I can kick back!"

Similarly, Mrs Phelps, lets her husband "do all the worrying" so that she can enjoy her life and focus on entertainment and the pursuit of happiness.

In addition, Mildred beams that she is "happy" as she spends her day in front of the parlour walls, talking with her "family" but, in truth, she is as miserable as Montag. We see this through her suicide attempt early in Part One of the novel. Even Mrs Phelps' happiness is contested: when Montag reads the poem, "Dover Beach," for instance, she sobs "uncontrollably" as she absorbs its message.

By portraying the majority in this way, Bradbury implies that while they appear happy and contented on the outside, censorship has made them miserable deep down.

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