In Fahrenheit 451, which two characters experience problems that interfere with their ability to appreciate the importance of reading books and critically analyzing the problems in their society? What are the obstacles of each character, and what are the reasons for their obstacles?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Guy and Mildred Montag both have significant problems that interfere with their ability to appreciate the importance of reading books and critically analyzing the problems of their society.

Guy Montag is caught up in his role of fireman. He is one of the...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Guy and Mildred Montag both have significant problems that interfere with their ability to appreciate the importance of reading books and critically analyzing the problems of their society.

Guy Montag is caught up in his role of fireman. He is one of the people assigned to burn books, and to him, it seems simply normal. His father was a fireman before him, and he has been taught to be just like his father and just like the other firemen. He has never learned to question what he has been taught. He merely accepts it unthinkingly. He has been told that books must be burned, so that is what must happen. He is dull in his mind. But then he meets Clarisse, and she changes his whole perspective with her questions and her alert, interested mind. When Clarisse is killed, Guy Montag really begins to wake up.

Mildred Montag is even more dead inside than her husband. She spends her days watching the "parlor walls," engrossed in everything that flashes across their screens. She refuses to think much at all, allowing the parlor walls to do that for her and trusting in all her household machines. Mildred buries her feelings and surrounds herself with friends who are just like her. Mildred is partly lazy, partly brainwashed, and completely incapable of accepting a life of curiosity and books and critical thinking. It would be too much effort, and she has never known such a life, nor does she want to.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on