Fahrenheit 451 Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

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In Fahrenheit 451, why do people commit suicide so frequently in Montag's society?

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We get these cases nine or ten a night. Got so many, starting a few years ago, we had the special machines built.

Mildred attempts suicide; a fireman kills himself; a woman who is caught with books kills herself. In a society where entertainment and ease of living seems to be a primary goal, why does there seem to be so many people who take their own lives? It is out of dissatisfaction and emptiness that citizen's of Montag's society turn to suicide.

The people in this dystopian society are vapid creatures whose lives are devoid of real passions. They don't connect on any meaningful level with other people and instead exist superficially, their attempts to find pleasure in meaningless entertainment leaving them ultimately empty. Without the depth of ideas found in literature and without a connection to history, they cannot find any meaningful existence. The repetition of suicide contributes to the tone of the novel: bleak and hopeless. It reinforces the understanding that in order to...

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