In the novel "Fahrenheit 451" writen by Ray Bradbury, what would the exposition and the initial conflict be?
The exposition of a story is the introduction, where the author provides the background information. In Section I of the book, The Hearth and the Salamander, we learn about Guy Montag, the main character of the story and the conflicts he is experiencing.
The exposition provides the reader information about Montag, his wife Mildred, his job, what the society is like and that he has a neighbor who lives in an unconventional way, for the time, Clarisse McClellan.
The initial conflict occurs when Montag starts to question the value of his life, this is instigated by two events, his wife's overdose and his meeting Clarisse.
At first we learn that Guy Montag has been a fireman for 10 years, he has been content with his job, at times actually enjoying it. He loves to burn, he tells us really enjoys watching things turn to charcoal.
But he meets his young, unusual neighbor in the first few pages of this novel, Clarisse McClellan who has a profound effect on Montag. He begins to question his life and therefore has both an internal conflict, one within himself, and several external conflicts. External conflicts are character vs character conflicts, character vs environment conflicts.
Montag is experiencing an internal conflict which is best described as self-doubt, he is having a crisis of conscience which is intensified by his meeting Clarisse. This young neighbor of Montag's is not like anyone else in his life including his wife, Mildred. Clarisse is a real person, who thinks, feels, imagines, is creative, she lives a life forbidden by the authorities, and eventually is killed for it.
Montag's discovering his wife near death from an overdose creates a serious conflict for him, since he wants to talk to her about what is bothering her, but she lives in a world of denial. She doesn't even remember taking the pills. She denies taking the pills and has no memory of the stomach pumping that saved her life.
Montag has an external conflict with his job, particularly Captain Beatty, who is a well-read man, once loved literature, and taunts and teases Montag about the books that they burn.
The exposition, or introduction of setting, characters, and information needed to get the story off the ground, starts with the very first words, "It was a pleasure to burn." We are quickly introduced to the story's theme of burning. We are also quickly introduced to Guy Montag, the protagonist of the story. With the description then of the transporation modes, we soon are aware that the story's setting is the future. After that the conversation between Montag and Clarisse gives us much information about this futuristic society and the way people are. The conflict is suggested when Clarisse asks Montag, "Are you happy?" The exposition continues with Montag's arrival home and finding his wife nearly dead from a drug overdose. Montag's reaction to this and his pondering over the great number of people there are in his world and the fact that no one cares much about anyone else further establishes the main conflict.