In Fahrenheit 451, what does Montag think his feelings would be if his wife were to die? 

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Part 1, Montag comes home from just seeing a woman burned to death. He slips the book he had stolen under his pillow and he climbs into bed with Millie, his wife. Millie is awake but she is listening to her Seashell, a radio device that, like her shows on the parlour walls, she lives vicariously (and passively) through. Considering how much time Millie spends with her Seashell and the parlour shows, Montag thinks that he would have to communicate through another seashell in order to get her attention. Being preoccupied with these devices, Millie is always thinking of characters rather than her husband. Montag, beginning to question things in his society, is even more aware of how distant he and Millie are. 

Montag then asks her if she can remember where and when they first met. She can not remember and concludes that it doesn't matter. Since she had become like a stranger to him, he didn't think he would be very sad if she died: 

And he remembered thinking then that if she died, he was certain he wouldn't cry. For it would be the dying of an unknown, a street face, a newspaper image, and it was suddenly so very wrong that he had begun to cry, not at death but at the thought of not crying at death, a silly empty man near a silly empty woman, while the hungry snake made her still more empty. 

Montag felt that he would not cry if Millie died. But he cried at the thought that their relationship was so empty that he would feel nothing.