What are examples of innate nature of man in "Fahrenheit 451"?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Fahrenheit 451" there are many examples of the more negative aspects of man's nature-their laziness, violence, apathy, and passivity.  All of Clarisse's friends are ultra-violent, killing each other constantly, enjoying violent games, and driving fast.  They also don't talk to each other or make any lasting relationships; it's much easier to stay dissociated.  Mildred's friends are examples of passivity and apathy.  The war takes their husbands away and they deny being upset about it; they passively go about their lives, believing the government who tells them it'll only be a couple weeks.  When confronted with active thinking or emotion, they break down.  Mildred, miserable, tries to kill herself but is apathetic about creating any real change in her life that would help her to be happy.  The people are too lazy to read, to form relationships, to change their circumstances or to challenge authority.

As for man's more positive innate traits, like striving for betterment, for enlightenment, and for meaning in life, Montag, Clarisse and Faber can be seen as examples of people who strive for those more noble traits. Unfortunately, they live in a society that drowns those traits out with busyness, pleasure, and a stifling government.  In the end though, hopefully Montag can help to change that, and to rebuild a place where man's more positive traits can thrive.