Montag faces an internal struggle that results from his conflict over whether or not to continue to be a fireman. He does not know if he can continue burning books, because he begins to wonder what is in the books, and because he sees a woman burned alive with her...
Montag faces an internal struggle that results from his conflict over whether or not to continue to be a fireman. He does not know if he can continue burning books, because he begins to wonder what is in the books, and because he sees a woman burned alive with her books. He is stunned at the fact that she would be willing to give up her life for her books.
On the front porch where she had come to weigh them quietly with her eyes, her quietness a condemnation, the woman stood motionless.
Beatty flicked his fingers to spark the kerosene.
He was too late. Montag gasped.
The woman on the porch reached out with contempt for them all, and struck the kitchen match against the railing. (Part I)
Montag doesn’t understand the pull of the books at first. How could she die for them? He takes the book because he is curious. Beatty comes to try to explain to him why society eliminated them, and the noble role of the firemen in protecting society from itself. He is unconvincing. Montag can’t really read at the level he wants to, because his society has no books, so he goes to Faber for help.
Beatty’s insistence that the books are the problem and society is better off without them, and the fact that he continuously toys with Montag, leads to Montag’s conflict with him. Montag’s conflict is with Beatty and with society, because in many ways Beatty represents society. This is what leads Montag to change from a normal law-abiding citizen to a book-sneak.
Eventually, the conflict between Beatty and Montag comes to a head when Mildred turns Montag in for having a book. Beatty seems to take a certain kind of glee in tormenting Montag. He knew he was doomed, and now that his time has come he does not make a move to help him, but instead watches his downfall.
"I want you to do this job all by your lonesome, Montag. Not with kerosene and a match, but piecework, with a flamethrower. Your house, your clean-up."
"Montag, can't you run, get away!"
"No!" cried Montag helplessly. "The Hound! Because of the Hound!" (Part III)
Montag kills Beatty with the flamethrower, and then his conflict is character vs. society. He is on the run. Montag's goal is to find the book people and begin his life anew on the right side of history. He is able to evade the mechanical hound, and just barely misses his old city being bombed.