What is the major conflict/social issue in Fahrenheit 451? 

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the major social conflicts in Fahrenheit 451 is that Montag lives in society in which free thought, creativity, and individualism are suppressed. The novel is about Montag's mental, and eventually physical, quest to acknowledge this conflict and somehow overcome it. After meeting with Clarisse and Faber, Montag grows more and more uncomfortable with his job burning books and he begins to see the ways in which the state suppresses knowledge and attempts to pacify its citizens through mind-numbing entertainment and pills. As a result of trying to become an individual, Montag begins to feel alienated in this oppressive community. In other words, he no longer is a passive robot of the state, so he no longer fits in this society. In the end, in order to be and think individually and pursue knowledge, Montag must physically remove himself from this society. In order to sustain the freedoms Montag has come to crave, we can suppose that he must now live a life of wandering, at least until he might come to some place where individualism and free thought are celebrated.