What is the relationship between the conflict and the plot of Fahrenheit 451?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In Fahrenheit 451, the conflict is presented as Montag's increasing awareness of the suppressed state of the society he's been living in. Prior to his conversations with Clarisse, Montag never questioned the act of burning books. He passively went about his life, taking pride in his work without thinking twice about it. However, after Clarisse sparks his imagination, he begins to wonder about his own happiness and he eventually desires literature and knowledge. The initial conflict emerges with Montag. He wants to read and to learn but he lives in a world where that is discouraged. The plot follows Montag's awakening and then broadens to include other characters he comes into contact with. Montag's inner conflict drives the plot. 

After Montag's awakening, he elicits the help of Faber. He reads poetry aloud to Mildred and her friends. He is eventually caught by Beatty and the firemen. Montag has no choice but to run away where he finds Granger and the book people. In short, Montag's awakening caused his inner conflict. As he attempts to feed his new thirst for knowledge, he affects those around him, and this includes his attempt to get his wife to see the inspiration of reading. So, Montag's inner conflict becomes a social conflict, culminating in his confrontation with Beatty and his eventual escape. 

Meanwhile, there is an additional conflict, a war, developing as Montag escapes. 


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