what is it the women do that drives montag over the edge?

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handbooktoliterature eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I assume you are referring to Mildred and her "friends" in the parlor, including Mrs. Phelps. 

1. They get together in order to watch the parlor walls. Their entire reason for getting together is a mindless television show that is violent and mind numbing.

2. They speak of their children like they are nothing more than a household chore. This shows them as unnatural because they lack any maternal instincts. They talk of the C-Section births as no big deal, and then sending their kids off to school six days a week and then plopping them down in front of the parlor walls when they are home. Not much more difficult than doing the laundry...

3. They speak of their husbands and the impending war in complete ignorance. Mrs. Phelps has been married several times-- her husbands keep disappearing--but still believes the little war is going to be over in a weekend. She has no concept of what fighting a war really means or how it might affect everyone.

All of this leads to Montag reading the poem "Dover Beach" in which the world is described as being void of faith and desolate much like the society in 451.