Why is it appropriate that the story says of Montag "He felt his body divide itself..." in Fahrenheit 451?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that you could argue that this is the point in the story where Montag is, figuratively, becoming two different people.  If so, then this is a very appropriate thing for the story to say.

For most of his life, Guy has been one person -- he is a fireman.  As such, he stands for the values of his society.  But now, his experiences with Clarisse and the near-death of his wife Millie have started to make a new him.  Because of these things, he has started to question the values of the society.

When he does, he starts to become two people.  The two parts of him (just as this passage says) become different from one another and they start to be "two halves grinding" against one another.  He is starting to have different parts of him that are coming in conflict with one another.