Why do they italicize the word changed on page 3?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The second sentence of the book is, "It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed."  The word "changed" is italicized to give it emphasis.  The narration is from Guy Montag's perspective, in that it is reflecting his thoughts and feelings.  It is obvious that when something is burned it changes in appearance, but by emphasizing the word, "changed", the reader gets the feeling that there is more to the change than just the physical appearance.  The story shows a change in the main character's view of the world.  In the beginning, the change that entices Guy is this physical change from unburned paper to ash, later the change that he embraces is his change in attitude.  He no longer believes in his society's view of the world and how people should act and think.  He comes to embrace freedom of thought and will.  At the end of the story, as Guy and the other book people are heading back to the wasted, ruined, bombed city, Guy begins to recite what will become his book to memorize: the Book of Ecclesiastes.  The part he recites at that moment, deals with change, "To everything there is a season....".  This shows the reader he has completely made the change from mindless drone of society to a free-thinking individual. The italicized "changed" emphasizes the change that occurs in the story within Guy and within the society.