Analysis of Mildred Montag

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Mildred Montag is the prime example of a conformist in the dystopian society portrayed in Ray Bradbury's book, Fahrenheit 451. She thinks in the simplistic manner that people like her are conditioned to, and she's married to a fireman, who plays the largely important role of burning books in this society. She spends her days watching the television screens in the parlor and her nights with Seashell Radios buzzing in her ears. At first glance, her life of all play and no work might seem relaxing and blissful. However, it eventually comes to mind that all of her bliss is derived from her use of technology in order to escape from reality. Even then, it will become apparent that Mildred is not actually blind to reality and that her happy disposition is fabricated.

Mildred's behavior, considered to be normal in her society, is no different from that of a self-destructive addict in ours. Her favorite pastime is to sit in the parlor and spend time with what she claims to be her 'family', but is really just a bunch of characters from the programs she watches. A description of what was shown on the screen during one of the programs was as follows: "Abruptly the room took off on a rocket flight into the clouds, it plunged into a lime-green sea where blue fish ate red and yellow fish." (pg. 94). Such colorful and spontaneous effects are much like what many people in our society claim to experience under the influence of hallucinogens, which coincidentally are the types of drugs that are notorious for having the ability to make a person lose all sense of reality. Mildred exhibits a sign of addiction when Guy, while he is sick in bed, asks her to lower the volume in the parlor, and she responds by leaving the room, "[doing] nothing to the parlor and [coming] back." (pg. 49). This shows that she cares more about a piece of technology than about the welfare of her own husband. Likewise, in modern-day society, addictions tend to practically take over the entire lives of people...
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