In the world of Fahrenheit 451, everyone seems to be happy. They watch TV all day, they never ask difficult questions, they’re never forced to face anything unpleasant, and they’re never truly bothered by anything. That being said, everyone is horribly dissatisfied. It’s just that no one is willing to admit it. The deep ennui that runs through the population is subdued by mindless activity and an insistence on happiness, both on the part of the government and the citizens themselves.
Questions About Dissatisfaction
- Are characters like Mildred are her girlfriends content? Are they happy? What’s the difference?
- Montag yells at Mildred for having never been really bothered by anything. Is that a bad thing? Why or why not?
- After Guy talks with Clarisse, he claims that his mask of happiness has been lifted. Does this mean he was never really happy in the first place, or that Clarisse took his happiness away?
Chew on This
Beatty is the only character who is both aware and satisfied in Fahrenheit 451.