by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 Identity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Paragraph)
And then he shut up, for he remembered last week and the two white stones staring up at the ceiling and the pump-snake with the probing eye and the two soap-faced men with the cigarettes moving in their mouths when they talked. But that was another Mildred, that was a Mildred so deep inside this one, and so bothered, really bothered, that the two women had never met. He turned away. (1.560)
Remember when Montag talks about having a mask of happiness? Exactly; Mildred still has hers.
Montag swallowed. "Its calculators can be set to any combination, so many amino acids, so much sulphur, so much butterfat and alkaline. Right?"
"We all know that."
"All of those chemical balances and percentages on all of us here in the house are recorded in the master file downstairs. It would be easy for someone to set up a partial combination on the Hound's ‘memory,’ a touch of amino acids, perhaps. That would account for what the animal did just now. Reacted toward me." (1.228-30)
This is an interesting passage as it raises the question: how do we define identity and being? If it’s all just chemical in the end, what is the difference between a Mechanical Hound and a real one? What’s to stop a piece of technology from experiencing "human" emotions?
The numbness will go away, he thought. It'll take time, but I'll do it, or Faber will do it for me. Someone somewhere will give me back the old face and the old hands the way they were. Even the smile, he thought, the old burnt-in smile, that's gone. I'm lost without it. (2.73)
Montag isn’t just talking about the numbness in his legs; he’s afraid of his new rebellious, fugitive self.