Fahrenheit 451 Identity Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"You're one of the few who put up with me. That's why I think it's so strange you're a fireman, it just doesn't seem right for you, somehow."
He felt his body divide itself into a hotness and a coldness, a softness and a hardness, a trembling and a not trembling, the two halves grinding one upon the other. (1.207-8)
Montag’s identity crisis begins during his conversations with Clarisse. We immediately sense conflict between his desire to be a dutiful member of society and his inner belief that something is wrong.
Fool, thought Montag to himself, you'll give it away. At the last fire, a book of fairy tales, he'd glanced at a single line. "I mean," he said, "in the old days, before homes were completely fireproofed–" Suddenly it seemed a much younger voice was speaking for him. He opened his mouth and it was Clarisse McClellan saying, "Didn't firemen prevent fires rather than stoke them up and get them going?" (1.309)
Montag escapes the guilt of betraying his duty by ascribing his actions to other things: in this case, to another person (Clarisse).
Montag's hand closed like a mouth, crushed the book with wild devotion, with an insanity of mindlessness to his chest. (1.336)
As the identity crisis worsens, Montag distances himself from parts of his own body, blaming his hands for his actions and pretending he has no agency over them.