“‘You think too many things,’said Montag. (Bradbury 6)” At this point in the story, Montag is, to put it simply, blind. To this point, he's a sheep, still following all the things that society tells him to believe. He tells Clarisse that she thinks too much when she's questioning some of the unusual norms of our society.
Montag Becomes a Student
"She started up her walk. Then she seemed to remember something and came back to look at him with wonder and curiosity. "Are you happy?" She said. (Bradbury 9)" At this point in the book Montag is still mostly blind to what goes on in his society, but his conversations with Clarisse begins to make him question it. We see him thinking deeper about the things he hears and sees. Clarisse asks him if he's happy, and throughout the next few pages we see him taken aback by this question. This sparks the deeper thinking we see throughout the rest of the book.
“But you were all right, last night.” “No, I wasn’t all right.” (Bradbury 58). To this point in the story, Montag comes to terms with what is wrong with his society, he steals a book that was meant to burn, and begins to grow sick in every sense of the word, both mentally and physically. Mentally, his realization that the members of society are being micromanaged is eating away at him, and knowing he can't speak out is making him go mad, and physically he becomes sick with a fever and such.
Montag Finds Fulfillment
"the silly thought came to him, if you read fast and read all, maybe some of the sand will stay in the sieve." (Bradbury 91). Montag knows that he needs to begin to learn - he tracks down Faber and tries to memorize the bible. It's at this point in the story he knows he should be gathering information, but he doesn't quite know why.
Montag fixed his eyes upon her, quietly. “Go home and think of your first husband divorced and your second husband killed in a jet and your third husband blowing his brains out, go home and think of the dozen abortions you’ve had, go home and think of that and your damn Caesarean sections, too, and your children who hate your guts! (Bradbury 116) At this point, Montag has the knowledge and the drive and begins to let it loose a little bit. Instead of fear or confusion, he feels anger. He reads a poem and makes a woman cry, and shows his disapproval of how the fire station is ran, and society as a whole.
Montag looked at the river. We’ll go on the river. He looked at the old railroad tracks. Or we’ll go that way. Or we’ll walk on the highways now, and we’ll have time to put things into ourselves. And some day, after it sets in us a long time, it’ll come out our hands and our mouths. And a lot of it will be wrong, but just enough of it will be right. (Bradbury 177). This is my favorite quote from the book, and it perfectly sums up Montag at this point. He's seen everything. He's been hunted, he saw a man's capture on the television and realized his friends and family think him dead, and yet, he feels peace. He sees the time he has left, the mistakes he can still make, and the successes he'll still face.