As we see in Fahrenheit 451, Mildred clearly has some sort of problem with drug abuse. I want to know if Mildred is (A)even aware of her problem (B)knowingly taking the pills to escape uncertainty or (C)is she subconsciously taking these pills as a reflexive action that her society has drilled into her head to escape uncertainty? So oversimplified, does Mildred feel emotion or is she so isolated as a result of her society. On page 19, the morning after her stomach is pumped, Montag states to her, "You took all those pills in your bottle last night", surprised she says "Oh, I wouldn't do that", and "Why would I go and do a thing like that". If we give Mildred any credability then this means she sincerely doesn't remember taking 30 sleeping pills. However, later on page 43, when Montag questions Mildred as to where and when they met, she can't recall any memories to answer these questions and she immediatly retreats to the bathroom, where she takes more pills. This could also lead to the conclusion that she is taking these pills as a classic case to escape problems or fears she is having. We know how automatic this society is and maybe when she is on the brink of uncertainty she, as the rest of her society, is trained to do something to replace or forget these feelings as Beatty states on page 61, "So bring on your clubs and parties... jet cars... your sex and heroin... everything to do with automatic reflex." But when she takes these pills, is she knowingly taking the them to escape uncertainty because she does feel sadness and sorrow or is she subconsciously taking these them as a reflexive action to escape uncertainty before she feels any sadness or sorrow? Hmm.....
I'm sure you've heard these sayings.
"You look like you need a drink."
"Boy, I sure could use a drink."
"You're gonna drive me to drinking."
It's escapism, plain and simple. Starts out as something recreational or prescibed by a Dr. to "take the edge off" or help you relax. You become physically addicted and emotionally dependent to it. It insulates you from the harsh reality of life and just how bad you've allowed matters to deteriorate. When the insulation wears thin and you start seeing these things, well it's time for more insulation. You can't sleep without it, you can't get out of bed without it.
I think she knew what she was doing. She was a nervous wreck and she was popping pills to chill. I don't know wether she was attempting suicide or just doing it for attention or just really padding the insulation, but I definately think she knew what she was doing.
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