I thought that the book's most interesting and key point was its sometimes subtle sometimes obvious theme of happiness. At some points, Bradbury refered to it through the different points of view of his characters. At other times, he refered to happiness through actions or events that took place. For example, Clarisse's very obvious question, "Are you happy?" directly brings doubt not only into Montag's mind but to the reader's mind too. Or one reference that i thought was very subtle, was the woman's preference to death than to live without her books. To me, the books not only symbolize the tragedy of lost literature but the loss of the greatest of human characteristics: the ability to think for one's self. She could not possibly see her herself living a life being brain dead. Her happiness was intellectual freedom. Bradbury also emphasizes the thin line between happiness and numbness. Most of the characters in the book are numb to the reality that they have no reason to be happy in their lives. I think this relates directly to the reader, because our society calls for trend followers. People do things because they don't want to be "the only one". I think this book really shows that being a follower will not make you happy.
This theme of happiness does show importance in this novel. This importance can be seen through some of the characters in the book. Different types of happiness are expressed through different characters. Two prime examples are Mildred and Montag. Mildred's actions define her happiness as being able to spend time watching her T.V. screen and spending time with her "family". Although this may be a poor definiton of happiness this is what the reader is presented with in the novel and assumes this is her happiness. Montag's ability to see past his empty life and look into books burns his mind with curiosity and wants to gain more knowledge with each book. This brings Montag out of his world of uniformity to society and finally brings individuality into his life. This gives Montag happiness and realizes that in doing this that he becomes an individual with knowledge and not just a mindless drone in society.
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