The novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is about a firefighter named Guy Montag, who lives in a futuristic society where books have been banned by the government that fears of an independent-thinking society. It is the job of firefighters to burn any books on sight. After Montag meets Clarisse on his way home, Clarisse challenges him by asking, “Are you happy?” (Bradbury 10). This simple question causes Montag’s to change and causes everything that follows in the novel. Montag grows increasingly dissatisfied with his life and starts to wonder if perhaps books aren’t so bad. He relies on an old ex-professor named Faber that agrees to work with Montag against the government. Faber says at one point, “Those who don’t build, burn.” What Faber is saying is similar to an old saying- "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." This basically means that people who aren't willing to help or contribute to a group or a society are the ones more likely to make it worse or bring it down, which is what the whole society is doing, for instance the many superficial relationships in the novel, and other real life examples.
The novel has numerous examples of superficial relationships, which goes along with what Faber said. An example is Montag and his wife, Mildred. Mildred is just like everyone in this society; instead of caring about Montag and loving him, she goes along with society and doesn’t realize that its making Montag not care about her anymore, we can start seen this when Montag asks her when and where did they meet, and Mildred didn’t remember and says “It doesn’t matter” (Bradbury 43), this clearly shows that she has no interest in their relationship. Also when the author writes “And he remembered thinking then that if she died, he was certain he wouldn’t cry” (Bradbury 44). This quote means that Montag and Mildred didn’t love each other like they are supposed to, and makes it another reason why Montag goes against the government. This example can relate to our world in many ways, for instance some marriages today. Millions are getting divorced because they don’t care about each other and this is making their family tear apart perhaps affecting their children.
Beatty and Montag is another example of a superficial relationship in the novel. Beatty is the captain of Montag’s fire department. He hates books and people who like reading them. He is devious, and so perceptive that he appears to read Montag’s thoughts. Beatty is so used to the way things are in this society that he does not realize that killing books and people is not a bad thing, this is illustrated when Montag and Beatty go to a house to burn the books and the woman that owned the books wanted to be burned with her books and Montag says “You’re not leaving her here? (Bradbury 38). Montag didn’t want to leave the woman there but Beatty didn’t care and explains to Montag that it’s not important, and eventually he burns her with her books. Beatty is the perfect example of this society, brainwashed and isolated from individual thoughts, and not trying to make their society better. When Beatty says- “What is fire? It's a