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If we become idle and complacent, we might as well be dead.
Upon realizing this, Montag begins to wonder what life truly is and why it feels so empty and dead.
Furthermore, the tool the medics use to pump Millie's stomach is referred to as the Electric-Eyed Snake, and the tool the firmen use to hunt down book owners is the Mechanical Hound, both inanimate objects that appear to have lives of their own.
Bradbury gives the reader a brief description of how society slowly lost interest in books, first condensing them, then relying simply on titles, and finally forgetting about them all together.
Bradbury also alludes to the idea that different "minority" groups were offended by certain types of literature.
In his discussion with Montag, Beatty mentions dog lovers offended by books about cats, and cat lovers offended by books about dogs.
The reader can only assume which minority groups Bradbury was truly referring to.Throughout the novel, Bradbury presents paradoxes between life and death.For example, Montag's wife Millie attempts suicide by swallowing sleeping pills.After making this discovery, Montag fights against ignorance, trying to help others welcome knowledge into their lives.For example, when his wife's friends come over, he forces them to listen to poetry.Finally, in the Afterword to Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury clearly expresses his own sensitivity to attempts to restrict his writing.For example, he feels censored by letters suggesting he should give stronger roles to women or black men.When Millie attempts suicide, Montag compares the tool used to save her to a snake.The Mechanical Hound is a dominant presence throughout the novel.Montag, in his belief that knowledge reigns, fights against a society that embraces and celebrates ignorance.The fireman's responsibility is to burn books, and therefore destroy knowledge.