Fahrenheit 451, written by Ray Bradbury, takes place in a futuristic world where technology sets precedence over nature, books, and the mental and emotional states of humans in society. Bradbury created two main characters that would influence the plot as well as the protagonist of the novel in many different ways. Both female characters are a looking glass of what society is and is not at the time. One of the two main female characters is Mildred Montag who is a conformist of society and has an ongoing struggle with her mental and emotional self, husband, and addiction to sleeping pills. Clarisse McCellan is the another main female character but is a non- conformist of society and has a passion for discovering what nature has to offer and has the ability to think for herself, something that others in society are unable to do. Though both females are responsible for the mental and emotional change in the main character, which makes them significant, their conformist and non-conformist attitudes and lifestyle choices make both characters more different than similar from each other. Bradbury creates specific examples throughout the book to prove that Mildred Montag and Clarisse McCellan are more different than similar and why they are significant characters to the plot. .
Mildred Montag and Clarisse McCellan are responsible for the change in Guy Montag. In the beginning of the story, Montag is a dignified fireman who burns books of people who own them. Montag sees nothing wrong with his occupation as he has kept the job for years and is proud of the job he holds. In the beginning of The Hearth and the Salamander, part one of Fahrenheit 451, there is a conversation between Clarisse Mccellan and Guy Montag. It appears that Montag sees nothing wrong with the job he keeps and the burning books has become the norm. "Its fine work. Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn ˜em to ashes, then burn the ashes.