What is Bradbury’s intention of portraying this woman? Clearly, this scene has a huge impact on the theme of this book. In my opinion, I would say this is the climax because not only does it show reflections of an individual in that society but also triggers Montag into thinking his career over.
For years, Montag had burnt thousands and thousands of books. However, he only realised that being a fireman was vile and that he should quit this career right after the burning of this woman. What is even more surprising is how the firemen did not attempt to get her out of the fire, at least to no avail. This raises us questions such as ‘why did she voluntarily choose to be burnt?’ ‘why did she bother Montag so much when he never burnt anyone but books all along?’ and most importantly, ‘why is Montag the only one that cared while the rest thought it was normal?’
My thoughts on this scene are that this woman could not handle the society she lived in. In this futuristic era, televisions and radios were used excessively to escape from reality. We know that Mildred was not happy about the world she lived in due to her struggles, suicide attempts, pills, and several other mental conditions. However, unlike Mildred, this woman who owned books did not want to live in a world of lies, ignore and pretend to live in a different world. She was upset that her books had to be burnt and found this world detestable. She could not accept it and chose to face the bitter reality and diminish instead of deceiving herself temporarily like the rest.