- Guy Montag is a thirty-year-old fireman in the futuristic society in which the novel is set. Instead of putting out fires, his job is to start fires in order to destroy books. After meeting Clarisse, Montag starts questioning the life that he has been leading. He worries about the choices he has made and becomes increasingly disatisfied with the life that he has been leading. Montag often makes rash decisions based on his emotions. This leads him into trouble with the law. Montag is an individual who tries to find friends who share the same feelings.
- Mildred Montag is the wife of Guy Montag. Guy frequently questions his relationship with Mildred as he realizes that he has married a shallow woman who is part of the vast majority of people whom he has grown to resent. Mildred enjoys the blaring interactive TV programs and responds belligerently whenever Guy Montag asks her to turn down the volume, but she stays dissatisfied in her sub-conscience all the time. When Mildred finds Montag with a book, she gets very mad and after Guy refuses to burn his books, she informs the fire department which results in Guy’s unit burning down Guy’s house. After this, Mildred takes a taxi and leaves Guy. She also tries to commit a suicide. :(
Beatty is a complex character, full of contradictions. He is a book burner with a vast knowledge of literature, someone who obviously cared passionately about books at some point. It is important to note that Beatty’s entire speech to Montag describing the history of the firemen is strangely ambivalent, containing tones of irony, sarcasm, passion, and regret, all at once. Beatty calls books treacherous weapons, yet he uses his own book learning to manipulate Montag mercilessly. In one of his most sympathetic moments, Beatty says he tried to understand the universe and knows firsthand its melancholy tendency to make people feel bestial and lonely. He is quick to stress that he prefers his life of instant pleasure, but it is easy to get the impression that his vehemence serves to deny his true feelings. His role as a character is complicated by the fact that Bradbury uses him to do so much explication of the novel’s background. In his shrewd observations of the world around him and his lack of any attempt to prevent his own death, he becomes too sympathetic to function as a pure villain.
Named after a famous publisher, Faber competes with Beatty in the struggle for Montag’s mind. His control over Montag may not be as complete and menacing as Beatty’s, but he does manipulate Montag via his two-way radio to accomplish the things his cowardice has prevented him from doing himself, acting as the brain directing Montag’s body. Faber’s role and motivations are complex: at times he tries to help Montag think independently and at other times he tries to dominate him. Similarly, he can be cowardly and heroic by turns. Neither Faber nor Beatty can articulate his beliefs in a completely convincing way, despite the fact that their pupil is naive and credulous.
- Clarisse McClellan is the 17-year-old girl who awakens Montag's desire to question the values of his society. She asks Montag if he is happy during their first conversation, and this prompts him to admit to himself that he is miserable. Although Montag must already have challenged some of the beliefs of the firemen--as evident from the fact that he has been accumulating books behind a ventilator grille in his house--Clarisse is nonetheless an important catalyst in his eventual transformation from a conforming participant in government censorship to a subversive rebel fighting the government. Considered odd by the vast majority, Clarisse enjoys walking, thinking, and collecting butterflies. She has conversations with Montag in which she relates things she has learned from her uncle, whom she clearly admires. She disappears early in the novel, apparently having died after being hit by a speeding flying car.