In the start of Fahrenheit 451, Montag’s thoughts are that fire is good for society. He burns books

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In the start of Fahrenheit 451, Montag’s thoughts are that fire is good for society. He burns books for a living, and never thought twice about doing his job. That is until he meets characters such as Clarisse, Beatty, and the academics. Montag’s understanding of the nature of fire changes as he becomes enlightened through his relationships.

“It was a pleasure to burn” (1). Montag never thought much of his job, to him, it was merely his duty. Meeting Clarisse starts Montag's revision of life. Her interest and questioning is so unique that Montag is intrigued by her. He had never met someone who asks "why" instead of "how." Soon, Clarisse disappears, and is then presumably dead for the rest of the book. Shortly after his disappearance,
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Beatty supports this by saying since he has read some himself, he can affirm that they are worthless and contradictory. Through this experience, Montag has a new understanding of his profession. Although he is still skeptical, he knows more than he did before, and most importantly, Beatty has started to get Montag’s mind thinking. An important quote from this conversation is, “We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the constitution says, but everyone made equal. . . . A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it.” This is when Beatty is ‘confiding’ in Montag, making him finally piece together what he has been doing all of these years as a fireman. He finally can begin to comprehend the society he is in, and what measures the government has taken to subdue the population. Later on in the book, Beatty and Montag face each other once more. After Montag is brought to his own house and told to burn it down, and facing no escape due to the hound, he burns it down. After burning down his own home, Beatty tells him he is under arrest, and begins to provoke him. As Beatty clearly intended, Montag kills him, turning him into a charred corpse. The fact that he died by fire, and knowingly chose to die by the flamethrower is interesting. Nevertheless, this is the point of no return for Montag, knowing that he did what he had to do, and that he was now an enemy of the state. At this point, Guy

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