Free Study Guide: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury|
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FREE STUDY NOTES FOR FAHRENHEIT 451 BY RAY BRADBURY
Beatty makes Montag torch his own home, thinking it to be a huge punishment. Ironically, Montag takes pleasure in seeing it burn, especially the television room in which his wife spent her life. Once again, Montag manages to stay calm due to the encouragement of Faber. When his friend quietly encourages him to run over the listening device, Montag cannot heed his warning; he is too afraid of the Mechanical Hound. Then Beatty discovers the green “bullet” in Montag’s ear and says he will trace its source.
Montag, frantic for his friend’s safety and his own survival, decides he must kill Beatty; he turns the igniter on him, killing him in a most appropriate manner. It is the moment of climax in the plot, for Montag has taken a stance from which he can never turn back.
Once Beatty is dead, Montag rediscovers his own energy, which he uses
to fight the Hound. Although it is a formidable, perhaps invulnerable,
machine, Montag’s rage is so great and his cause so worthy that he is
able to fight the Hound off for awhile. Finally, it succeeds in injecting
its poison into Montag’s leg. Though he loses the use of his leg and probably
the leg itself, Montag manages to hobble away. Although the entire scene
is a tragic one, with the flight of Mildred, the destruction of Montag’s
house, the murder of Beatty, and the injection of the poison, it ends
on a positive note. Miraculously, Montag manages to escape from the Hound
and hobble away to freedom.
Before departing, Montag retrieves some books that Millie had not found. When he hears someone approach, he tries to run; it is nearly impossible because of his crippled leg. Somehow he manages to escape. As he flees, he thinks of Beatty, recalling his face when he realized what Montag was doing to him. It strikes him as strange that Beatty simply stood there, never attempting to run. Montag realizes that Beatty, like him, had never been happy. Beatty, however, was not as courageous as Montag and felt powerless to defy the law. In reality, Beatty wanted to die; the realization stuns Montag.
Montag stops at the home of Mrs. Black. In revenge for her turning him
in, he plants a few books in her kitchen. He then goes outside and turns
on the alarm.
Montag realizes that Beatty is another victim of the strange world they live in. Montag recalls a story about a fireman in Seattle who set the Mechanical Hound to his own scent and let it loose. He next remembers the orderlies who are kept so busy rescuing people from suicide. Beatty’s willing acceptance of his own death seems to be another act of willful self-destruction that strikes Montag as evidence of how miserable mankind has become.
Montag, now a fugitive, knows from the radio that he is being hunted. As he
tries to flee, he can hardly bear the pain in his crippled leg and his
rising delirium; he is in a total panic, bordering on hysteria. He gains
enough control to stop at the home of Mrs. Black, the neighbor women who
turned him in. Montag plants books in her kitchen and then turns on the
alarm. He hopes that the new burning will detract attention from him.
More importantly, Montag has taken the initial step of implementing his
plan. Besides getting his revenge on Mrs. Black, he will be destroying
the first fireman, for her husband works at the fire station. Montag feels
doubly justified in his deed.
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. 09 May 2017