Montag is confused of the fact that they are standing in front of his house, going to burn it, he understands why this is happening to him, but he doesn’t understand who told Captain Beatty about the books that Montag had in his possession, he thought about Mildred, and her friends that he had read the poem to, and he was correct.
“What a dreadful surprise,” said Beatty. “For everyone nowadays knows, absolutely is certain, that nothing will ever happen to me. Others die, I go on. There are no consequences and no responsibilities. Except that there are. But let’s not talk about them, eh? By the time the consequences catch up with you, it’s too late, isn’t it, Montag?” (115).
Captain Beatty is explaining that people never think that they will be caught, that it could never happen to me, and then it does, and then the consequences that come after their actions don’t matter to him, and that they shouldn’t think about what’s going to happen to Montag after they’re done burning his house, and all of his things.
“It was pretty silly, quoting poetry around free and easy like that. It was the act of a silly damn snob. Give a man a few lines of verse and he thinks he’s the Lord of all Creation. You think you can walk on water with your books. Well, the world can get by just fine without them” (117-118).
People that you have given little intelligence over the rest of society find themselves omnipotent to everyone and everything else, and that the world would be better off without these people living, so burn the books that give you knowledge, and there are no people to stand-up/stand out against society in any matter.
“watch for a man running … watch for the running man . . . watch for a man alone, on foot . . . watch…” (124).
Shows that the police are after Montag, he’s on foot, and alone, but this has not description of him, so the Police will stop a lot of people on their route of finding him, and that they need another way of singling him out from the rest of society.
They would have killed me, thought Montag, swaying, the air still torn and stirring about him in dust, touching his bruised cheek. For no reason at all in the world they would have killed me. “Mechanical Hound never fails. Never since its first use in tracking quarry has this incredible invention made a mistake. Tonight, this network is proud to have the opportunity to follow the Hound by camera helicopter as it starts on its way to the target…” (133).
(Thinking that Beatty would’ve killed him, with no second thought about it, the hound was programmed never to make a mistake, and if Montag didn’t intervene than he would be dead, and in a body bag by now, and no one would’ve cared, and for no good reason he would be dead) The force has no sent another hound after him, to hunt him down, seize him, and them kill him in as little time as possible, this shows that no one questions why they are doing this, and they just want a good show.
Would he have time for a speech? As the Hound seized him, in view of ten or twenty or thirty million people, mightn’t he sum up his entire life in the last week in one single phrase or a word that would stay with them long after the Hound had turned, clenching him in its metal-plier jaws, and trotted off in darkness, while the camera remained stationary, watching the creature dwindle in the distance— a splendid fade-out! What could he say in a single word, a few words, that would sear all their faces and wake them up?(135).
He is thinking that if he was caught, would he have time for the last words anyone will ever hear him speak? If he did what would he say, how would he say it? Would anyone care after t he hound is done with it’s brutal job that is being streamed on 30 million televisions, could he say something that could get the society think about what the people with more power are doing, right now, no one is, but later will someone.
“And he was surprised to learn how certain he suddenly was of a single fact he could not prove. Once, long ago, Clarisse had walked here, where he was walking now” (145).
He couldn’t prove that Clarisse had been on these exact railroad tracks, but he is certain she has been in this situation before, a loner, on the outside looking in, getting away from the people that want to harm you, leaving everything you’ve ever had or known behind, as Montag was doing now.
“They’re faking. You threw them off at the river. They can’t admit it. They know they can hold their audience only so long. The show’s got to have a snap ending, quick! If they started searching the whole damn river it might take all night. So they’re sniffing for a scape-goat to end things with a bang. Watch. They’ll catch Montag in the next five minutes!” (148).
Granger is saying that the newscasters that are pursuing Montag have already located him, and they are trying to make it suspenseful for the audience to watch, so that the show will have a quick, effective ending that leaves everyone is a good mood, and happy with their entertainment.
“Right now, some poor fellow is out for a walk. A rarity. An odd one. Don’t think the police don’t know the habits of queer ducks like that, men who walk mornings for the hell of it, or for reasons of insomnia. Anyway, the police have had him charted for months, years. Never know when that sort of information might be handy. And today, it turns out, it’s very usable indeed” (148).
A poor man, a peculiar man, that is not Montag is being persued, instead of the actual Montag, he has been tracked for years without his knowledge, and the police know everything about him, that can be used to frame him, and be portrayed as Montag, and now’s he’s dead, taking the place of Montag death to be shown on national television.
The search is over, Montag is dead; a crime against society has been avenged. (149) “They didn’t show the man’s face in focus. Did you notice?
The newscasters are lying about Montag’s death, he is still alive and about, and people know, due to the un focused view that the camera has put on his face, so while the news chase comes to an end, Montag is still alive and breathing, and in Granger’s care, where he is safe and “dead”.
Even your best friends couldn’t tell if it was you. They scrambled it just enough to let the imagination take over. “Hell,” he whispered. “Hell.” (149-150)
Shows that the news has scrambled the image of Montag’s fake body on the television to where even the people that are very close to Montag cannot recognize him, so that no one asks question about who that actually is, and why is Montag still living, and Granger wants people to know that Montag is not dead, so that the people know that the media are frauds.
Walk carefully. Guard your health. If anything should happen to Harris, you are the Book of Ecclesiastes. (151)
Shows how important Montag had become in the last minute of conversation, and that Montag will be safe with the band of “ex-professors” that have taken him under their wing, and shows that they represent the book nation, and will help restore through the knowledge of books that everyone once knew.
“The most important single thing we had to pound into ourselves is that we were not important”(153).
Shows that their clan needs to remember that they can’t feel superior to any one in the world, that they need to be nothing more than dust jackets for books, and of no significance otherwise when passing on their teaching to the rest of the world.
“It’s strange, I don’t miss her, it’s strange, I don’t feel much of anything”(155).
Shows that even though his ex-wife will die in the next few hours, he doesn’t feel emotions, no emotions of pain or love, he doesn’t feel anything towards the death of people, and the feeling of being alone when no one else is.
The first bomb struck. “Mildred!”(159).
When the jets flying above them drop the first bomb on the city behind them and levels it, he is thinking about Mildred, he saw the walls go dark on Millie’s face, he heard her screaming in his mind, the million of tons of bricks, metal, plaster and wood to meet the other people in the hive below. He thought about no more Mildred.
Courtney from Study Moose
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