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Free Study Guide-Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury-Free Online Booknotes
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Montag is a fugitive from the law

Summary

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.


Notes

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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