Captain Beatty's Development
Fahrenheit 451, a novel by Ray Bradbury, describes a future which does not sound appealing. Guy Montag lives in a society where the government controls all media. He works as a fireman, although it is not his job to put out fires; he starts them. Although the novel appears to be dry and boring, it is developed wonderfully if the reader focuses on the correct characters and themes.
The author's development of Guy Montag is predictable and somewhat boring if because it is similar to other distopian books such as George Orwell's 1984. Because the development of Guy Montag is so dull, some readers find it difficult to focus on the main character. Montag's superior, Captain Beatty, is a complex character that surprises the reader at every turn through complicated dialogue that shows his intelligence and cunning. When the two exchange a long dialogue in Guy's room, the author almost portrays Beatty as an old bibliophile that has been turned into a man filled with hatred for books. He states “every fireman gets an itch. What do the books say, he wonders. Oh, to scratch that itch, eh?” (53). This shows how clever the captain is. He uses Montag's own curiosity to manipulate, and scare him. Beatty then later uses his knowledge of literature to toy with Guy and attempt to convince him that literature deserves to be destroyed. Near the end of the novel, Beatty's shrewd view of the world and his readiness to face death show the reader that Captain Beatty is more than the common villain.
Bradbury shows enormous amounts of intelligence with the thought put into this book. His development of main characters and themes allows the reader to think and enjoy the book more. The plot – although simple – takes the reader on a ride through a crazy futuristic world that surprises at every turn. Captain Beatty's heavy appearance in the novel is crucial and his symbolization of evil are completely necessary for the author to get his point across.
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