Part 1 – It was a pleasure to burn
Guy Montag is a fireman, who burns houses of dissidents who have been found to possess books. He wears a helmet with the numbers 451 printed on it, this represents ‘fahrenheit 451’: the temperature at which book-paper catches on fire and burns.
Early on in, Montag senses he is being watched. One night, as he turns the corner he sees a girl playing in the moonlight. This girl is Montag’s neighbour, Clarisse McClellan. A friendship develops between the two as Montag learns of Clarisse’s sensitive nature. He discovers that she loves to study people.
Unlike Clarisse’s home; warmth and lively, Montag’s is like a tomb – dark, silent and sterile. He realises that he is not happy and that Clarisse is able to see through that smile. Mildred, Montag’s wife, insensitive to the world around her, constantly in her ears as seashell thimble radios play music and talk as though they are ocean waves.
One night Mildred overdoses on sleeping pills. Montag calls the emergency handymen who pump out Mildred’s stomach and cleanse her body. He informs Montag that there are nine or even ten cases per night and the machinery they use were built to clean both the stomach and the blood in half an hour. Montag is unsettled and feels that individuals allow tecnicians even strangers to violate their bodies. The new blood revitalises Mildred’s face, Montag wishing it could happen to her flesh, brain and memory.
Montag awoke the next to morning to find Mildred preparing breakfast whilst still listening to her seashell ear thimble. She starts to complain that she slept very uncomfortably and that she is hungry. She cannot remember the night before and even denies taking the pills. Just as the technicians said would happen.
By Montag spending time with Clarisse he develops greater self awareness and makes him consider love. She states that she can see into his soul and declares he isn’t inlove by placing a dandelion...