Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 quote

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“Montag could not move. A great earthquake had come with fire and leveled the house and Mildred was under there somewhere and his entire life under there and he could not move. The earthquake was still shaking and falling and shivering inside him and he stood there, his knees half bent under the great load of tiredness and bewilderment and outrage, letting Beatty hit him without raising a hand” (112).

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3. How can Beatty hit Montag without raising a hand?

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Montag is continually "beaten" by Beatty who tells Montag how the burning of the books happened and why such burning is appropriate. Beatty would like to completely disarm him with his words, so that Montag would no longer want to read books. Beatty is not physically beating him down as much as he is beating his spirit. In a way, when this happens, a part of his life is taken away, and he can no longer be beaten into the submission imposed by those who believe books should be burned.