Fahrenheit 451

The Hearth and the Salamander

Who is Beatty?


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Captain Beatty

The antagonist of the novel, Captain Beatty, runs the fire house where Montag works. The firemens' sole purpose is to sniff out and destroy books and, therefore, destroy the seeds of free thought. A "big brother" character to Montag, Captain Beatty demonstrates vast literary knowledge in his arguments against the presence of books in society. Beatty often antagonistically lectures Montag, trying to prevent him from succumbing to the appeal of books. Towards the end of the novel, Montag kills Beatty with the firethrower that has burned thousands of books and hopes. Rather than fighting Montag, Beatty simply accepts his death. Montag later realizes that the fire chief wanted to die, demonstrating an extreme dissatisfaction with his life.