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Beatty is a paradox; he burns books, but he also knows as much (and more) about them than the people around him. Once and rebel and avid reader, Beatty makes the point that knowledge (books) can be confusing..... he wanted answers, but he couldn't get them, so instead of looking for the answers and truly comprehending what he was reading..... he decided rather than allow them to cause dissent (something we would consider a good debate), they needed to be abolished. Thus, we meet the fireman.
As you can see, Beatty's character is making a point above all else. He can't and won't philosophize, he refuses to think outside the box....... and the knowledge he craved needed to be cut and dry. Unfortunately, that's not the way the world works.