why would a person choose to stay inside a burning house
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You must be referring to the old lady who refuses to leave her books. Defiantly, the woman insists on dying among her books and lights the match that eventually takes her life along with her home and all her books. The books and her self-sacrifice are meant as her symbol of defiance against a system that has turned society into ignorance. She refuses the fireman any satisfaction in destroying her treasures.