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In the first section of the story, Montag asks Beatty what Clarisse had asked him: is it true that firemen once put out fires rather than start them. Stoneman and Black, two firemen who are nearby, bring out their rule books and quote: "Established 1790, to burn English-influenced books in the Colonies. First Fireman: Benjamin Franklin." Bradbury shows that history has been revised and that people believe the revisionist version because there is nothing to disprove this assertion. If people don't read and remember the past, there is nothing to stop the past from being rewritten to serve the present. This same idea is explored in greater depth in works such as "1984" by George Orwell. Bradbury tries to establish this point throughout the book that if people don't read, society will be destroyed because the past can be revised.
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