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What are some personality traits of the character Beatty from "Fahrenheit...

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alexbeak | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:10 PM via web

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What are some personality traits of the character Beatty from "Fahrenheit 451"?

Quotes, examples, statements that prove his traits are also something that i am looking for.

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted September 30, 2010 at 8:57 PM (Answer #1)

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Beatty is something of an enigma.  He knows a great deal about books and can quote many of them, leading us to believe he's very well read in a world where reading is banned.  In Part 1 of the book, when the firerun takes Montag, Beatty, and the other firemen to the home of the old woman who chose to burn with her books rather than give them up, Beatty startles Montag by repeating the quote from the old woman and explaining it.  Then he said in response to their surprised expressions, "I'm full of bits and pieces,"..."Most fire captains have to be.  Sometimes I surprise myself."  This is not true, however, because later in Part 1, when Beatty goes to Montag's house to talk to him when he realizes that Montag is going through a period of doubt, Beatty quotes many authors.  He is able to quote contradicting authors also.  During this visit, another quality of Beatty's becomes clear.  He knows the history of his culture and he knows its progression. Finally, in this scene, Beatty tells Montag, "At least once in his career, every fireman gets an itch. What do the books say, he wonders....".  Beatty knows that Montag is having doubts about society's rules.  He is very adept at understanding people.  IN Part 2, Beatty again uses some of the same techniques with Montag that he used with him in Part 1.  Beatty further quotes books to Montag in order to confuse him.  In Part 3, when they are at Montag's house on a fire run and Beatty has told Montag that he was under arrest, Montag turns the flame thrower on Beatty and kills him.  A few pages later, when Montag is on the run, he comes to a realization: "Beatty wanted to die."  Beatty perhaps had grown tired of the dreary world in which they  lived.  Maybe he knew how hollow and false his arguments to Montag really were. 

 

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