Capitan Beatty tells Montag, "You think you can walk on water with your books" (pg. 111). REPLY and DISCUSS the meaning of this statement. What is Beatty implying? How does it relate to Beatty's...

Capitan Beatty tells Montag, "You think you can walk on water with your books" (pg. 111). REPLY and DISCUSS the meaning of this statement. What is Beatty implying? How does it relate to Beatty's earlier reference to The Tower of Babel?

The Book 451 Fahrenheit

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Beatty does not believe that books are useful at all.  He sees them as confusing and contradictory, which is why he drops the Tower of Babel reference.  In the Bible, God mixed up the languages of humanity at Babel and caused great confusion among the peoples of the world.  This is how Beatty sees books.  He does not see them as a way to unify and strengthen humanity, but instead weaken and diversify humanity.  He sees diversity as wrong.  

Montag, on the other hand, thinks that books are great.  Books encourage imagination, diverse thought, thinking for oneself, etc.  To Montag, books give people knowledge and power.  Beatty's walk on water comment is Beatty's way of saying "you think you're better than everybody because you read books." To Beatty, Montag is chasing a pipe dream. The books are supposedly giving Montag visions of grandeur. Like walking on water.  

Both quotes are related because both show the reader that Beatty thinks that books are pointless.  They encourage confusion, give people a false sense of knowledge, pride, and or ability.  

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