Compare Beatty with the book people in the novel "Fahrenheit 451."

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Captain Beatty “represents those who rationalize the book burnings of the firemen.”  He has read many of the books and is very educated in literature.  We know this because he quotes many things directly from books when he is trapping Montag into admitting he has books.   “It is Beatty who explains the history of firefighting in the story and who fully embraces its justification, ironically quoting from literature to support his arguments.  The book people keep the books alive by memorizing books or parts of them in order to preserve and hand them on to others. By using this oral tradition, the book people feel the content will not be lost, even if all the books are burned.”  Both Beatty and the Book People are educated and enlightened as far as literature is concerned, however they are on opposite ends of the spectrum, because Beatty has taken his knowledge and used it to destroy books, while the Book People have take their knowledge to save the books.

da-bu-reaper | Student

Part 2:

So comparing both characters, you can see that they are bosses of their “groups”. They both want to change something and make the world better. Both seem to have read books and have a great interest in books. Another similarity is that they both use fire. Both might know of the problems dealing with the society, they live in, but only Granger shows is antipathy against this system.

But there are also strong contrasts between them. The use of fire stands in a strong contrast. While Beatty burns something down, Granger uses fire for positive action, like cooking or warming. Also the living-conditions are completely different. Beatty lives on a high standard of living, in a house in the city, whereas Granger lives in the forest, without a job or a real home.

Also Beatty stands for oppression, killing and a bad society, whereas Granger stands for freedom, equality and peace.

So all in all you can say, that both characters are symbolic opposites of each other with some similar character traits.

da-bu-reaper | Student

Part 1:

In general you can say, that Captain Beatty is the symbolic opposite of Granger and the book people. In the following explanation I will mostly compare Captain Beatty and Granger, because Granger is the leader of the book people and he represents the values and the morality of the group.

Beatty is Montags boss and his job is to burn book, because they live in a society, where it is forbidden to read or own books. So his job is somehow to oppress the people. But you can see, that Beatty often quotes form books and so must have had read books and must have a big knowledge of books. Also the fact that he provokes Montag at the end of the novel and so his own death, can be interpreted as he would like to change something with his death. So he might know that the world is not as good as he has to say.

Granger lives in the wood on the other side of the river. He and his book people read and own books, what is forbidden in the city at the other side of the river. So Granger also has a great knowledge of books. He tries to know something about the history to change the future. He stands for freedom and equality. He also uses fire, but instead of burning something down, he uses it for warming and cooking. He things that he and his follow-ship can change parts of the world and make it better.

 Later he helps Montag to integrate into the group of book people.

aldegrever | Student

When you want to compare Beatty with the book people you can take Granger as example for them.At first you can characterize them both as leaders of their group or system who are both extremely intelligent and have both an extensive knowledge of books.They have a great influence over people and are both very interested in the welfare of the members of their groups.All in all, they have similar character traits but when you go into detail you realize that they have different attitudes which are expressed in different ways of acting. For example Beatty sees advantages to be leader of the system because he has power over people, (firemen, Mechanical Hound) is able to persecute criminals and enjoys prestige of the system to the full. In contrast to Beatty, Granger saw the destruction of the system to the people and broke out to keep the books and the knowledge alive, knowing that it his aim to change the system in the future. This causes that Beatty lives in prosperity of the system (health, prestige and welfare) but although he is frustrated about the lack of friends and humanity, so that he wants to convince Montag to be his fellow. Granger lives in poverty in the forest with no political power but is surrounded by true friends, like Montag, and is despite of the poverty content
Finally, you can draw the conclusion that their characters are very similar but have different philosophy of life and a diversity of idea of man.
By MK & CG
(the king of kings of englisch literature!)

janapoeche | Student

Although the book people ("hobos") and Beatty stand on oppositional sides of the political system (The book people are those who are hunted by the government and Beatty is one of the hunters on the side of the government) both spend most of their time with books. The difference in dealing with books has important reasons.

The book people read the books to remember their content because they think it is important and precious. They want to read and keep it in mind to preserve it (even if they are all burned) and write it down when they are again allowed to. But the government does not want people to read and learn and so the book people are hidden.

Beatty also deals with books, reads some (or rather more because he know so much about them that he is able to quote a lot) but in contrast to the "hobos" he does not think that the content is precious, therefore he tries to wipe books out off society and the mind of people by burning them, because this is his job.

laris | Student

[...] (to be continued)

Finally the most important contrast between them is their attitudes towards books. Beatty destroys them because of thinking they only produce negative feelings and thoughts which could be dangerous for the system. In contrast to this the book people think that books are the base of a well working society because the stories convey morality and history which is important for the citizens in order to learn from them and to live by them.But there is also a similarity between Beatty and Granger, who is one of the book people. Both of them live for their dreams of  their particular society. They don't act for their own profit but for the realization of their systems. Granger wants to fulfil his dream of an ethical  society whereas Beatty subordinates  to the government. Although the fireman was an intellectual before he had accepted the subordinated role.

laris | Student

Beatty is completely different to the book people because they have totally opposed attitudes. On the one hand there is Beatty who personifies the actual regime. He controls the citizens with the Hound and commands it to kill anti-social people. He is the only person who is able to reflect the system because of knowing about history in general and the beginning of this society.On the other hand there are the book people who live in the camp next to the city. They have their own opinions about a good and preferable society. In former times they all were members of this society but they realized that they didn't want to live in such a world in which there is no possibility of individuality. Because of that they started breaking the laws by reading forbidden books. Now it is their task to learn the stories of the read books by heart so that the books can't be forgotten.[...] (to be continued)