In Fahrenheit 451, what did Montag believe had been done to the Mechanical Hound?

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kmj23's profile pic

kmj23 | (Level 1) Educator

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Early in Part One of Fahrenheit 451, Montag is at the station when he has a run-in with the Mechanical Hound. The Hound appears to "react" to him by growling and extending its needle. This leads Montag to believe that somebody has messed with the Hound's controls, as he explains to Captain Beatty:

It would be easy for someone to set up a partial combination on the Hound's memory, a touch of amino acids, perhaps. That would account for what the animal did just now. Reacted toward me.

Montag then reveals that the Hound has reacted in this same manner on two other occasions:

This isn't the first time it's threatened me…Last month it happened twice.

In this case, Montag's paranoia is symptomatic of his transformation from contented fireman to social outsider. He realizes that society's censorship is the real problem, not the books that it burns, and he is understandably nervous about displaying this sentiment. If he openly admits the way he is feeling, for example, he risks a lot. This explains his fears about the Hound: he worries that it can sense his rebellion. 

ladyvols1's profile pic

ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

In Fahrenheit 451Montag is very uncomfortable with the mechanical hound.  He believes they have been specifically programed to zone in on his chemical smell.  The hound had to be programed and then they would try to destroy the subject they had been programed to attack.


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