In Fahrenheit 451, what does the firehouse look like?

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Bradbury's descriptions of the firehouse in Fahrenheit 451 are pretty mundane, which is surely deliberate. The place looks almost identical to any other firehouse we might encounter. From the showers where the firemen wash off the accumulated filth and soot to the card tables where they play games until the next call arrives, the layout of the building is familiar to anyone who's ever been inside a firehouse.

And yet the firemen who work here are anything but similar to what we might see in the real world. Their job isn't to put out fires but to start them. This makes the normality of their working environment all the more jarring and unnerving. The sheer ordinariness and banality of the firehouse stand as a stark contrast to the grotesque subversion of the fireman's duties in which Beatty, Montag, and the other men regularly engage.

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Bradbury does not provide a detailed description of the outside of the firehouse in the story. However, he does describe the inside of the firehouse in Part One of the novel. On the ground floor of the firehouse, there is a large space where the salamander firetrucks are parked and the firemen place bets on how long small animals can survive the Mechanical Hound as they run throughout the garage. The Mechanical Hound's kennel is also on the ground floor of the firehouse and is located in a dark corner. There is also a large window on the ground floor, which reflects light onto the Mechanical Hound at night.

The firemen's living quarters are on the upper floor. There is also a futuristic brass pole that allows firemen to travel up and down without using stairs. Montag simply grabs onto the pole and it carries him to the top floor. On the upper floor, there is a card table, where the firemen play games and place bets to pass the time. There are also bunks on the upper floor. Montag spends the majority of his downtime lying in his bunk on the top floor as the firemen play cards or watch the Mechanical Hound destroy small animals.

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It would seem, by Bradbury's descriptions, that the firehouse in his futuristic setting is much like the same as one would find in today's world. On page 4, Montag is shown cleaning his helmet and hanging up his fireproof jacket and clothes. Then he showers on the upper floor and descends by way of a golden fire pole down the hole to the lower level. The next time the pole is mentioned, it is described as a brass pole (24).

When the reader is introduced to the firemen's Mechanical Hound, Montag comes in from having a cigarette and looks at it in its kennel on the ground floor. Then it describes how the men let the Hound kill rats and other small animals in the "firehouse areaway" (25). This suggests that there is a large space on the ground floor, which is probably more like a garage that houses the fire vehicles along with the Mechanical Hound.

Montag then turns from the kennel of the Hound and the following is described:

"Behind him, four men at a card table under a green-lidded light in the corner glanced briefly but said nothing" (26).

Based on the evidence, the card-playing table is on the ground floor along with the hound and the vehicles. The firehouse even has a bell in the ceiling that "kicked itself two hundred times" when an alarm rang out (35). On this page, too, it says that Beatty reminds Montag to remember to get his helmet which is near the Mechanical Hound; so, the fireproof clothing and helmets are on the ground floor as well.

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