In Fahrenheit 451, what do the firemen do when nights get dull?

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In Part One, Bradbury describes the activities that the firemen engage in during dull nights at the station. When things get dull and the firemen receive no calls, they set the ticking combinations of the olfactory system of the Hound and release various small animals throughout the station for the...

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In Part One, Bradbury describes the activities that the firemen engage in during dull nights at the station. When things get dull and the firemen receive no calls, they set the ticking combinations of the olfactory system of the Hound and release various small animals throughout the station for the Hound to hunt and kill. The firemen place bets on which animal the Hound will seize first before they let the animals loose. In a matter of seconds, the Hound pounces on one of the animals running across the floor of the station and stabs it with its long procaine needle. After the Hound kills the animals, the firemen simply toss the dead animals into the incinerator and exchange their money before beginning a new game. Montag no longer participates in the game and spends the majority of the dull nights in his bunk.

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In Part One of Fahrenheit 451, Montag explains to the reader what the firemen do when the nights get dull which, in his opinion, is "every night." The fireman, he explains, play a game in which they release into the firehouse a number of animals: usually a rat, cat and a chicken. After changing the settings on the Mechanical Hound, the men place bets on which animal the Hound will seize first. The Hound takes only a few seconds to choose and the men finish the game by throwing the unlucky creature into the incinerator. They then commence a new round.

That the firemen have no problem in sacrificing an animal illustrates the violent nature of Montag's society. It also demonstrates the thirst for entertainment which is, arguably, a by-product of such stringent censorship and government control.

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