How do Beatty and Granger use fire?

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is very much a story about book burning. In a sense, Captain Beatty and Granger are similar in that they both use fire to burn books. However, aside from this physical act (as well as both men being well-read), the similarities stop there. Beatty uses fire in order to suppress individuality and intelligence, while Granger does the exact opposite.

As part of his job, Beatty is tasked with setting fire to book collections and, in some cases, human beings. Though he has clearly read many books in his time, he now views them with disdain. While discussing the history of firemen with Montag, Beatty attempts to rationalize book burning:

A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man's mind. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? Me? I won't stomach them for a minute. And so when houses were finally fireproofed completely, all over the world (you were correct in your assumption the other night) there...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 736 words.)

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