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At the outset of the novel, Guy Montag has been a fireman for ten years. This is different from a fire fighter because his job is to light fires (to burn books), rather than to fight them. For the duration of his ten year career, Montag has been happy, believing that he contributes to the overall happiness of society. He has also been an unthinking drone, content to pursue the goals that society sets ahead of him. The events of the novel, beginning with his meeting with Clarisse McLellan, cause him to question these long established assumptions for the first time.
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