At the beginning of part 3 of the dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Captain Beatty takes the protagonist, Montag, to Montag's own house and orders him to burn it down. Montag has been hiding books and reading, and Beatty judges that Montag has gone too far when he reads poetry to his wife and her friends. Montag obeys Beatty's order and sets fire to his house. However, after his house is burned and fallen in, Beatty continues to taunt him. When he finds the earpiece that Faber has been using to communicate with Montag, Beatty says that he will track Faber down and arrest him too. That is the point at which Montag turns the flamethrower on Beatty and burns him to death.
Once Beatty is dead and he has knocked out the other two firemen on the scene and destroyed the mechanical hound, Montag comes to an abrupt realization that Beatty wanted to die.
In the middle of the crying Montag knew it for the truth. Beatty had wanted to die. He had just stood there, not really trying to save...
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