In part 1 of "Fahrenheit 451," what is being described in the opening scene?
The opening scene describes a book burning by the firemen. It is described as Montag sees it and experiences it through many of his senses. It begins with him pouring the kerosene on the books and then proceeds to his lighting the fire. The way the pages of the books curl as they burn is described in poetic, almost loving terms. The whole scene is described with fascination and pleasure because this is how Montag feels about what he does in the beginning of the story. He has an almost child-like fascination with fire. It's not unlike the fascination that many people have as they watch something burn; the transformation is compelling. Bradbury wanted the readers to be able to compare the way Montag feels at the opening of the story to the way he feels at the end, and to be able to compare the difference in fire that destroys such as this fire and fire that comforts such as the one around the book people that Montag encounters in the last part of the story.