Summarize Beatty's explanation of how the need for firemen arose in "Fahrenheit 451".

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Beatty says that since everything was fireproof, there was no more need for firemen to put out fires. However, schools were graduating people who could run, jump, and swim. The word "intellectual" became a swear word because intellectuals made people uncomfortable. All people wanted was pleasure and books contained ideas that confused people and "caused conflict". Beatty says, "A book is a loaded gun in the house next door." People believed that everyone should be equal and equality meant that everyone should be alike. No one should be smarter than another. Books contained things that made people feel unequal. So firemen were made "guardians of people's comfort". They burned the awful books that made people unhappy. With books gone, everyone could be happy and equal.

sjp eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Beatty explains that society needs the Firemen to protect it from itself.  When people read they get ideas, and some of those ideas can make people unhappy and even cause wars and violance. The Firemen keep people from ever having to face a thought or idea that would disturb their world view.  

Summarize Beatty's explanation of how the need for firemen arose. The need for firemen arose by the fact that when books caused controversial issues among the world they thought that it would be easier to destroy those books. Then they realized that then they would have to figure out which books to keep and which to destroy. They decided it would just be easier if they burned all books and didn't worry about that.