Fahrenheit 451 Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

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What are the key words and significant phrases in Beatty's speech during the "Hearth and the Salamander" section of Fahrenheit 451?

Key words of Captain Beatty’s speech in “The Hearth and the Salamander” section of Fahrenheit 451 include speed, minorities, equality, and happiness. Among the significant phrases are “speed up the film,” “everyone made equal,” “burn everything,” and “we’re the Happiness Boys.”

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When Captain Beatty visits Montag at home (because the fireman has called in sick), he lectures Montag and Mildred on social changes occurring in the last few generations. With obvious bitterness, Beatty lashes out at the anonymous forces and specific groups he holds responsible for those changes. While the captain takes the firemen’s mandate to burn books seriously, he is also trying to convince Montag to conform to social norms rather than act upon his unsettled feelings. As Beatty laments the way that everything has sped up, he voices doubt about the idea that addressing minorities’ dissatisfaction has generated any meaningful equality among the different sectors of society. For Beatty, happiness is an unreachable abstraction; it...

(The entire section contains 359 words.)

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