After Montag witnesses a woman commit suicide with her books during a routine fire call and discovers that Clarisse is dead, he decides to not go into work and Captain Beatty ends up visiting his home. During Captain Beatty's visit, he gives Montag a brief lesson on the history of the fireman institution and attempts to convince him that censoring literature is necessary for society to function efficiently. During this speech, Captain Beatty brings out Montag's rebellious, determined nature. Captain Beatty's speech confirms that Montag must search for answers in illegal novels in order to change the trajectory of his meaningless life. While Captain Beatty feels confident in his position of authority, Montag feels desperate but determined to make a change.
After visiting Professor Faber and having an enlightening conversation, Montag once again has a discussion with Captain Beatty face-to-face. Beatty attempts to belittle Montag and confuse him regarding the purpose of literature, which only brings out Montag's anger and defiant personality. Montag ends up shooting Beatty using a flamethrower and narrowly escapes the city before the authorities can arrest him.