In Fahrenheit 451, what are Montag and Beatty arguing about in the dream Beatty tells about?

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sarahc418 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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You are referring to the second section of the book "The Sieve and the Sand." This is after Montag has spoken with Faber and is actually wearing an ear piece so that Faber can feed Montag information and hear what is going on.

Beatty laughs and casually comments that he had a dream that him and Montag were arguing spitting back and forth quotes from famous authors, philosophers and doctors. The root of it is the conflict that Montag and Beatty would be having if Montag were courageous to speak up his newfound beliefs about knowledge and books.

Beatty takes this opportunity to teach Montag that the way of the firemen is the right way. He quotes books that seem to support the values of innocence is bliss and that books cause chaos and confusion rather than knowledge and order.

Beatty tells Montag that in the dream he used the words of the book to refute all of Montag’s arguments. He gleefully announces “what traitors books can be! You think they’re backing you up, and they turn on you” In the end of the dream, Montag and Beatty get into the Salamander (the firetruck) in happy silence and amicably drive back to the firehouse in peace.

Beatty tells Montag that in the dream he used the words of the book to refute all of Montag’s arguments. He gleefully announces “what traitors books can be! You think they’re backing you up, and they turn on you." In the end of the dream, Montag and Beatty get into the Salamander (the firetruck) in happy silence and amicably drive back to the firehouse in peace.

This exchange shows that Beatty knows that Montag is wavering about what is right and wrong in regard to books and knowlege. It also seems that Beatty concocts this dream to bring up the topic without accusing Montag outright of these traitorous thoughts.

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