Fahrenheit 451 opens with Montag doing his job as a fireman by burning books. This is a job which Montag really enjoys and this is shown by Bradbury's use of imagery. He likens Montag to an "amazing conductor," for example, who commands the hose in the same way as a conductor manages the instruments in his orchestra. Bradbury also likens the hose itself to a "great python" which spits out its venom (kerosene) onto the world. Moreover, Montag's pleasure in burning is so evident that it dominates his physical description:
"Montag grinned the fierce grin of all men singed and driven back by flame."
Once the burning is done, Montag returns to the firehouse where he washes and puts on fresh clothes. He leaves the firehouse and begins the journey home, unaware that tonight he will meet Clarisse McClellan. Clarisse is his teenage neighbour and she will have a dramatic and significant impact on the way he feels about burning and book-reading.