Irony In Fahrenheit 451

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schulzie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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The pages quoted are from my edition of the book which is ancient.  If you cannot find the exact quote in the book, you may need to look at the page ahead or behind it.

When Montag tries to communicate his distress over the burning of the old woman, Mildred replies “She’s nothing to me: she shouldn’t have had books.  It was her responsibility, she should’ve thought of that.  I hate her.  She’s got you going  and the next thing you know we’ll be out, no house, no job, nothing.”(pg  51.   Mildred is worrying about a dead old woman having this affect on Montag, and the fact of the matter is, she turns in the alarm on him.  She causes her life to have no house, no job, nothing by doing what the government says, not by breaking the law.

Another example of irony is Captain Beatty’s speech to Montag . He tells Montag

“Who knows who might be the target of a well-read man? Me? I won’t stomach them for a minute.”  Pg 58.  

 The fact of the matter is, Montag is the target of a well-read man, Beatty.   When Montag returns to the firehouse, Beatty quotes John Donne, Sir Philip Sydney ,and  Alexander Pope.  He tells Montag of a dream he had where Montag quoted Dr. Johnson. He continues to taunt Montag with quotes from many different areas.  Pg 107.  When Montag is about to set him on fire, he spouts Shakespeare.  The man was well-read.

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