Both Beatty and Granger could be considered “keepers” of history. Beatty explains to Montag at the end of Part I about the past and how society became the way it is. He describes the political correctness that society demanded and the love for entertainment more than books. He tells Montag about how books started to be burned. The people no longer wanted them, and the government obliged by changing the fire departments to units that burned books. Beatty knows the past and explains it to Montag making him a historian or a “keeper” of information about the past. Granger, however, is a keeper of hope for the future and the rebirth of knowledge. He is impacting history in the future by memorizing books or parts of books. Through Granger, history, ideas, and knowledge will survive. Granger, Montag, and the hobos represent a change for history in the future.
Both men are teachers to Montag. Beatty teaches about the past, Granger the future. They are both instrumental in impacting Montag’s spirit to revolt and leave the society that restricts his civil rights and knowledge. Beatty and Granger are opposites, but both impact Montag in different ways.
The roles each played in the novel are important so we get a glimpse of what happened in the past and what the future could be. Beatty represents an oppressive society and an individual who has given in to the government’s system of oppression. He is the villain of the story as he eventually searches out and tries to destroy Montag. Granger, however, is a free thinker and a symbol of hope for a world that values individuals and their values and beliefs. They are in direct conflict with each other in the ways they think and act.