To whom can we compare Beatty in real life?To whom can we compare Beatty in real life?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Interesting question. Captain Beatty is in my opinion one of the most interesting characters in this novel. As captain of the firefighters, he leads his team in the destruction of books. However, he obviously has a vast knowledge of literature - he is not an ignorant thug who has no idea what he is destroying. He therefore must have had a deep love for literature at one stage. There seems to be a central irony in Beatty - he is absolutely committed to his cause of book destruction, and calls books treacherous weapons. Yet he uses his knowledge of literature to manipulate Montag endlessly and to justify the destruction of books. Interestingly, in his speech about the history of the firefighers, he expresses irony, passion, regret and sarcasm all at once, perhaps suggesting that deep beneath his exterior he questions his actions.

If you are looking for a comparison then, you might want to think about a character such as a Nazi concentration camp commander, who believes in the cause of Hitler yet oddly lets his behaviour tell another story. Any person who is part of a movement or party in which they believe but perhaps have doubts in their subconscious which they cannot allow themselves to accept would be a good comparison.