In "Farhenheit 451," why does Captain Beatty view the books he's read with such contempt?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Captain Beatty is a member of the majority of the society who rationalize the burning of books.  As Fire Chief, he enjoys his work. 

Captain Beatty, obviously well read, misses his books, but would never outwardly admit it to anyone.  He is a contradiction.  He sounds like a man rejected in a romantic relationship when he talks about books. He feels abandoned by the books, giving them human qualities, even though he accepts the policy of book burning. 

"What traitors books can be! You think they're backing you up, and they turn on you. Others can use them, too, and there you are, lost in the middle of the moor, in a great welter of nouns and verbs and adjectives." (Bradbury, pg. 107)

He covers up the fact that books had real value to him, and pretends that he fully embraces his life as Fire Chief.   

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Fahrenheit 451

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