Monday, August 16, 2010

Why Captain Beatty Wanted to Die

In Fahrenheit 451, after Captain Beatty drives to Guy Montag’s house and makes Montag burn all of his books and house with the flamethrower, Guy Montag becomes so infuriated with Captain Beatty that Guy takes the flamethrower and burns Beatty alive with it. After running away from shock and out of fear that the police will catch him, Guy Montag realizes that when he had the flamethrower pointed at Captain Beatty, he made absolutely no effort to stop Montag or get out of the way of the flames. Captain Beatty basically committed suicide. My question to the other readers of this book is, why did Captain Beatty want to end his life? There could be many reasons for this event, but the answer to this question is not made clear by Ray Bradbury in the story. One of the possible answers to this question could be that Captain Beatty suddenly felt extremely guilty because of the fact that he made Guy Montag, his loyal friend and co-worker, burn down his house and destroy the books that he loved. He also basically forced Montag’s wife to walk out on him. Beatty may have just been freaked out at the sight of the burning house and wanted to punish himself. Another reason that Beatty wanted to die might have been because he actually did love books and did not want to see them burnt. Captain Beatty could have seen the books being destroyed by Montag and could not take the pain anymore and wanted to be put out of his misery. Another reason that Beatty may have wanted to die was because he realized that he actually hated the fast-paced futuristic society that he lived in. Since he knew what the world was like before, he could have realized how messed up the world had become, with people murdering other people for fun, and people not having to worry about horrible consequences. He may have realized these things and may have not wanted to go on living anymore.

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