Fahrenheit 451 Dialectical Journal Part 1 Summary

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1. Chapter One: “The Hearth and the Salamander” (Part 1) As Montag preformed his duties as a fireman, he was overjoyed, comparing the sight of fire to an “amazing conductor playing… to bring down the… ruins of history” (1). After finishing with his responsibilities, he makes his way home, but begins to wonder if he was actually alone this late at night. He continues to walk, although, it’s hard for him to ignore the fleeting feeling that someone else was nearby. Montag’s suspicions are confirmed as he turns the corner, and bumps into young girl who was “letting the motion of the wind… carry her forward’ (3). He is soon introduced to the eccentric Clarisse McClellan, his new neighbor, that’s “seventeen… and crazy” (5). The young girl questions …show more content…

The other firemen used this “dead… living beast” as a source of entertainment, betting on the machine and its vicious kills (22). One night, Montag curiously reached out to touch the muzzle of the Hound, and receives a negative response from the beastly creature. At his touch, the Hound growls ferociously, its voice sounding like “a frying sound [and the] scraping of metal,” (23). The fireman is overcome with fear, and even starts to believe that the Hound dislikes him, despite it being programmed without emotion. He discusses this with the Captain, but is told that the Hound “doesn’t think [about] anything [they] don't want it to think,” and that there was nothing for him to worry about, even with his doubts. Several days later, Montag meets Clarisse at the subway entrance and the two begin to talk about nothing in particular, until Montag asks the young girl why he sees her “every day wandering around,” (26). She tells him that she doesn’t particularly fit in with her peers; she sees the world in a different way than them, and is confused with their violent and strange behavior nowadays. Clarissa explains that she “likes to watch people” instead of attending school, amazed at how “people don’t talk about anything” but material aspects of life. A week passes, and Montag discovers that Clarisse has gone missing, which has an extreme effect on him. He begins to feel guilty, for some …show more content…

He begins to ask more daring questions to his Captain, regarding forbidden books and firemen of the past. Quickly, he realizes that these sudden thoughts weren’t products of his own imagination, but “a much younger voice speaking for him,” or the voice that belonged to Clarisse McClellan (31). Before he could further question the Captain, the alarm rang abruptly and the firemen were on duty once again. When they arrive at the scene, the homeowner is still inside house, unlike usual. Montag is hesitant to perform his duties, and is slightly irritated, because with the woman remaining inside her burning home meant that, “there was nothing to tease [his] conscience later,” (34). However, he was forced to continue his task as he was in the company of other firemen. Despite this, he mindlessly smuggles a book out of the burning home before leaving. That night, Montag begins to realize that his marriage has completely fallen apart, and both he and his wife were empty, lonely people. He remembers the night she had overdosed, and that “he was certain he wouldn’t cry” if she were to have died then (41). These overwhelming discoveries are, of course, prompted by everything Clarisse had previously told him. Montag also learns that Clarisse is dead, after asking Mildred about the girl who she had “forgotten all about… four days ago,” (45). The following

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