by Ray Bradbury
Captain Beatty Timeline and Summary
- When Montag posits conspiracy theories about the Mechanical Hound, Captain Beatty assures him that machinery does not have emotion or motive.
- He jokes about Montag feeling guilty, which is right on the money.
- During a card game one night, Montag asks Beatty what happened to the man whose house they burned last week. Beatty explains that he was taken to the insane asylum, because anyone who thinks he can best the government is crazy.
- He calls Montag out for his use of the phrase “once upon a time” and then shows him the rulebook that clearly states firemen have been around since Benjamin Franklin.
- He accompanies the men to an alarm at which the woman whose house they are burning commits suicide. On the ride back to the firehouse, he repeats the words she quoted from Hugh Latimer and explains the historical context, surprising the men in doing so.
- When Montag is feeling too sick to go to work, Beatty shows up at his place and lectures him. Every fireman goes through this, he says. He tells him the truth, that firemen haven’t actually been around that long and that it all started when people stopped reading. He explains the method and motive for the government’s actions.
- That night at the firehouse, Beatty taunts Montag with contradictory quotations from literature before taking him to an alarm at Montag’s own house and forcing him to burn it.
- Reacting to Beatty's taunts, Montag turns his flamethrower on the Captain.