by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 Literature and Writing Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Paragraph)
"It's not just the woman that died," said Montag. "Last night I thought about all the kerosene I've used in the past ten years. And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I'd never even thought that thought before." He got out of bed.
"It took some man a lifetime maybe to put some of his thoughts down, looking around at the world and life, and then I came along in two minutes and boom! it's all over."(1.556-7)
All his life Montag has known only destruction, only one half of the cycle. Destruction has no meaning for him until he begins to recognize the work he is undoing, the construction half of the cosmic routine.
"Montag, take my word for it, I've had to read a few in my time, to know what I was about, and the books say nothing! Nothing you can teach or believe. They're about non-existent people, figments of imagination, if they're fiction. And if they're non-fiction, it's worse, one professor calling another an idiot, one philosopher screaming down another's gullet. All of them running about, putting out the stars and extinguishing the sun. You come away lost." (1.629)
Mildred uses the same defense against books, claiming that they are not "real." What are the criteria, in the world of Fahrenheit 451, for what is real and what is not?