by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 Literature and Writing Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Paragraph)
How inconvenient! Always before it had been like snuffing a candle. The police went first and adhesive-taped the victim's mouth and bandaged him off into their glittering beetle cars, so when you arrived you found an empty house. You weren't hurting anyone, you were hurting only things! And since things really couldn't be hurt, since things felt nothing, and things don't scream or whimper, as this woman might begin to scream and cry out, there was nothing to tease your conscience later. You were simply cleaning up. Janitorial work, essentially. Everything to its proper place. Quick with the kerosene! Who's got a match! (1.332)
Guy will soon prove his misconception when he comes to the realization that every book represents the man who wrote it. At the end of the novel, he’ll realize that books also represent those who read and learn from them.
"Come on, woman!"
The woman knelt among the books, touching the drenched leather and cardboard, reading the gilt titles with her fingers while her eyes accused Montag.
"You can't ever have my books," she said. (1.346-8)
This woman recognizes what Montag will not realize for some time – the value of books is not physical and doesn’t lie in the tangible pages. That’s why, although they burn this woman’s books, they never really take them from her.
"You weren't there, you didn't see," he said. "There must be something in books, things we can't imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don't stay for nothing." (1.546)
Notice how it takes a person to get Montag’s attention. People like this woman, Clarisse, Faber, and eventually Granger get him to notice the substance behind literature.