Beatty’s Lecture

Question: What reasons does Beatty give for the current state of society and for books being destroyed?

Captain Beatty has multiple reasonings for his beliefs in burning the books in their dystopian society. First, books are knowledge and to the government knowledge to the people is dangerous. All the books should be burned to not let the public obtain that knowledge. Secondly, Beatty told Montag, “If you don’t want a man unhappy political, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none.” (Pg.58). This shows that the government is making everything boil down to one simple answer. Not letting people question their society and not making their own opinions. Thirdly, an example of his reasonings is so the books not to offend anyone. He makes the point where if there is a book that offends someone or a person, burn it so everyone can be happy. “Colored people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it.” (Pg.57). But where there is nothing to offend anyone how can anyone be truly happy. In life you need something to fight for, something to believe in and with the burning of the books how can this happen. Also, without being sad or hurt, how can you be happy. Captain Beatty said, “Fire is bright, fire is clean.” (Pg.58). Beatty explains his reasonings furthermore explaining that what the firemen are doing is the right thing and the burning of the books is the only way everyone can be happy at once. Although through Montag’s point of view, that’s not the case.