Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 - Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury FAHRENHEIT...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury FAHRENHEIT 451: The temperature at which book-paper catches fire and burns PART I IT WAS A PLEASURE TO BURN IT was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and 5 the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies. He wanted above all, like the old joke, to shove a marshmallow on a stick in the furnace, while the flapping pigeon-winged books died on the porch and lawn of the house. While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning. Montag grinned the fierce grin of all men singed and driven back by flame. 10 He knew that when he returned to the firehouse, he might wink at himself, a minstrel man, burnt-corked, in the mirror. Later, going to sleep, he would feel the fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles, in the dark. It never went away, that. smile, it never ever went away, as long as he remembered. He hung up his black-beetle-coloured helmet and shined it, he hung his flameproof jacket neatly; he showered luxuriously, and then, whistling, hands in pockets, walked across the upper floor of the fire station 15 and fell down the hole. At the last moment, when disaster seemed positive, he pulled his hands from his pockets and broke his fall by grasping the golden pole. He slid to a squeaking halt, the heels one inch from the con-crete floor downstairs. He walked out of the fire station and along the midnight street toward the subway where the silent, air- propelled train slid soundlessly down its lubricated flue in the earth and let him out with a great puff of warm 20 air an to the cream-tiled escalator rising to the suburb. Whistling, he let the escalator waft him into the still night air. He walked toward the comer, thinking little at all about nothing in particular. Before he reached the corner, however, he slowed as if a wind had sprung up from nowhere, as if someone had called his name. The last few nights he had had the most uncertain feelings about the sidewalk just around the corner here, 25 moving in the starlight toward his house. He had felt that a mo-ment before his making the turn, someone had been there. The air seemed charged with a special calm as if someone had waited there, quietly, and only a moment before he came, simply turned to a shadow and let him through. Perhaps his nose detected a faint perfume, perhaps the skin on the backs of his hands, on his face, felt the temperature rise at this one spot where a person's standing might raise the immediate atmosphere ten degrees for an instant. There was no
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 05/08/2010 for the course ENGL 1 taught by Professor Eng during the Spring '08 term at Georgetown.

Page1 / 58

Fahrenheit 451 - Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury FAHRENHEIT...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online