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Literature Study GuidesFahrenheit 451Part 3 Civilization Is Bombed Summary

Fahrenheit 451 | Study Guide

Ray Bradbury

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Part 3 | Civilization is Bombed

Course Hero’s video study guide provides in-depth summary and analysis of Part 3 | Burning Bright (Civilization is Bombed) of Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451.

Fahrenheit 451 | Part 3 (Civilization Is Bombed) : Burning Bright | Summary



The group accepts Montag, and he joins them. Montag and Granger talk about what they have lost. Montag tells him that he doesn't think he will miss Mildred much if she dies. Granger talks about his grandfather, a sculptor, who taught Granger to experience the world with wonder.

The war begins. Montag cries out to those he cares about—Mildred, Faber, Clarisse—to run and then remembers Clarisse is dead. Montag sadly imagines Mildred's death. The explosion knocks him down and sprays the group with wind, dust, and water. As the group recovers, Montag tries to remember the section of Ecclesiastes he has memorized and also remembers part of the Book of Revelation, the prophetic book that ends the New Testament. Eventually the wind dies down, and Granger announces that the war is over. The city has been destroyed.

They light a fire and cook a meal as Granger recounts the myth of the phoenix and how it was reborn from its ashes. In silence, the group walks back toward the city to help its survivors and rebuild civilization.


In the final scenes, Montag discovers a new way to live and, potentially, a way to build a new society. The book lovers offer an alternative to the society they have left behind. They form their own social group based on a shared idea, their belief in the necessity of books. Granger's homage to his grandfather also offers an alternative to the way people lived in the dystopian society.

The destruction of the city through atomic warfare wipes out the existing culture, suggesting that a culture, especially one with nuclear weapons, that focuses on repressing individuality is on a path to destroying itself. Montag's recollection from Revelation, with its apocalyptic visions, underscores this point. At the same time, the destruction provides an opportunity for the book lovers to help rebuild civilization. Ending the novel on a hopeful note, Granger's story of the phoenix suggests that destruction offers the possibility of rebirth.

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