Fahrenheit 451 Plot

  • Meet Montag

    Montag is enjoying his job as a fireman who burns houses containing illegal books. He wears a black fireproof uniform and helmet emblazoned with the numbers "451" and a salamander on the jacket sleeve. It also has a phoenix disc on the chest.
  • Period: to

    Part 1: The Hearth and the Salamander

  • Montag meets Clarisse

    Clarisse McClellan is Montag's new neighbor. She is an extremely inquisitive 17 year old girl. She loves to take walks and socialize, unlike anyone else living at the time. She notices that Montag is a fireman and tells him that she isn't scared of him. This is when their relationship begins. She tells him that firemen used to put out fires, not start them.
  • Montag's wife overdoses

    When Montag comes home, he walks into his dark bedroom and kicks an empty pill bottle. Montag's wife, Mildred, overdosed on sleeping pills. He calls the Emergency Room and 2 handymen arrive and make her healthy again using machines. The next morning, she remembers nothing of the night before and refuses to talk about it.
  • Montag and Clarisse meet again

    Montag runs into Clarisse again and realizes that he enjoys speaking to her about random things. He begins to feel the gears in his mind start working and curiosity builds. She rubs a dandelion under his chin, and claims that he isn't in love because it didn't leave any dust, which makes Montag angry and defiant. She also questions him about how he ended up being a fireman, but then leaves for her psychiatrist appointment.
  • The Mechanical Hound

    When Montag arrives at work, he peers through the Mechanical Hound's cage. This causes the Hound to growl and try to attack him, which makes Montag question if anyone knows his secret that lay behind the ventilator grate in his house. He tells Beatty, but he simply laughs.
  • Clarisse disappears and old lady burns with her books

    On his way to work, Montag doesn't encounter Clarisse as he usually does, which causes him to worry. He continues on to work nonetheless and they get a call for a house. When they arrive, there is an old lady reciting quotes from books, which makes Montag uneasy. As they are pouring kerosene on her house, Montag swipes a book and continues on. The lady chooses to burn with her books and sets her own house on fire so no one can stop her.
  • Montag takes stolen book home and finds out Clarisse is dead

    After the last job, Montag feels sick and uneasy about what just happened. He seeks comfort in Mildred, but she doesn't understand and makes things worse by telling Montag that Clarisse is dead.
  • Montag stays home

    Sick to the stomach about what occurred at the last job, he decides to take a sick day (a rarity), which Beatty notices immediately. Beatty alerts Montag to the fact that every fireman goes through a moment of skepticism, but is sure that the history will set him straight. He leaves Montag with the warning that if he does have a book, he has 24 hours to fess up and burn it.
  • Montag tells Mildred about the book

    Mildred shows the first signs of emotion towards Montag and is worried about his odd behavior. He finally tells her about his stash of books, which freaks her out. She attempts to burn them, but Montag stops her and begins reading.
  • Montag and Mildred start reading

    Montag forces Mildred to listen to him read. She hates it and panics, suddenly picking up some books and successfully burning them in their furnace. They hear the Mechanical Hound come around their house which brings fear to Montag. The bombers are heard up ahead, showing that this is an important turning point in the story and foreshadows more excitement. Mildred talks to her friends on the phone about TV, causing Montag to think of how worthless she is and how she will never change.
  • Period: to

    Part 2: The Sieve and the Sand

  • Montag calls Faber

    Faber is an old English professor who Montag met one day in the park. They talk and Montag jumps onto a subway.
  • Montag has a memory of his childhood

    When Montag is on the subway, he is frantically trying to memorize the Bible, but his surroundings keep invading his thoughts. This reminds him of his childhood when he tries to fill a sieve with sand.
  • Montag and Faber come up with a plan

    Montag arrives at Faber’s house and shows him the book to prove he means no harm. Montag and Faber come up with a plan to plant books in the firemen’s homes to frame them for hoarding books. Faber gives Montag a mock-seashell that he invented, and that’s how they communicate.
  • Montag shows the books to Mildred's friends

    When Millie has her friends over to watch TV, Montag unplugs it because he gets irritated by how this is the only way they socialize and focus on. He starts yelling at them and begins to read poetry, causing Mrs. Phelps to cry. Then he burns the book. He goes back to work and returns a book to avoid suspicion, but then an alarm goes off alerting them of a house containing books. When they get there, it’s actually his house.
  • Montag is given up and is forced to burn down his house

    Montag sees Mildred fleeing their house, which brings Montag to the conclusion that she was the one who called in. Beatty forces Montag to burn down his own house, which unexpectedly brings Montag pleasure.
  • Period: to

    Part 3: Burning Bright

  • Montag kills Beatty and is attacked by the Mechanical Hound

    Beatty discovers the Green Bullet and threatens to trace the call back to Faber. Montag kills Beatty with the firehose to save Faber and his identity. He is then partially injected by the Mechanical Hound, but burns that up as well.
  • Montag is a fugitive from the law

    Before his desperate run to safety, he stops by his house to collect the books he had buried previously and stashes them in a fellow fireman’s house to frame him. Then he continues on his way.
  • Montag and Faber form an escape plan

    Montag then runs as fast as he can and does not realize where he is going until he ends up at Faber’s house. A new mechanical hound is set loose after him when he walks into Faber’s house. Montag asks for Faber’s advice on everything. Faber tells Montag about the men on the railroad and how Montag needs to make his way straight there and not stop. Faber then does everything he can to cover up Montag’s tracks.
  • Montag escapes down a river, but TV fakes his death

    When Montag successively gets away the TV station pretends the hound catches Montag so they don’t look weak, when really Montag is floating away peacefully on a river. During this time, Montag has a chance to think about everything that has happened and what he has done. When Montag gets out of the river he feels the weight of the world on his shoulders.
  • Montag finds 3 old men

    He spots a light from not too far off near the train tracks and the men who would soon be allies with him. He realizes that the light is a fire, and thinks it weird that it is used to create warmth instead of destruction. He meets three old men that introduce him to their cause.
  • City is bombed

    While Montag and the other men are safe at the railroads a nuclear bomb is set off, decemating the entire city. He thinks about Mildred and hopes that Faber got out okay. After the dust settles, they head in to see what they can salvage from the city and hopefully rebuild from.