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Fahrenheit 451 (1966) Poster

Quotes

Guy Montag: To learn how to find, one must first learn how to hide.

The Captain: You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

Guy Montag: Well, it's a job just like any other. Good work with lots of variety. Monday, we burn Miller; Tuesday, Tolstoy; Wednesday, Walt Whitman; Friday, Faulkner; and Saturday and Sunday, Schopenhauer and Sartre. We burn them to ashes and then burn the ashes. That's our official motto.

Guy Montag: [holding a book in his hand] Behind each of these books, there's a man. That's what interests me.

Guy Montag: [reading from David Copperfield] David Copperfield. Chapter one. I am born. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born, as I have been informed and believe on a Friday, at twelve o'clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry simultaneously.

The Captain: Go on, Montag, all this philosophy, let's get rid of it. It's even worse than the novels. Thinkers and philosophers, all of them saying exactly the same thing: "Only I am right! The others are all idiots!"

Clarisse: You don't like books, then.

Guy Montag: Do you like the rain?

Clarisse: Yes, I adore it.

The Captain: Come on now, madam. We're going to burn the house.

Book Lady: No!

The Captain: What do you want, martyrdom?

Book Lady: I want to die as I've lived.

The Captain: You must have read that in there. Now, look, I'm not going to ask you again. Are you going?

Book Lady: These books were alive; they spoke to me!

The Captain: Look, all stories of the dead, biography that's called, and autobiography. My life, my diary, my memoirs, my - intimate memoirs.

Guy Montag: Fahrenheit four-five-one is the temperature at which book paper catches fire and starts to burn.

Book Lady: Play the man, Master Ridley. We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace as I trust shall never be put out.

Guy Montag: Do you remember what you asked me the other day: if I ever read the books I burn? Remember?

Clarisse: Uh-huh.

Guy Montag: Last night I read one.

The Captain: What's this, Montag? Something wrong between you and the pole?

Clarisse: But why do you burn books?

Guy Montag: Books make people unhappy, they make them anti-social.

Clarisse: Do you think I'm anti-social?

Guy Montag: Why do you ask?

Clarisse: Well... I'm a teacher, not quite actually, I'm still on probation. I was called to the administration office today, and I don't think I said the right things. I'm not at all happy about my answers.

Fireman: [the Book Woman is given 10 seconds to get out of the house] 1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... 8... 9...

Book Lady: Nine elevenths are ninety-nine, nine twelfths are a hundred and eight, nine thirteens are a hundred and seventeen, nine fourteenths are a hundred and twenty-six.

The Captain: What's going on?

Fireman: This house has been condemned, it's to be burnt with the books immediately.

The Captain: Burning the books is one thing, burning the house is another altogether.

Guy Montag: [trying to figure out why Clarisse was fired] You must've said something that...

Clarisse: Oh I never got along well with the staff, they disapprove of me... I... don't always stick to the times tables... well we have fun in my class, and they don't like that.

Linda Montag: Did you see that? Cousin Claudette's got a bouffant tonight.

Guy Montag: Who?

Linda Montag: Cousin Claudette.

Guy Montag: Who is cousin Claudette?

Linda Montag: The cousin announcer; the one you don't like.

Guy Montag: I don't like any of them.

Guy Montag: Tell me, this uncle of yours, did he ever tell you not to talk to strangers?

Clarisse: No, he did say once if anyone asked how old I was to say I was 20 and light in the head. They always seem to go together.

Guy Montag: Light in the head?

Clarisse: Mm-hmm, loopy, crazy.

The Captain: These are all novels, all about people that never existed, the people that read them it makes them unhappy with their own lives. Makes them want to live in other ways they can never really be.

The Captain: Just tell me this, Montag: at a guess, how many literary awards would you say were made in this country on an average each year? 5? 10? 40? Not less than 1,200.

The Captain: By the way, what does Montag do on his day off duty?

Guy Montag: Not much, sir, just mow the lawn.

The Captain: And what if the law forbids that?

Guy Montag: Just watch it grow, sir.

Guy Montag: Look at that fellow over there.

Clarisse: What's he doing?

Guy Montag: That's the information box. He can't make up his mind.

Clarisse: What does he want to find out?

Guy Montag: He doesn't want to find out anything. He knows someone who has books, so he got hold of the person's picture and number and is going to drop it into that box.

Clarisse: But he's an informer!

Guy Montag: No, he's an informant.

The Captain: Robinson Crusoe, the Negroes didn't like that because of his man, Friday. And Nietzsche, Nietzsche, the Jews didn't like Nietzsche. Here's a book about lung cancer. You see, all the cigarette smokers got into a panic, so for everybody's peace of mind, we burn it.

[first lines]

Announcer: An Enterprise Vineyard Production. Oskar Werner, Julie Christie... in Fahrenheit four-five-one.

Guy Montag: [reading from dictionary] Rhinoceros: any of certain large, powerful, thick-skinned perissodactyl mammals of the family Rhinocerotidae.

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The Captain: The books have nothing to say.

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The Captain: Listen to me, Montag. Once to each fireman, at least once in his career, he just itches to know what these books are all about. He just aches to know. Isn't that so?

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Book Person: 'Martian Chronicles': I'm "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury.

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Guy Montag: [to Linda] You've spent your whole life in front of that family wall. These books are my family.

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Clarisse: Is it true that a long time ago, firemen used to put out fires and not burn books?

Guy Montag: Your uncle is right, you are light in the head, put out fires? Houses have always been fireproof.

Clarisse: Ours isn't...

Guy Montag: Well, it should be condemned, destroyed, and you'll have to move to one that is.

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Guy Montag: [reading] Once upon a time there was a woodcutter named...

Book Lady: They can't have my books, they'll never take them away.

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Cousin Claudette: Today's figures for operations in the urban area alone account for the elimination of a total of 2,750 pounds of conventional editions, 836 pounds of first editions, and 17 pounds of manuscripts were also destroyed. Twenty-three anti-social elements were detained, pending re-education.

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Clarisse: Why?

Guy Montag: What?

Clarisse: How did it come about? How did it begin? How could someone like you be doing this work? I know everyone says that but you - you're not like them. When I say something to you, you look at me. Why did you choose this job? With you it doesn't make any sense.

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