”Montag doesn’t want to acknowledge that he is not, but the reality has a nasty surprise for him: at home he finds his wife Mildred nearly dead due to overdose of sleeping pills.
No wonder that he’s horrified, and bomber aircrafts flying over his house with a thunderous noise are not just merely hinting that the country is on the verge of war, but also serve as acoustic counterpoint to Montag’s despair.
They are pumping Mildred’s stomach with a specially designed machine and perform a complete blood transfusion, so not a single drop of abused substance will be left in her, as one of them explains to Montag.
There is no need of a physician: overdoses became frequent in recent time.
EMT’s receive a call for another overdose and leave Montag to observe as new blood returns some color on Mildred’s face and reflect somberly on the possibility to purify not only her stomach and blood vessels, but her flesh, brain and memory, even her soul.
After some time he goes outside to get some fresh air and overhears Clarisse and her family talking about the value of human life in modern world, comparing it to a paper napkin.Fahrenheit 451 can be boiled down to a story of a man in course of soul searching, but, as it usually happens with Ray Bradbury’s works, the reader is completely immersed into his fictitious world outlined with creepy detalization.The timeline is XXIV century, and life in this period is fast and depreciated.He calls medical attention, but instead of physicians, technicians arrive.They are completely uncaring, doing their job almost mechanically.In Part 1, “The Hearth and the Salamander”, we meet the protagonist, Guy Montag, in course of his work, while he enjoys the feeling the books burning brings to him.He is a fireman, his job is to burn and he really loves doing it, each sense involved. On his way he meets Clarisse Mc Clellan, a girl who characterizes herself as being “seventeen and mad”.Montag is practically sure that this is the case, for he has a little secret of his own, hidden behind the ventilation grate.When he mentions this possibility to his chief fireman, Captain Beatty, the answer is only taunting. Every day Montag meets Clarisse, he sees her shaking the tree and knitting, she leaves him small presents – a bouquet of autumn flowers, a packet of chestnuts and so on.This mechanism, intended for finding criminals by chemical composition of their blood and sweat, fascinates him in a way, particularly because, in spite of its adjustment, the hound actually snarls at Montag and demonstrates irritation by his presence.This is technically impossible, the hound’s memory contains chemical characteristics of each fireman, but what if somebody tampered with its settings, so it partially perceives Montag as a threat?