Part 1: The Hearth and the Salamander


Section 1-4

Pages: 1-22%

Setting: In front of a house, at the fire station, on the way home, at Montags home

Time: One night in October

Character(s): Guy Montag, Clarisse McClellan, Mildred Montag, two paramedics

Summary: Fireman Guy Montag burns down a house together with the books inside it. This is his job, and he enjoys it. He makes his way home after work. It is midnight. On the way, he meets his new neighbor, seventeen-year-old Clarisse. She tells him that she is crazy. The two get into a conversation. Clarisse immediately recognizes from the smell of kerosene and the uniform that Guy is a fireman. She questions Guy's occupation. He says that he likes his job. Guy does not put out fires, but burns books because they are forbidden. Clarisse asks some questions that confuse Guy. Among other things, she asks him if he is happy. 

At home, Guy begins to reflect. His encounter with Clarisse and her questions have left him very unsettled, and he is intrigued by the fact that she seems to have completely figured him out. He admits to himself that he is not happy.

In the bedroom, Guy finds his wife Mildred lying in bed with radio capsules in her ears. An empty bottle of sleeping pills lies on the floor. From outside, war planes make the house shake. Guy calls the casualty department. Two paramedics arrive. They pump Mildred's stomach and replace her poisoned blood with new blood. Guy asks why no doctor was sent, but the men say that this kind of thing happens too often.

After the paramedics finish, Guy goes out and stands in front of the house where Clarisse's family lives. He hears people talking and laughing inside. Then he turns back and goes to sleep.

Sections 5-8

Pages: 22 – 37%

Setting: At the Montags, on the street, at the fire station

Time: The next morning, in the evening, at night

Character(s): Guy, Mildred, Clarisse, four firemen, fire chief Beatty

Summary: Mildred does not remember her suicide attempt the next morning.

Guy tells her that she has taken an overdose of sleeping pills, but she denies it. She tells her husband about an interactive television program in which she can play from home. The Montags have a TV room that already has three walls, which consist only of TV screens. So the viewer stands in the middle of the big TV screens and is surrounded by television. Mildred stays there most of the time. She asks Guy when they can finally replace the fourth wall in the TV room...

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