Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bye, bye Beatty

Think about Beatty’s death. Do you think it was suicide? Look back at the text. Make an argument that Beatty’s death was a suicide rather than a murder.

41 comments:

ellyf said...
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ellyf said...

No, I dont think that Beatty's death was suicide. To me, he was evil the whole time and wanted to get Montag all along. Once he found out about the books Guy had, he knew he had his chance. It could have been suicide because the text says "'Hand it over, Guy,' said Beatty with a fixed smile." He does not force Montag to give it to him. He just tells him to hand it over. If somebody is going to burn you, you usually dont just ask them to give it to you. You usually would use force to get the flame thrower back. Beatty could have easily have comitted suicide, but I think that Montag murdered Beatty.

ruthp said...

I disagree with Elly, I think that Beatty's death was suicide. In the text Montag says that Beatty wanted to die. I think he was like Montag, he took books and read them. He might have thought that he would be found out, so he ticked Montag off so much that he killed Beatty. If you really think about it, Beatty really killed himself through Montag.

crastrelli said...

Beatty's death was a suicide because he was provoking Montag the whole time. He knew Montag was already under a lot of stress, and was not in is total right mind. Montag was also equipped with a falem-thing. So therefore, Beatty knew in provoking Montag to the extent that he did, he would probably get killed, and ultimately, that's what he wanted. Maybe because he was sick of the life he was leading.

Elaine's Blog said...

I agree with Ruth and Cali about how Beatty's death was more of a suicide factor than what Elly said, how Beatty's death was not suicidal. Beatty killed himself through Montag because he knew that books had something in them and as what Ruth said, he read some many books himself. Books taught things to people and Beatty probably did not want to live in an utopia society. Also, Beatty provoked Montag, such as Cali had already stated, to the point where Montag just exploded like a volcano trying to protect Faber from the harm of the government. I agree with Cali about how maybe
Beatty was just sick of living the life he was living. But why would Beatty want to die like that instead of dieing driving fast in the fast lanes of the reckless teenage driving?

emeraldo said...

Alright I'm gonna get techniacal here first and then i'll get to the question. Technically, Beatty's death wasn't suicide, because he did not kill himself. Montag killed him so whether he wanted to die or not it was still murder. Now that that is out of the way I haven't decided whether or not i think Beatty's death was "suicide". Beatty didn't really have much reason to live, it didn't appear that he had a wife or any family, but i don't think he had a reason to die either. And at least at some points Beatty seemed to enjoy his job. All the firemen seemed to enjoy some aspect of their job. Then again he really didn't try to stop Montag from killing him. He didn't beg or plead, he just said ok now hand it over. And Montag thought he wanted to die so thats just something else that adds to it. Another thought i had though is that maybe he really didn't want to die. Maybe he was just trying to be the strong captain that he was supposed to be and so he acted calm even though he was terrified. Or maybe he just didn't think Montag had the guts to kill him so he was just kind of like ok jokes over now hand me the flamethrower.
So anyways thats just my thoughts.

anishp said...

I agree with the everyone so far who has said that Beatty's death was a suicide. I think that Beatty was provoking Montag to kill him through pissing him off. He was insulting him and the text says that he stood there defenseless. He was kinda letting Montag use the flame thrower on him because he wanted to die. Once Montag started burning Beatty, Beatty didn't even move out of the way. Someone who doesn't want to get burnt would probably react to something hot and try to stay away from it, but someone who doesn't care and wants to die would just stand there and let themselves burn to death. Montag did murder Beatty, but Beatty caused his own death by making Montag mad, which is suicide.

shannenr said...

looking back, yes i'd agree that beatty's death was a suicide. He knew the situation he was in. He knew what montage held in his hand. like Elly said, he didn;t force montag to give him the flame thrower. he was agrivating montag. he kept saying things to make him angry. Beatty was in controll and he let montag lose his.

Brian A said...

I think that Beatty’s death was suicide, because we have read how good of a persuasive speaker he is, and he could have easily convinced Montag to give in. instead, he eggs him on, making sure Montag will kill him.

AaronF said...

I think that Beatty did want to die. So I agree with Ruth that Beaty wanted to die. However I think that Beaty seems to be a very smart person and could have seen this comming. Beatty could have jumped out of the way, or have tried to attack Montag to get the flame thrower. However he just stand there and almost taunts Montag. It is almost like Macduff's son taunting the murderers in Macbeth and getting killed. You would think that Beatty would have some common sense in all of his knowledge to know not to dgg someone on. Yet sense Beatty does egg Montag on to get him to flip that switch you get teh sense that he did not want to live. Evan Montag realizes that when he thinks back on the scene and remebers Beatty did not try to stop him. Personnally I think Beatty was wanting to die he just was not willing to do it himself.

HaileyJ said...

I do think that Beatty's death was suicide. Not one that was entirely obvious to the readers, but one that is true once it was looked upon in a deeper way. I agree with Emerald on the matter of him not killing himself litterally, but rather him killing himself the entire time. I believe that it was a suicide because Beatty was provoking and getting into Montag's head the entire time. He knew that eventually Montag was going to totally crack and do something insane. After they burned down the house and Montag was standing there with the flame thrower, Beatty did absolutley nothing to defend himself. In the book it said that Beatty saw Montag point the flame thrower at him and a look of alarm only for a second crossed his mind; right after that he was telling jokes, almost saying just do it already. Perhaps Beatty knew that his job was so wrong and got so mad at Montag becuase he accutally had the guts to go out and do something about it. Montag had the opportunity that Beatty never did, and will. Beatty must have been thinkng if he can't succed then nobody should be able to.

Alex K said...

I do think that beattys death was a suicide. In the thex montag siad that beatty wanted to die. weather this is true or just said to justify his actions, i'm not sure. Before montag had actially killed Beatty, beatty had a chance to keep his life. he could have gotten away from montag as opposed to juststanding there and pointing fingers at montag. plus beattymade montag burn his own house, which could be part of the reason that montag was pushed to the point of murder.

MelissaC said...

Haha I agree with Emerald that technically, Beatty's death was suicide.
As for whether he wished to die (and was provoking Montag to kill him) or not, is what the question should be. ;)
I believe that, yes, Beatty wished to be killed. He aggregated Montag like crazy, almost making it seem like he was encouraging it. In the book, Bradbury seemed to emphasize that Beatty had smiled when he saw Montag move the safety catch, and then when Montag pointed the flame thrower at him. It seemed like Beatty had been waiting for that time for years, or a long time.
Perhaps another question may be why did Beatty want to die (if it is agreed that he did want to)? I believe that it is because it was weary of having the knowledge of the contents of books and why he was burning them. He was sick of burning the things that he knew all about in order to "help, control, and save humanity". Or even, maybe he thinks that Montag will make a difference in the world and will change things back to how they used to be and did not want to live to see that "dreadful" thing happen.
The reason why Beatty wanted to die is a wonder that can be discussed endlessly.

Thomasm said...

I agree with Ruth, i think Beatty wanted to die. He has a complete lack of any attempt to prevent his own death. He persuades Montag to burn him. He manipulates Montag menacingly unlike Faber. Beatty must have been a reader in the past. I think that he must have kept books but the firemen burned his house after finding out and therefore he took out his anger on the very source by burning them. When he realizes this about Montag he realizes his past and wants to be forgivven. This causes him to convince Montag to kill Beatty as suicide through Montag.

Ally C said...

I do think that Beatty’s death was suicide, but it wasn’t on a conscious level. While he was irritating Montague, he knew that he might get so fed up that he would kill him. However, that prospect must not have been enough to make him stop, because even after Montague pulled the safety catch on the flame thrower, Beatty kept on provoking Montague. If Beatty really didn’t want to die, he would have seen the turmoil and anger that Montague was going through and stopped inciting him. But, since he didn’t, it can be assumed that at least on some subconscious level, Beatty’s death was suicide.

kylees said...

I agree with Brian A. Beatty definitely could have talked his way out of this one. We saw all through the book how strongly his words could affect people. Instead he just says, "Hand it over, Guy," and gives up. So I do not think that he had any will to live. I don't think Beatty had really thought too much on the idea of suicide but when the opportunity arose, he just let it happen. So in a way he caused his own death by not stopping it. I don't know if I would consider it legit suicide though.

bryce said...
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bryce said...

I agree with Brian and Kylee. Beatty has a way with words, and this time he didn't see much purpose in living so he basically asked Montag to kill him. Like others have said, it didn't seem like he had a wife or kids and it seemed like he read many books. He might have had a guilty conscious and might have just wanted to die instead of getting embarressed and possibly having his house burnt like Montag's.

Jacob WR said...

I agree with Thomas in saying that Beatty was a reader in his past- this explains how he knew so much about books before, and his telling to Montag that every firefighter has an urge to read books at some point. I think that, also, he despises himself for becoming a part of that which he fought against, this system of burning and destroying books which he previously cherished.

Michael's blog said...

Although Beatty was technically murdered, it could be classified as assisted suicide. Beatty is a really smart man and knows how to keep himself safe, but he doesn't use the wisdom to keep himself alive. Also, he kept making Montag angrier and he knew Montag was on edge and could have anticipated that Montag would burst. In a sense, Beatty committed suicide because he didn't strive to live, he didn't avoid death.

alexj said...

I have mixed feelings about Beatty's death. I don't believe that it was Beatty's original intention to be burnt to death but he actually didn't seem to protest. As has been said, he kept jeering Montag until he had the flamethrower taken to him. He also did not appear to have much to live for. My other argument is that he may have just gotten overconfident. Quite simply, his ego might have lead to his downfall. He had teased Montag several times before and always seemed to carry himself higher than everyone else.

ThomasL said...

I agree with Cali about how Beatty's death was a suicide. He was basically egging Montag on and making Montag feel such hate toward him that he would be forced to kill Beatty. Montag was equipped with a weapon in which Beatty had given him... so Beatty had set it up for Montag to murder Beatty. I think that Beatty just hated his life and wanted to die so Beatty could've just spelled out in huge letters I WANT TO DIE since it was so obvious that his death was a suicide.

MariahF said...

I agree that Beatty's death was a suicide. He wanted to die, he had nothing to live for. it's true that Beatty's death was not technically a suicide seeing as Montag pulled the trigger but I think Beatty saw that pushing Montag to the point of murder was a less cowardly way of giving up. He put the fault on Montag instead of letting his death be written off as just another suicide.

tim2012 said...

Personally, I believe that Beatty was actually trying to commit suicide. He had quoted literature earlier in the book and so that hints to the reader that he had some sort of conflict inside himself. I think he didn’t have anyone he could go to, unlike Montag, so he wanted death. One could easily interpret his last words, “Hand it over, Guy,” as hand me death, Guy.

emmaw said...

I agree with the points made by Alex J, that Beatty's death was an unusual suicide. Beatty provoked Montag in a way that he knew would end badly. Even though it was not a technical suicide, as pointed out by others, it was a uninhibited provoked murder. Beatty never put up a fight or did anything to save himself or stop Montag even when violence was obviously going to happen.

emmal said...

In a way, I do believe Beatty's death was suicide. But don't think he was planning on it. He was surprised when he realized Montag whipped out his flamethrower and I think he immediately knew he was going to die, whether he tried to stop Montag or not. I agree with Emerald in the sense that Beatty didn't really have much to live for. He got what he wanted, he proved Montag guilty of having books. There was nothing else he wanted. He knew the direction the world was heading and I think he was just done living.

jonathank said...

First off, let's get some definitions straight. To kill is to cause the death of, and thus to cause the death of yourself is to kill yourself: suicide. So if you agree that Beatty, poor, creepy Beatty caused his own death, then he by definition committed suicide.

Furthermore, as intellectual readers we have to realize that even if we think Montag had some sort of Kevorkian influence, really, Beatty killed himself. The previous chapters show us that Beatty was vastly Montag's intellectual superior. So much so that Montag wanted Faber in his ear as a safety net to protect against the intelligent speaking of Beatty. Reason then must conclude that because one, Beatty made no physical protest and moreover two, he used his scheming thoughts and persuasive speech not to deter Montag but to encourage him, and the fact that he made no effort to save himself, in fact quite the opposite, it is proven that he caused his own death, which is verily suicide.

JillianG said...

Most definately NOT a suicide. To me, a suicide gives the image of someone who hates their life and wants to end it by way of pills or cutting. True, it could also be like a samuri, after he screws up he runs himself through, but that isn't what happened. And what Montag did I do not really see as murder, more as manslaughter. He was high as a kinte on adrenalyn, and fumes. After seeing your wife leave and burn down your own house and years and years of colllected books, you can't exactly be thinking in a clearly defined thought process.

HunterK said...

I agree with Brian that Beatty was a very persuasive speaker and had a way with words, this may have been brought upon by books. Throughout the novel we have seen Beatty's skill for persuasive speaking and, like John said, Montag even needed Faber's help to get past him. So I think his death was suicide. Although he didnt pull the trigger himself, he had no will to live and could have easily stopped Montag from killing him.

trey said...

I think Beatty did commit suicide because he was provoking Montag and trying to get Montag to kill him. He ended up giving Montag a choice between him and Faber because if Montag did not kill Beatty, Beatty would have traced the seashell back to Faber and burned his house down, maybe evan killing Faber. Beatty could have at least tried to fight back but he didnt so it shows that he wanted to die.

JackW said...

I agree with some people who have said that Beatty's death could be considered a suicide but it is not the traditional kind of suicide we think of when we think of suicide. I could kind of relate Beatty's death to a soldier who jumps in front of a bullet for another person. The death of the person isnt really intentional but they would obviously have to have some prior thought to what they are doing which could be interpreted at suicide

MargoC said...

I agree with Ruth. i think that beattys death was suicide because he was provoking Montag to kill him. I think that beatty was like Montag at one point and read the books and realized how much the world is missing out on and that he wanted to die. For a prediction for the futture, i think that Montag is going to end up like Beatty!!

PaulF said...

No I don't think that beatty's death was sucicide. He hated Montag and was just being mean to him. He finally pushed Montag over the top and Montag got so mad he killed Beatty. This is like when kids at schools get picked on and go over the top and shoot people. If you are mean to the wrong person then you could die becasue of it. Beatty is just mean at heart and wasn't trying to get himself killed he just liked chastizing Montag.

connors said...

I believe Beatty committed suicide becuase when threatened by Guy with the flamethrower, he kept spouting quotes and chastizing him, basically threating him while he was the in danger. Beatty says "Montag, you idiot, Montag, you damn fool; why did you really do it," and even as he says this he hits Montag, and Montag uses the flame thrower.

nicoles said...

I think that Beatty wanted to die. This is because he obviously had a past that involved books and the knowledge they contained. At the beginning of Fahrenheit 451, when Beatty gives his speech to Montag, I think he is trying to convince himself that books are no good, and that he should keep his mind off of them. I also think that he misses obtaining knowledge, and learning about his society. After going through the situation with Montag, I think that Beatty was fed up, and ready to die. He was prepared to die, then to live in a society where knowledge didn't exist, and ignorance was the basis of life.

Bronson said...

Personally I do not consider what happened a true suicide but rather a murder that was desired by the victim. After Montag and Beatty's meeting, and even during it, Beatty is slowly provoking Montag. He tries to make Montag feel not only bad about himself but also about Beatty. When Beatty returns to the firehouse Beatty told him about his "dream" in which they have a war of words that Beatty completly dominates. This as well as all of taunts and the egging on right before Montag kills him. So this was obviously a wanted homicide.

Paulh said...

Beatty's death was a suicide because he wanted to die. He knew what his country had become and he didn't want to live in it anymore. So he made Montag so angry at him that he would kill him. But in a way it was also a murder because at the time Montag didn't know Beatty wanted to die. So by Montag's point of view he murdered Beatty.

CourtneyA said...

I do think Beatty's death was suicide. He gave Montag a flame torch and that was very stupid. I don't think that he would have given him it, if he did not want to die. He also kept 'pushing all of Montag's buttons". Almost every little thing Beatty could think of that would set Montag off he did. He did not seem nervous that he could die any second. He didn't run when Montag was about to react. I don't think it was murder.

mollyo said...

I think that Beatty's death could be argued from both sides. I think that you could argue his death being a suicide all the ways people have been saying. Beatty was very good with words. He knew what to say and how to say it to get Montag to kill him. During our discussion we talked about if Beatty had been planning to do a "staged death" for a while or if it was just in the heat of the moment. I think that he just decided it in the heat of the moment. Beatty is a very smart, educated man. For example, he is always quoting passages of literature. I think that Beatty himself wanted to hide something that he has been doing such as reading books himself and he has never had such a vulnerable fireman until Montag to help him out of his lies and guilt. He always told Montag and the other firemen that books were nothing but pages and no one should ever read them, but i think that he actually read them himself but no one would ever suspect him because he is the head fireman.

SophiaA said...

I do believe that Beatty's death was suicide but it was not "direct" suicide. He killed himself through Montag so it would look like a murder because he probably did not want people to ponder the deeper meaning of why he would kill himself if it was an obvious suicide. Beatty was provoking Montag the whole time as others have said. As Anish said, Beatty did not defend himself or move out of the way of Montag. I think he wanted it to look like a murder (by Montag) because he wanted to look as though he was a hero to other firemen and he was sacrificing his life for the job.

michelles said...

I agree with Hailey and Emerald:
Beatty technically didn't committ suicide because Montag killed him. Although, he never once asked Montag to NOT kill him, so it seemed like he was okay with it in a way. I don't think he necessarily wanted to die, but he didn't seem to find much of a point in living anymore either. Like Hailey said, in a metaphorical way, Beatty was slowly killing himself the whole time. I think all of the firemen were, even if they enjoyed their jobs. They knew buring books was wrong, and even so, they did it every day. I think this brought all of them to a point of confusion and maybe eventually ideas on killing themselves or being okay with the idea, like in Beatty's case.
I also agree with Jonathan K; Beatty had an influence on Montag because of his intelligence, and Montag realized that. Under the influence of Beatty's pressure, Montag finally cracked and killed Beatty, without Beatty directly telling him to do so.
Basically, Beatty committed suicide with Montag's help, even though that doesn't necessarily sound logical.