Guy Montag, a fireman of the future, lives in a modern, strange and scary world where students don\'t learn from humans, but from TV (so they can\'t ask questions), where people get rid of their aggressions by visiting \"Fun Parks\" and \"Car Wreckers\", and where human beings try to have fun by killing others. The most important aim of humans is having fun - even by taking pills, which might be suggestive of drugs you take today to feel better or to forget your problems.
In this depressing world where people can\'t even talk to each other, it is Montag's job to find books and to burn them. At the very beginning of the first chapter his job and the feelings of firemen doing their job (\"It was special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed\") is described.
One day, the protagonist gets to know his new neighbour, Clarisse McClellan, a young and critical girl who prompts him to start thinking about his meaningless life and books. The relationship with Clarisse who soon gets killed in an accident influences Guy very much, so he gets problems with his feelings and even wants to take the beetle to get rid of his aggressions and kill animals but finally he comes under the books\' spellbound. The next incisive event in Montag\'s life is a meeting with an old woman who prefers dying in a sea of flames to \"living\" without her beloved books. Montag gets the order to burn books in the house of an old and withdrawn woman who refuses to leave her home while the firemen burn her books. This event made quite a big impression on Montag who also steals a book from the lady. Montag reads the book unaffected by warnings of his boss, Beatty, who apparently knows that Montag does own a book. The only problem Guy has while reading the book is that he can\'t remember what it is about.
Later he gets to know some of Mildred\'s friends, Mrs Phelps and Mrs Bowles, who characterize the attitude of citizens concerning for example their relationship to their husbands (\"He said, if I get killed off, you just go right ahead and don\'t cry, [...] but don\'t think of me\").The third important incident is Montag\'s relationship to Faber, a very well educated and intelligent old professor who encourages him in his assumption that reading books is important for everyone. Faber wants Montag to find out what is the truth and to make his own decision. Beatty just tries to convince Guy that reading is a scourge and that everyone has to obey and accept the political system when there\'s another alarm; they jump into the car and drive to the house of Guy Montag. There Beatty gives Montag a roasting, provokes him very much and in a way wants Guy to kill him and so Montag does; he burns his boss.
Montag is totally confused and bewildered, he nearly gets knocked down by a car (the car doesn\'t drive over Montag who lies on the road for fear of having damaged a car, which is significant of this society, too), meets Faber who tells him to pour alcohol over his body so that he can\'t be caught by the mechanical hound, gives him new clothes and tells him the way to a hidden place. Montag follows Faber\'s instructions and finally arrives at a place where some bums (\"living books\") live; they tell him about their world view and the fact that every one of them knows the plot of one book very well. Montag decides to be a Book of Ecclesiastes and also sees an interesting example for the propaganda of the politics on TV: A scene\'s shown where another, innocent and harmless Montag is killed by the police. The predicted and dreaded atomic war starts, and an interesting scene is described: A bomb detonates in the town where Mildred, who apparently betrayed her husband and left him, lives, and so the TV-set breaks down ... Mildred sees her empty and unreal smile on the black TV-screen and of course she\'s shocked.
\"And on either side of the river was there a tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.\"