"Montag pleaded with the woman at his elbow. 'You can come with me.' 'No,' she said. 'Thank you anyway. . . I want to stay here. . . You can stop counting,' she said. She opened the fingers of one hand slightly and in the palm of the hand was a single slender object. An ordinary kitchen match . . . The woman on the porch reached out with contempt to them all, and struck the kitchen match against the railing," (Bradbury 36). On a fire call to burn the house of an old lady who had books in her possession, Montag stole a book while spraying kerosene on the books to be burnt, and took the stolen book home with him. Just as the firemen were going to light her house, the old lady decided to set fire to her own house so she could die with her books, not giving in to the firemen. This event horrified Montag, and made him question the views of society, in addition to what his own career was accomplishing. His questioning society had a significant impact on the plot, and stealing a book also led him to take further action, creating events and conflicts in the plot that would not have otherwise occurred.
"He had chills and fever in the morning. 'You can't be sick,' said Mildred. He closed his eyes against the hotness. 'Yes.' 'But you were all right, last night.' 'No, I wasn't . . . Aren't you going to ask about last night?' 'What about it?' 'We burned a thousand books. We burned a woman.' 'Well?'" (Bradbury 45). When Montag takes in the horror of the event that occurred the previous night, he begins to question much of their society, the distress of which makes him ill. He especially begins to question society when his wife does not share the horror he felt about the event the previous night, which makes him realize the views of the general population. Montag's questioning will lead him to take further action based on it, which significantly influences the plot. In addition, Captain Beatty visited Montag, and explained some of the often overlooked aspects about society, in addition to a brief history of firemen. He also informed Montag that at least once in their career, every fireman has a desire to know what books say, and that they let a fireman keep a book for twenty-four hours just to let them see that books say nothing. If the book is not burnt by then, the other firemen will simply burn it for them. Montag is still hiding the book under his pillow, which makes him nervous throughout the interaction with Beatty. This event leads Montag to take further actions significant to the plot, including reading books for himself.
"'Millie?' He paused. 'This is your house as well as mine. I feel it's only fair that I tell you something now. I should have told you before, but I wasn't even admitting it to myself. I have something I want you to see, something I've put away and hid during the past year, now and again once in a while, I didn't know why, but I did it and I never told you.' . . . Then he reached up and pulled back the grill of the air-conditioning system and reached far back inside to the right and moved still another sliding sheet of metal and took out a book. . .He kept moving his hand and dropping books. . .When he was done he looked down upon some twenty books lying at his wife's feet," (Bradbury 62). After Montag had been questioning society and Beatty told him that firemen were permitted to keep a book for twenty-four hours before burning it, Montag decided to reveal his stash of books to his wife, and also started reading books for himself to see if he could find their meaning. This will lead him to take actions to promote his understanding of books in the future plot, significantly affecting the course of the plot.