Fahrenheit 451 The Characters • Guy Montag: – The protagonist of the novel. – At the beginning of the story he is little more than a fireman who lives without thinking or feeling – By the end of the novel, he is transformed into a true human—someone who realizes the value of knowledge. – He changes from a fireman dedicated to burning books, to a wandering refugee devoted to their preservation. The Characters • Mildred: –Mildred is Montag’s wife –She acts more like a robot than a person. –She is obsessed with television, and shuts out feelings of love and remorse. –At one time, she attempts suicide, but is unsuccessful. The Characters • Beatty: – Beatty is Montag’s fire captain. – Though he is well read in literature, he chooses to burn books because he feels betrayed by them. – Beatty seems to be the mastermind, if there is one, behind government censorship. – He is not a robot like Montag, but a man who consciously chooses to do evil. The Characters • Clarisse McClellan: –Clarisse is the next-door neighbor of Montag –She is silenced by the government for living independently and learning the true meaning of life. –Her influence on Montag at the beginning of the story is profound –Because of her, Montag decides to start reading for himself. The Characters • Faber: – Faber, not coincidentally the name of a pencil-making company, is the elderly retired professor – He helps Montag escape the city. – He also serves as a mentor to Montag, teaching him what he knows about the value of books. – On a metaphorical level, Faber symbolizes the tool (as his name implies) of learning. The Characters • Mechanical Hound: –The Hound is a computerized animal used by the government to punish its enemies –Though Montag torches the first Hound, a second one is brought in to track him. –The Hound represents the strong hand of dictatorship. The Characters • Stoneman/Black: –These are minor characters only seen briefly by the reader. –They are Montag’s fellow firemen, and have faces blackened by the smoke and soot of their occupation. –Eventually, Montag plants a book in Black’s house so that other firemen will burn it to the ground. The Characters • Mrs. Phelps/Mrs. Bowles: –These women are also minor characters. –They are the friends of Mildred who are appalled when Montag reads them poetry. The Characters • Granger: –Granger is seen in the last few pages of the work. –He is the leader of the resistance movement that Montag joins. –He has deep knowledge of literature and the world in general. –His goal is to preserve classical knowledge. The Hearth and the Salamander Part I Pages 1-21 Quiz pgs 3-11 • What is the number on Guy’s helmet? • What color was Clarisse’s dress and what literary device does Bradbury use to tell us? • What was Clarisse hypnotized by? • What would tell Clarisse that Guy was a fireman, even with her eyes shut? • What are the two smells in the air as they walk? • Write the firefighter slogan and state the literary device within it. • Name the three things Clarisse tells Guy that he did not know. • What is Clarisse’s final question to Guy once they reach her house? The Hearth and the Salamander • Begins with a description of the main character, Guy Montag, a fireman trained not to put out fires, but to set them. • The number on his helmet reads 451. • Coincidentally, this is also the temperature at which he and the other firemen burn the books they find. • Montag seems to be a robot of sorts, a machine simply following orders, not thinking for himself in any way at all. The Hearth and the Salamander • His mission—a mission to destroy homes contaminated with books—is mandated by the government. • Though he initially seems moderately content with his job and his life in general, Montag’s mind reflects the condition of his futuristic society: empty. • In this world, very few people still bother to consider the deeper questions of philosophy and religion. They are consumed with instant • The government is struggling to sugarcoat a major world war, which threatens to tear the nation apart—physically. The Hearth and the Salamander • On this evening, Montag is surprised when he comes face to face with a teenage girl, Clarisse McClellan, who happens to be his neighbor. • Clarisse admits herself that she is ―seventeen and . . . crazy.‖ • Indeed she is out of place in this brave new world of sorts, where individual personalities are downplayed by society. • More importantly, Clarisse thinks for herself—a trait definitely discouraged by the totalitarian government of the time. The Hearth and the Salamander • Clarisse asks questions that force Montag to think deeply, perhaps for the first time, about his life and himself as a person. • For example, ―I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly.‖ • Clarisse brings up a good point: this society is too preoccupied with speed to enjoy the colors of nature. The Hearth and the Salamander • There is actually a minimum speed limit: vehicles driving too slowly will be pulled over by the police. • Clarisse admits that she doesn’t go to the government-sponsored activities • This is all new to Montag, who can’t believe his neighbor is so rebellious. • Yet in a sense, Clarisse is an inspiration to Montag, who is beginning to feel rebellious himself. Quiz Pages 11 - 21 1. What is Guy’s answer to Clarisse’s question? 2. List and explain the simile surrounding his happiness on page 12. 3. What two things does Mildred do every night before bed? 4. Who does Guy call? 5. Explain the two machines that the men had. 6. How much did the men’s service cost and how many cases like Mildred’s do they get per night? 7. Explain the metaphor that Guy uses on page 17 to explain relationships. 8. What does Mildred think happened the night before? 9. What does Mildred say when Guy tells her what happened? 10. How much does Guy make per year? 11. How long ago was the third wall put up? 12. What is his final question to her before he leaves for work? The Hearth and the Salamander • She asks him if he is happy, and he immediately becomes uncomfortable and embarrassed • Montag has tried to dismiss this thought, yet he begins to consider deeper questions of life. • When he returns home and looks at his wife, in bed and listening to ―little seashells‖ in her ears he realizes that he isn’t happy. • ―He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back.‖ The Hearth and the Salamander • Montag realizes that his wife, Mildred, has tried to kill herself with sleeping tablets. • Montag dials the police and soon two robot-type men enter the house, carrying two different machines to drain and replace Mildred’s blood. • Bradbury contrasts this very melancholy scene with the laughter of Clarisse and her family next door: – ―Above all, their laughter was relaxed and hearty and not forced in any way, coming from the house that was so brightly lit this late at night while all the other houses were kept to themselves in darkness.‖ The Hearth and the Salamander • This is too much for Montag’s fragile emotional base. • All the ideas fluttering around his mind are captured in Bradbury’s stream-of-consciousness narration: –―Clarisse, Mildred, uncle, fire, sleeping tablets . . . ‖ pgs 17-18 The Hearth and the Salamander • In the morning, Mildred awakes, Montag questions her about her suicide attempt and she denies it, saying she ―wouldn’t do a thing like that.‖ • Soon, Mildred’s obsession with her ―family,‖ or the fictional characters of her expensive three- walled television, is made known. • Obviously Mildred fits the perfect profile of a modern human: – she’s just another robot – she doesn’t think or feel, but simply absorbs the propaganda that the government feeds her. Activity 1. Find the verbal irony on page 3. 2. Find the personification on page 3. 3. Find the personification on page 5. 4. Find the alliteration on page 8. 5. Find the simile on page 11. 6. Find the simile on page 12. 7. Find the personification on page 14. 8. Find the simile on page 15. 9. Find the metaphor on page 17. The Hearth and the Salamander Part II Pages 21-32 Quiz 21-32 1. What is Clarisse doing when Guy sees her? 2. Explain what she has with her and what she does with it. 3. What do the results of the experiment in #2 suggest? 4. After she leaves, what does Guy do as he walks? 5. How many legs does a mechanical hound have? 6. Find the simile on page 24 and explain it. 7. What three animals do the firemen let loose for the hound to catch? 8. Why did the firemen do this? 9. Find and explain the simile on page 25. 10. Find an example of personification on page 26. 11. How many times has the hound threatened Guy? 12. Find a line on 27 where Guy sounds like Clarisse. 13. List the gifts that Clarisse gives to Guy. 14. According to Clarisse, what do kids do at school? The Hearth and the Salamander • Montag leaves his house to go to the fire station where he works the night shift. • On the way there, he again meets Clarisse, who uses a dandelion to show that she’s in love. • When she rubs the dandelion on Montag’s chin, no yellow mark is made, which means he’s not in love with anyone. • He tries to convince himself and Clarisse that he is indeed in love, but it soon becomes painfully evident that he’s not. • Montag also realizes that Clarisse seems more mature than his wife, although Mildred is thirty years old while Clarisse is only seventeen. • Obviously this reflects their differences as people: – Mildred is a government-corrupted robot who knows nothing outside the world of her parlor ―family‖ – Clarisse has learned about real life—nature, religion and philosophy. The Hearth and the Salamander • Upon reaching the firehouse, Montag becomes immediately frightened by the Mechanical Hound that stands guard outside. • This computerized dog acts as the iron fist of the government, finding and eliminating enemies of the system • The ―animal‖ has heightened perceptions and can easily detect traitors to the government’s cause. • When Montag approaches, the Mechanical Hound seems suspicious, growling at him when he says ―hello.‖ • Bradbury personifies the dog: – ―It was like a great bee come home from some field where the honey is full of poison wildness, of insanity and nightmare, its body crammed with that overrich nectar, and now it was sleeping the evil out of itself.‖ • This frightens Montag, who begins to suspect that someone in the fire station knows about his secret— namely, that he has books illegally hidden behind the ventilator grille of his house. The Hearth and the Salamander • Montag speaks to Clarisse about how she is ―anti-social.‖ • This passage implicitly suggests Bradbury’s attitude toward education, which is a fundamental theme of the book. • Clarisse is labeled ―anti-social‖ by her peers, because she doesn’t attend school or any of the other government-sponsored activities. • Yet Clarisse has a different definition of sociality: – ―Social to me means talking to you about things like this . . .[At school] they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film teacher. That’s not social to me at all.‖ • Here Bradbury, in the words of Clarisse, strongly advocates freedom of thought and attacks government censorship. The Hearth and the Salamander • After a few days, Clarisse abruptly disappears. • Montag doesn’t know what happened to her yet, but her absence deeply troubles him, though perhaps he doesn’t know why. • It seems that war is coming to this country, though the state-controlled news bulletins won’t announce it. • Jet bombers are frequently heard overhead, but most people don’t notice or realize their significance. • Here, Bradbury builds the setting for his dramatic conclusion. The Hearth and the Salamander Part III Pages 33-40 Quiz 33-40 1. Explain the metaphor in the first paragraph of the reading. 2. What is Montag exploring when the reading opens? 3. What are the characteristics of a fireman according to Montag on page 33? 4. Montag begins to give himself away with a single line on page 33; what is it? 5. Beatty and Montag discuss a recent ―fixing.‖ What happened to the man and what is the rationale for the punishment? 6. What is the significance of Montag’s daydream on page 34? 7. Find and write two lines of proof on page 34 that Clarisse has had an impact on Montag. 8. Who pulls out the rule book? 9. Who was the first fireman and when was it all established? 10. How many times did the fire alarm sound? 11. Explain the new feature added to homes many years ago. 12. What did Montag forget? 13. Explain how the firemen get their information and who sends it to them. 14. What was different about this particular job according to Montag on page 36-37? 15. What does Montag compare his job to on 37? 16. What line does he read? 17. Explain the most important simile on page 37. 18. Explain Betty’s reasoning to the woman for burning her books. 19. What was the significance of the woman’s line? The Hearth and the Salamander • Montag, who is playing cards with the other men, realizes that all of the firemen are ―mirror images of himself.‖ • All of them have ―charcoal‖ hair and blackened faces from the smoke. • This realization scares Montag, who is beginning to see who and what he is. • Indeed all the men are robots—that’s what this society wants. • Fortunately, Montag sees this quality of his society and will soon try to break the mold. The Hearth and the Salamander • Montag is drawn into a conversion with Beatty and the rest of the men. • First, he absent-mindedly speculates about the consequences of a fireman possessing books (obviously thinking about himself). • This leads Beatty to question Montag, who of course hides the fact that he has books hidden behind the ventilator grille of his home. The Hearth and the Salamander • Montag, remembering what Clarisse told him earlier, asks Beatty if it’s true that at one time firemen put out fires instead of starting them. • He shows Montag the fireman’s rulebook, which outlines a brief history of the profession. • This book champions Benjamin Franklin as the first fireman because he apparently mandated the burning of pro-British books in the newly founded United States. • Bradbury must consider Franklin to be the first American to censor literature. The Hearth and the Salamander • Soon the alarm sounds and Montag and the other firemen race to a house where books have been reported to exist. • Though usually the police come to take away the ―victims‖ before the firemen arrive to torch the place, on this occasion, the owner is still present when Montag arrives. • She greatly disturbs Montag, who feels guilty that she is there to see her beloved books and house burn. • Montag finds himself snatching up one of the books for himself. • Bradbury narrates, ―Montag had done nothing. His hand had done it all, his hand, with a brain of its own, with a conscience and a curiosity in each trembling finger, had turned thief.‖ • After the firemen have dutifully doused the dark inhabitance with kerosene, the woman strikes a match, willfully destroying her house and books as well as committing suicide in the process. The Hearth and the Salamander • During Montag’s return trip to the fire station, the reader begins to find out that there is more to Beatty than meets the eye. • The fire chief seems well-versed in classic literature, being able to quote a sixteenth century heretic who the woman at the house referenced. • Indeed Beatty does know the material he chooses to burn. • Yet the he shrugs it off as, ―I’m full of bits and pieces . . . Most fire captains have to be.‖ The Hearth and the Salamander Part IV Pages 41-54 Quiz 41-54 1. Explain the extended metaphor on page 41 concerning the book. 2. According to Montag and the old joke, what would he have to buy to talk to Mildred? 3. What is ironic about when they met? 4. Explain the simile on page 43. 5. What are the things that he compares his wife to on page 45? 6. What is ironic about his feeling of her death vs. his feelings of her life? 7. Cite and explain three examples of their communication problems from this reading. 8. What happened to Clarisse? 9. What is the important thing outside the Montag house and why is it there? 10.Why can’t Mildred tell Guy what was on the parlor last night? 11.What made Guy vomit? 12.Explain three things that Mildred does when Guy is sick that shows her true character. 13.How does Mildred exemplify the thinking off all people except Guy on the issue of the burning woman? 14.What is significant about Montag’s verb choices in the last paragraph on page 51? List examples. 15.What does Beatty do during his visit with Guy that shows his fascination with fire? The Hearth and the Salamander • Montag returns home, appearing sick and delirious as he hides his new book under his pillow. • Watching Mildred listen to her beloved seashells, Montag again realizes how alienated he is from his wife and home. • He knows that they have no love for one another anymore and that their life together is meaningless: – Bradbury explains, ―And suddenly she was so strange he couldn’t believe he knew her at all. He was in someone else’s house, like those other jokes people told of the gentleman, drunk, coming home late at night, unlocking the wrong door, entering a wrong room, and bedding with a stranger and getting up early and going to work and neither of them the wiser.‖ The Hearth and the Salamander • Montag identifies Mildred’s parlor ―family,‖ the automated voices that talk to Mildred from the walls, as a major reason for the falling-out in their relationship. • The fireman thinks to himself, ―Well, wasn’t there a wall between him and Mildred, when you came down to it? • Literally not just one wall but, so far, three! The Hearth and the Salamander • Montag learns from his wife that Clarisse is missing. • ―Whole family moved out somewhere. But she’s gone for good. I think she’s dead,‖ Mildred explains. • This leads to a discussion between the couple over Montag’s career as a fireman. • ―Mildred, how would it be if, well, maybe, I quit my job awhile?‖ Montag asks. • He goes on, ―Last night I thought about all the kerosene I’ve used in the past ten years. And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up.‖ • When Mildred becomes frustrated with Montag’s personal struggle, he finally releases his anger, charging, ―How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?‖ The Hearth and the Salamander Part IV Pages 54-61 Quiz 54-61 1. According to Beatty, how did the firemen actually get started and why? 2. Trace the events which led books to become ―the snap ending.‖ What happened? 3. What is the major allusion in this reading? Explain it. 4. Find and explain an example of personification on page 55. 5. What happened to school over time? What subjects were dropped and what is the reasoning behind all of this change? 6. How does Mildred almost give Montag away? 7. Explain the line ―Highways full of crowds going somewhere, somewhere, nowhere.‖ 8. Explain the line, ―The bigger your market, the less you handle controversy.‖ Is this true? What is Beatty’s argument for saying this? Do you agree? Why or why not? 9. What are the three things that Beatty says led to the censorship? 10. Explain the line ―A book is a loaded gun.‖ What literary device is this? What does it mean? 11. According to Beatty, how will burning books make us all alike? 12. What does Beatty suggest that we ―fill the people up with?‖ Why? Give examples. The Hearth and the Salamander • Captain Beatty comes to Montag’s house, pretending to be a caring employer looking out for his sick employee, but really meaning to interrogate Montag. • Montag again hides the book under his pillow, frantically trying to cover-up his illegal activity. The Hearth and the Salamander • Beatty explains the history of book censorship: – Before books were censored, authors were able to put down their true thoughts even though they only appealed to a minority. – As the earth’s population grew, literature had to be ―leveled down to a sort of pastepudding norm.‖ – This explains the demand for censorship, toleration of others’ rights forced the media to abolish books altogether, they could conceivably offend someone. – Unlike Brave New World and 1984, censorship doesn’t originate from the government—quite the opposite: ―Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God‖ – The moral aims of the ideal of censorship: ―Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal.‖ – Each man the image of every other Quiz 61-68 1. What are the two things that Beatty calls the firemen? 2. Why does Beatty think that the books will ―make everyone unhappy?‖ 3. Find and explain the simile on page 62. 4. Find and explain the metaphor on page 62. 5. What does Beatty do with a fireman who takes a book home? 6. What is ironic about Beatty’s car? 7. According to Montag and Clarisse, what are homes missing now and why? 8. What are two more things that people no longer have that used to be popular and why has each item disappeared? 9. Explain the two new devices that the Montag’s have purchased and explain what they do to enhance the TV experience. 10.What is Mildred’s advice when Guy says that he is unhappy? What does this say about her? 11.What is ironic about Mildred’s line ―I’m tired of listening to this junk.‖ on page 65 12.What does Mildred try to do with the books and what does Montag have to do to stop her? The Hearth and the Salamander • Bradbury asserts his own beliefs about censorship by having the fire captain support the exactly opposite position. • Instead of telling the reader what to think, the author lets the reader see the error of Beatty’s logic for himself. • After the fire chief leaves, Montag decides to reveal to Mildred his deep secret—the books he has hidden behind the grille. • Mildred, however, doesn’t understand her husband and resists his ―radical‖ ideas. The Sieve and the Sand 71-110 Quiz 71-81 • Find and thoroughly explain four different literary devices. You should write out the sample and give a detailed explanation of it. Finally, explain how each device furthers the novel’s overall theme. Pages 71-81 • Bradbury’s next section begins with Montag sitting on his floor, reading portions of his hidden books. • Though most of the writing goes over his head, Montag still realizes the importance of the literature he illegally owns. • Secondly, he connects the authors of these books with Clarisse. • ―These men have been dead a long time, but I know their words point, one way or another, to Clarisse,‖ he says to himself. Pages 71-81 • Soon, however, the reader begins to perceive a very ominous presence. • The Mechanical Hound seems to be listening to Montag read from behind the door. • He again attempts to convince Mildred that his books are acceptable, necessary in fact. • Considering the coming nuclear world war to which everyone seems oblivious, Montag asserts, ―Maybe the books can get us half out of the cave. They just might stop us from making the same damn insane mistakes!‖ • In this way, Montag sees books not only as helpful tools, but as vital agents of salvation for his diseased world. Pages 71-81 • Knowing that he doesn’t posses the necessary knowledge of books to change the world himself, Montag begins to consider whether or not anyone will be able to help him. • Soon he remembers an incident that occurred in a park several months before. • Faber decided to give the fireman his address for future reference. Thus, Montag had a contact person to begin his ―quest.‖ • After questioning Faber on the phone unsuccessfully (Faber denies having any books), Montag finally shows Mildred his recently stolen book—the Bible. • Mildred urges him to turn it in to Beatty, but Montag is reluctant, thinking instead that he can turn in another book in its place. Pages 71-81 • On the subway, Montag tries again to read his Bible, hoping that if he reads a lot at one time, some of it he will remember before he forgets it all. • Bradbury uses the sieve in the sand metaphor to support this idea. • What’s ironic about this scene is that Montag reads about the ―lilies of the field‖ while his ears are forced to listen to ―Denham’s‖ personal hygiene advertisements from the subway speakers. • Here, the poetic beauty of scripture and the old world clashes with the mechanized message of consumption offered by Bradbury’s new age of government dictatorship. Quiz Pages 81-91 1. Is Faber religious? 2. What do books smell like according to Faber? 3. What does Faber mean when he says he should have spoken out when no one would listen to the guilty? 4. What does Montag want Faber to teach him? 5. Why does Faber call him a ―Hopeless romantic‖ and what does this mean? 6. How long has Montag been a fireman? 7. List the three things that Faber says are missing in society? 8. How does Faber define a good, mediocre, and bad writer? 9. What does Faber mean when he says ―flowers living on flowers‖? 10. What does Faber wear on the subway? 11. Explain the plan Faber comes up with on page 85. 12. List five allusions in this reading with page number. 13. Explain the simile on page 88. Pages 81-91 • Montag finally reaches Faber’s house. • He eventually opens the door when he sees the Bible Montag possesses. • Faber admits that he hasn’t seen a Bible for a long time. • He goes on to criticize the secularization of religion in recent years. • He muses, ―I often wonder if God recognizes His own son the way we’ve dressed him up, or is it dressed him down?‖ • Christ is now little more than a good advertiser for consumer goods. • Everything and everyone who used to be real is watered down in this overly tolerant society. Pages 81-91 • Faber begins telling Montag the history of this modern era from his perspective. • Ancient books, like the Bible, are incredibly valuable because they are sufficiently detailed to portray life as it is—real. • The reason why the Bible and other books were censored, Faber says, is because their portrayal of life was often too real • Secondly, Faber explains that the lack of leisure time, meaning time to contemplate the deep mysteries of life, has been taken away by the government. • Temporal pleasures, like television, serve to occupy people • Lastly, the application of the ideas learned in books, a natural freedom, Bradbury though Faber argues, is necessary to change the behavior of man. • Books are intended to correct the mistakes humans made in the past, and to ―remind‖ men what ―asses and fools‖ they were. Pages 81-91 • Montag’s character continues to change. • No longer is he a robot, he is beginning to think for himself, seeing himself struggling for a noble ideal, to save the world from ignorance. • He tells his mentor, ―That’s the good part of dying: when you’ve nothing to lose, you run any risk you want.‖ • Montag realizes the relative insignificance of his own life compared to that of the world. • Though Faber is skeptical about the possibility for another mental renaissance of sorts, Montag believes that a new revolution of peoples’ minds can indeed occur. • When Faber refuses to help, Montag threatens him, reminding him that’s he’s a fireman. • When he begins to rip the pages of the Bible, Faber gives in and agrees to teach Montag what he knows as a professor. Pages 81-91 • Next, Montag and his teacher/mentor, Faber, construct a loose plan of action. • Montag gives Faber some cash to purchase a printing press from an old college friend. • Montag decides to start planting books in other firemen’s homes so that they will be burned. ― • The salamander devours his tail!‖ Faber exclaims • Faber gives Montag a ―seashell‖ listening device that he’s invented. • Faber instructs Montag to put this instrument into his ear so that he can receive instructions from his teacher. • In this way, he can speak for Montag without actually having to confront others (i.e. Beatty) directly. • Faber explains, ―I can sit comfortably home, warming my frightened bones, and hear and analyze the firemen’s world, find its weaknesses, without danger.‖ Quiz 91-101 1. Who are the ―drones‖ Faber refers to on page 91? 2. What animal does Faber compare himself to on 91? What literary device is this? 3. What is Montag wearing in each ear? How are the two things different? 4. How long is the bank open and why? 5. Why does Faber suggest they say ―a million‖ when the number is really ten million? 6. Why does Montag criticize Faber on pages 92 – 93? 7. What does Faber read to Montag? 8. How long does Faber sleep every night? 9. Find three literary devices on page 93 and explain them. 10. What are the names of the visitors on 93 and what do we learn about the women that visit through their dialogue? 11. What do we learn about Pete and his wife? What does all of the dialogue on 94-95 tell us about the citizens? 12. Explain the discussion of children. Where are they? What do they do? 13. Who wants to hear the poetry and who doesn’t. 14. Why does Montag get mad near the end of the reading? What does he say to the women? Pages 91-101 • Montag finds his wife entertaining women guests who have come to watch her parlor family. • Montag, now inspired by his conversation with Faber, realizes now more than ever that he has nothing in common with these women • They live their lives according to what’s on television, not by what’s in their hearts or minds. • One of these ladies even complains about having to put up with her children during the three days that they come home every month • The other days are spent in state-run day care, learning how to be a robot no doubt Pages 91-101 • Montag becomes so bold with the ladies that he begins to read them poetry from one of his books. • This is a traumatic experience for the women, one of whom starts to cry. • Though Montag destroys the book afterwards, to make it seem as though he was simply demonstrating the silliness of poetry, the damage has already been done. • Mrs. Bowles rejects Montag’s ―poetry lesson,‖ and he tells her: – ―Go home and think of your first husband divorced – your second husband killed in a jet – your third husband blowing his brains out – the dozen abortions you’ve had – your damn Caesarian sections – your children who hate your guts – Go home and think how it all happened and what did you ever do to stop it?‖ • This ruins the social evening completely. All the ladies leave, except Mildred, who hurries to the bathroom to take some sleeping tablets. Pages 91-101 • Through the radio-seashell, Faber hears all of this, unable to believe what Montag has said. • Montag knows that his actions may have given him away, but he takes comfort in the fact that Faber is there (in the seashell) to teach him. • Faber rebukes Montag for his careless actions with the ladies, but admits that mistakes can lead to wisdom. • Next, earplug in place, Montag enters the fire station, ready to do battle with Beatty. • During their card game, Beatty intimidates Montag by quoting books that cite the danger of learning. • Beatty knows exactly what Montag has done, and hopes to scare him off with his superior knowledge of literature. Quiz 101-111 1. What two things does Montag say that he will do to Mrs. Bowles? 2. Explain the metaphor that Montag uses to describe Mildred and the dynamite on page 102. 3. Where does Montag hid the books? 4. What is the extended metaphor used to describe Montag- plus-Faber? 5. What do they turn into? 6. Explain Faber’s statement comparing the earth to a meteor. 7. Why did Faber shove his ignorance in people’s face? 8. As Montag is walking to work, ____ ____ won’t move. 9. What does Montag compare Faber to on page 104? 10. List the four allusions on page 105. 11. Why does Beatty say ―The sheep returns to the fold‖? What does this mean on a literal and symbolic level? What is he indirectly alluding to? 12. Who was driving the salamander? 13. Where do they stop? 101-111 • Beatty seems incredibly well read, despite his opposition to books. • Bradbury doesn’t explain the fire chief’s history very well, but the reader can assume that Beatty has an interesting story to tell. • The captain tries to dissuade Montag from becoming too attached to books. • ―Stick with the firemen, Montag. All else is dreary chaos!‖ he tells him. 101-111 • This scene is one of the most important in the entire novel. • Montag must decide whom to believe: Faber or Beatty. • Montag already feels exhausted and physically derailed by the captain. • Montag has little time to collect his thoughts before the fire alarm sounds and he finds himself racing to another house. • Finally the Salamander stops—in front of Montag’s residence. Burning Bright Quiz 111-121 1. What does ―carnival‖ refer to on page 113? 2. What does Beatty say about Clarisse? 3. What happened to Mildred? 4. What was the last thing that she complained about and how is that ironic? 5. ___ and ___ used axes to provide cross-ventilation. 6. According to Beatty, what is the real beauty of fire? 7. What three characteristics does Beatty say that fire has to help solve a problem? 8. What simile does Bradbury use to describe the burning books on page 117? 9. What metaphor does Bradbury use to describe the television on page 117? 10.Who turned in the first alarm on him? 11.Who turned in the second alarm on him? 12.Explain what Montag meant by ―the great earthquake‖ on page 118. 13.What was Beatty going to do to Montag when the job was done? 14.Who hits Montag and why is this significant? 15.Who does Montag kill? 16.What is the significance of the autumn leaf? 17.How does the hound hurt its victims? 111-121 • Now in front of Montag’s house, Beatty drops all pretenses of being kind. • He refers to Clarisse as ―that little idiot,‖ blaming Montag for accepting her philosophy of life. • Mildred rushes out of the house, muttering to herself about her lost ―family.‖ • Montag asks her if she was the one who put in the call to the authorities, but she doesn’t respond. • Montag feels a tremendous burden: – His wife has left him – his terrible secret is revealed – he has to torch his own house. 111-121 • Beatty says ―[Fire’s] real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences” • ―A problem gets too burdensome, then into the furnace with it.‖ • He hopes to torture Montag even more by telling him to burn his house single-handedly, without help from the other firemen. • Beatty tells Montag that indeed his wife did sound the alarm on him, as well as did the ladies who fled the house when Montag read the poetry. • Beatty tells Montag that he’s under arrest. • The fire chief smacks Montag, knocking Faber’s seashell onto the pavement. • Beatty picks up the ear piece radio and remarks, ―We’ll trace this and drop it on your friend.‖ 111-121 • These events prove to be too much for Montag. • Fighting back the only way he knows how, he unlocks the safety on his flame thrower, aims at his captain, and fires. • Beatty’s blackened corpse slowly falls to the ground. • The Mechanical Hound sees Montag, attacks and is torched, but not before injecting him with his poison. • Sensing the danger of remaining at the crime scene, Montag decides to hurry away. • He gets the last laugh when he turns to Beatty’s dead body and says, ―You always said, don’t face a problem, burn it. Well, now I’ve done both. Good-bye, Captain.‖ Quiz 121-131 1. Why does Montag compare his leg to a shotgun blast on page 121? 2. How many books does Montag find outside? 3. How does he justify killing Beatty? 4. What four things does he compare his leg to as it gets better? 5. What two things does Montag find in his pockets? 6. Why does he decide to go to Faber’s house on page 125? 7. How many helicopters were in the air on page 125? 8. What simile does he use to explain how his lungs feel? 9. Identify and explain the repetition on page 127. 10.What does Montag do that saves him from being run over by the beetle and why? 11.What thoughts show Montag as a hypocrite on page 128? 12.Who does Montag go to visit first and why? 13.Where does he phone the alarm from? 121-131 • Montag picks up the books he hid and limps away from his burning house, hearing police sirens approaching. • Montag comes to the realization the Beatty wanted to die: – He reflects over Beatty’s demeanor just before his death – This notion is not altogether surprising. – Suicide is rampant in this society, as Bradbury shows earlier. – Beatty is a very depressed man. – Though he knows the power that books have, he is cynical about them, citing the troubles that come from their reading. • Beatty feels betrayed by books and has decided to burn them. • Yet living this way isn’t living at all. Montag knows this and Beatty always did. • Their reactions to this knowledge are different; while Montag decides to fight back, Beatty gives in, opting for this passive suicide of sorts by letting Montag torch him. 121-131 • By this time, Montag is losing his sanity. • He didn’t mean to kill Beatty, but he did, and now he must deal with it. • His distorted mind thinks that Faber is dead, since what he knew Faber to be, the seashell, is scorched. • Montag’s animal instincts kick in as he considers what to do with the enemies he has left. • He finds himself heading towards Faber’s house. • Montag, in his delirium, somehow manages to avoid the police cars and helicopters that seek him out. • He stumbles across the home of Mr. Black, his fellow fireman. • He sneaks into the house and hides the books inside, stopping later to phone in the alarm from a public phone outside a convenience store. • As he walks away, he hears the approach of fire engines on their way to burn the Black residence. 121-131 • Montag reaches Faber’s house. • The old man is shocked to see him alive, after losing the ear-piece that was their only connection. • Montag quickly fills Faber in on his recent actions, scarcely believing his own words: – Beatty’s dead – Millie’s gone – The houses are burnt – The job is gone – Books have been planted Quiz 131-141 1. How much money does Montag leave with Faber? 2. Where does Faber tell him to go? 3. According to Faber, Who might still be able to help Montag on page 132? 4. What country does the novel take place in and how do we know? 5. Where is Faber going and why? 6. What does Bradbury compare the size of Faber’s TV screen to? 7. What is chasing Montag now? 8. What do Montag and Faber drink? 9. How many odor indexes can this new thing remember? 10.Find and explain one simile and one metaphor on page 133. 11.List the full set of instructions that Montag gives to Faber and explain them. 12.What two things does Montag ask Faber for on page 136? 13.Find and explain the example of personification on page 136. 14.What are the police instructions to the citizens? 15.What does Montag do on page 139 to try to escape? Notes 131-141 • Faber feels rejuvenated and ready to do battle himself • Faber tells Montag to head for the river while he leaves for St. Louis to see a retired printer. • Both men sit down to drink whiskey and relax a few minutes before they must be on the move. • Flipping on the television, they learn that a new Mechanical Hound is being brought in to track Montag • The media will be televising the Hound’s progress, like reality TV. Notes 131-141 • Now, with time against them, Montag tells Faber to get rid of his scent by: – Burning the bed spread, rug, and chair – Wiping down furniture and doorknobs with alcohol – Turning on the air-conditioner and using moth spray – Turning on the lawn sprinklers. • The two men part ways, agreeing to meet later in St. Louis. • Montag’ persona continues to change: – He is able to think for himself, make his own decisions, and even tell Faber what to do. • This is quite a contrast from the opening few pages, where Montag was nothing more than an ignorant, submissive robot of society. Notes 131-141 • What follows is Bradbury’s intense account of Montag’s struggle to lose the Hound. • Despite being sought by the Mechanical Hound, the helicopters, and twenty million television viewers, Montag is able to find the river • The police tell the citizens to: – Look from front door, rear door, or windows – The fugitive cannot escape if everyone looks – The parlors count to 10 and the people look End of the Novel • This new land itself feels different to Montag. • Here, in this new land of promise, Montag feels truly human for the first time. • Bradbury explains his thoughts: ―There was more than enough here to fill him. There would always be more than enough.‖ • After a few minutes of following the nearby railroad track, Montag sees the men he is suppose to meet, sitting around a fire that is warming, not burning. • Surprisingly to Montag, all the men know his name and seem to be expecting him. • These are the men of whom Faber spoke. They live as hobos, staying secluded along the railroad lines outside the cities, away from the police. End of the Novel • To keep from being arrested, each man memorizes the texts of as many books as he can, instead of carry the books themselves. • The goal is to one day, when the world has changed, be able to re-copy these books into written form again. • Granger, the leader of these men, explains their mission to Montag: ―All we want to do is keep the knowledge we think we will need intact and safe. We’re not out to incite or anger anyone yet. For if we are destroyed, the knowledge is dead, perhaps for good. • We are model citizens, in our own special way; we walk the old tracks, we lie in the hills at night, and the city people let us be.‖ • Montag, too, has a vital role to play. Granger informs him, ―If anything should happen to Harris, you are the Book of Ecclesiastes. See how important you’ve become in the last minute!‖ End of the Novel • Watching through a portable television, Montag and his new friends see the Mechanical Hound find a replacement for the real fugitive. • The animal closes in on an unsuspecting old man. It seems as though media ratings are more important than actually solving the crime. • Bradbury continues to relate nature to the theme of Fahrenheit 451, using the words of Granger • Soon, the men, now miles away, hear the bombing of Montag’s city. • The war seems apparently underway. Montag knows that Mildred must be one of the millions of people killed in the massacre, and though he feels some sorrow, he knows that Mildred is emotionally dead anyway. End of the novel • Granger reflects over the city’s destruction, saying, ―We know the damn silly thing we just did. We know all the damn silly things we’ve done for a thousand years and as long as we know that and always have it around where we can see it, someday we’ll stop making the goddamn funeral pyres and jumping in the middle of them.‖ • He goes on, ―But even when we had the books on hand, a long time ago, we didn’t use what we got out of them.‖ • Yet Bradbury leaves the reader with at least some hope that Montag and his friends’ point of view will eventually be planted again in the minds of the townspeople. • For at lunch, Montag is inspired to share with the men this passage: ―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.‖ Salamander • The Salamander insignia represents the firemen of Bradbury’s brave new world. • Bradbury uses the Salamander to exemplify the decrepit nature of the government. • This society, like a salamander, has sunk into the depths of depravity, and now, though seemingly modern, is really more primitive than ever. Seashells • The seashells, or ear-radios, are used to promote the propaganda of the government and advance its agenda, or lack thereof. • Using these shells, the people drift off to sea, so to speak, and lose sight of reality. Parlor family/television • This artificial family embodies the quality that the government seeks most to promote in its people: superficiality. • The parlor family knows nothing of reality, but instead is focused on temporal pleasures. • Like the seashells, the televised family serves as a distraction and a mindless way to occupy man’s mind. Montag • It’s interesting to note that the name Montag is actually the name of a paper manufacturing company. • In many ways, Montag is a blank slate who picks up bits of knowledge from Clarisse, Faber, and finally Granger. • Bradbury chuckles about this ―coincidence‖ in his afterword to Fahrenheit 451. Fire • Fire is an artificial substitute for the reality of truth, which can only be found in books. • Beatty dedicates his life to burning when he can’t find satisfaction in the books he reads. Sieve and Sand • The Sieve and the Sand image is used by Bradbury to explain Montag’s goal to learn the knowledge he reads in books. • Like sand falling through a sieve, Montag thinks that if he reads fast enough, at least some of the books’ wisdom will be retained before it falls through the sieve of his mind. Nature • Throughout his novel, Bradbury uses allusions to nature to symbolize reality or truth. • When Montag reaches land, after floating down the river to escape, he experiences the sensation of smell for the first time. • The lifestyle of the wandering resistance also exemplifies this idea. • They live with nature, out in the country away from the city, where they experience reality. Themes • Bradbury’s novel gives an anti-censorship message. • Bradbury understood censorship to be a natural outcropping of an overly tolerant society. • Once one group objects to something someone has written, that book is modified and censorship begins. • Soon, another minority group objects to something else in the book, and it is again edited until eventually the book is banned altogether. • In Bradbury’s novel, society has evolved to such an extreme that all literature is illegal to possess. • No longer can books be read, not only because they might offend someone, but because books raise questions that often lead to revolutions and even anarchy. • The intellectual thinking that arises from reading books can often be dangerous, and the government doesn’t want to put up with this danger. • Yet this philosophy, according to Bradbury, completely ignores the benefits of knowledge. • Yes, knowledge can cause disharmony, but in many ways, knowledge of the past, which is recorded in books, can prevent man from making similar mistakes in the present and future. Themes • The society envisioned by Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451 is often compared to Huxley’s Brave New World. • Though both works definitely have an anti-government theme, this is not the core idea of Bradbury’s novel. • As Beatty explains in part one, government control of people’s lives was not a conspiracy of dictators or tyrants, but a consensus of everyday people. • People are weak-minded; they don’t want to think for themselves and solve the troubling problems of the world. • It is far easier to live a life of seclusion and illusion—a life where the television is reality. • Yet more importantly, Fahrenheit 451 is an anti-apathy and anti- dependence and anti-television message. • People in the novel are afraid—afraid of themselves. • They fear the thought of knowing, which leads them to depend of others (government) to think for them. • Since they aren’t thinking, they need something to occupy their time. This is where television comes in. • A whole host of problems arise from television: violence, depression and even suicide. Theme • Thus, Bradbury advocates the idea that men should think for themselves, not let the government or the television do their thinking for them. • The easiest way, Bradbury argues, to think for oneself is to expand one’s knowledge of history and politics and religion. • This can only be achieved through the study of books. • Though this study may cause discomfort, all in all, it is necessary for any society that doesn’t wish to repeat the mistakes of the past.
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