Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451
Quick Writes
• Average time per week that the American child ages 2-17 spends
watching television:
– 19 hours and 40 minutes
• Percentage of children ages 8-16 who have a TV in their bedroom:
– 56%
• “Television is a chewing gum for the Eyes.” Frank Lloyd Wright
• Number of TV commercials viewed by American children a year:
– 20,000
• Age by which children can develop brand loyalty:
– 2 Years old
• Number of TV commercials viewed by American children a year:
• “The remarkable thing about TV is that it permits several
million people to laugh at the same joke and still feel lonely.”
T.S. Eliot
Quick Write
• [Television is] “…a really dreadful influence on
all of us. Don't ever look at local television news
again. It's all crap. There's no news, there's no
information. It's negative, negative, negative.
You look at that, and you think the world is
coming to an end.” “Television is very
dangerous. Because it repeats and repeats and
repeats our disasters instead of our triumphs.”
Ray Bradbury - Paris Voice 1990
– Agree or disagree? Give a thorough response with
personal examples. Should be at least 300 words.
Quick Write
• Give a dictionary definition of literacy,
knowledge, illiterate, and tyranny. Discuss the
importance of reading. Is it necessary? Why?
Why not? What does it give the reader?
Explain in detail. Is it better to be illiterate?
Why? Why not? Is there any connection
between literacy, knowledge, and tyranny?
Discuss in detail. Give specific examples from
your life experiences. 300+ words
Quick Write #1-Censorship
• Glendora High School is considering a new policy of censorship
regarding the books that you will be able to read while attending
high school. The first edict will be to remove all unfavorable books
from the library. This includes, but not limited to, all of the following
genres: science fiction, adventure, romance novels, historical fiction,
any book that includes sexual innuendo, racial profiling,
unnecessary violence, and foul language. The only books that you
will be allowed to read will be those determined by the district,
specifically The Great Books of The Western World.
• There will be a weekly, unannounced check of all lockers, back
packs, purses, etc. to ensure that all students are following the rules.
There will be harsh consequences for those who refuse to adhere to
this policy.
– In a clear, and concise multi-paragraph essay, write a rebuttal to this
decision. Give specific reasons against this type of censorship, using
examples of literature that you have read during your high school
education. You must have a thesis statement, that states your specific
reasons, in your introductory paragraph.
Quick Write #4
• Read the article regarding the “lost cell
phone.” Discuss your opinion of its
validity. Do you agree, or do you believe
that this is just a single incident that has
been taken out of context of our society’s
view of cell phones, technology use, etc?
Is this just stereotyping? Use life
experiences and give examples from the
text as it pertains to your response.
– (300+ words)
Quick Write #5
• Over the next couple of weeks, watch several
commercials that pertain to society’s fixation with
physical beauty (this pertains to both men and
women). Chose three different commercials;
discuss each product and its value to society in
regards to meeting the “needs” of society. Give
specific quotes from each commercial; describe
specific visuals that will clarify the point of the
commercial. What do these commercials “say”
about society’s lack of values/morals in our world
today? Or, do you believe that they have no impact
whatsoever on society? Why?
– (500+ words)
– Due Date: Finals
Quick Write #7
• Discuss your experience with trying to
concentrate on reading while being
bombarded with unfamiliar tones and
visuals. Is there a connection with your
own personal experience of learning and
your environment? (About a full page)
Quick Writes 8 & 9
• "He who joyfully marches to music in rank
and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him
the spinal cord would fully suffice." Albert Einstein
• "Read, every day, something no one else is reading.
Think, every day, something no one else is thinking.
Do, every day, something no one else would be silly
enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part
of unanimity." Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
• Lessing was a poet, philosopher and critic; a
representative of the German Enlightenment (18th
century). He believed in individualism/new selfconfidence of the bourgeoisie.
– The middle class; the term has pejorative (derogatory)
connotations suggesting either undeserved wealth, or lifestyles,
tastes, and opinions that lack the sophistication of the rich or the
authenticity of the intellectual or the poor.
Instructions for QW’s 8 & 9
• Discuss each quote thoroughly as it
pertains to the theme of “conformity”.
Give specific examples from the text as
well as from your life experiences. Each
discussion should be at least 350 words
(not including quotes and examples)
Quick Write 10
• Has our society become overwhelmed by
our “toys”. Do we rely too heavily on
technology? 300+ words
Animal and Nature Imagery
• Nature- force of innocence and truth
– Clarisse brings this to Montag
• Animals – irony
– Society is obsessed with technology and
ignores nature; frightening mechanical
devices are modeled after or named for
– Mechanical Hound
– Electric-Eyed Snake
• Something absurd or contradictory: a statement,
proposition, or situation that seems to be absurd or
contradictory, but in fact is or may be true
- self-contradictory statement: a statement or
proposition that contradicts itself.
• “The Hearth and the Salamander”
– Room is “not empty”; then “indeed empty” when Mildred
is in the room physically, but not mentally
Empty, half-dead condition
Apparently living, but spiritually dead
Unsubstantial lives; no reality
Montag is desperately seeking for substantial meaning in his life
Themes, Motifs, Symbols
• Knowledge vs Ignorance
– Fireman’s duty is to destroy knowledge and
promote ignorance in order to equalize
society and promote “sameness”.
– Montag destroys “Ignorance” in his search for
• Clarisse
• Faber
• Old Woman
Themes, Motifs, & Symbols
• Censorship
– Popularity of competing forms of entertainment
– Presence of fast cars, loud music, and
– Lifestyle of too much stimulation; no ability to
concentrate, communicate
– Published materials too overwhelming; “reader’s
digest” version
– Envy; refusal to be inferior to anyone who has
more knowledge; objection by minorities to
information being read.
• Faber brings out Christian belief of forgiveness= Montag
used to be a member of the “faithful”- pity not fury
• Marriage at Canaa – water becomes wine
– Faber water; Montag fire; together will become wine
– Christ solidified his identity with this miracle; Montag
wishes to solidify his own identiy
• Mildred’s friends = religious icons Montag remembers
seeing in a church
– Enameled, painted figures
– Also firemen’s permanent smiles
• Fire: pagan blaze in which the golden calf was
made to Moses’ burning bush= blatant heresy and
divine presence
• Fire in 451= vehicle of a restrictive society;
turned on oppressor and win freedom
• Bible
– Ecclesiastes: “To everything there is a
– Revelations: “And on either side of the river
was there a tree of life…and the leaves of the
tree were for the healing of the nations”;
“When we reach the city” – holy city of God
• Symbol of human being’s repressed soul or primal,
instinctive self
• Montag “feels” thoughts circulating in his blood
• Mildred
– Primal self lost
– Poisoned blood is replaced by manufactured blood
from the electric-eyed snake; empty lifelessness
– Insides are corrupted with the thick sediment of
delusion, misery, and self-hatred
– The snake explored “the layer upon layer of night and
stone and stagnant spring water”
Hearth and Salamander
• Hearth-fireplace=home, security
• Salamander=symbol on fire trucks;
signifies the firemen
• Dominant image of Montag’s life
– Hearth – fire heats the home
– Salamander –ancient beliefs that it lives in
fire; cannot be harmed by fire
The Sieve and the Sand
• Futility of filling a sieve with sand
• Read the whole Bible as fast as possible,
maybe it will stay in his head = futile
• Sand = tangible truth
• Sieve = human mind seeking a truth that
remains elusive, impossible to grasp
The Phoenix
• After final war, Granger compares
mankind to a phoenix that burns itself up
and then rises out of its ashes over and
over and over again
• Man’s advantage is his ability to
recognize when he has made a mistake;
eventually he will learn by his mistakes
• Montag’s spiritual resurrection
• Granger says they must build a mirror
factory to take a long look at themselves
– Clarisse was described as a mirror
– Symbols of self-understanding