Fahrenheit 451.theme powerpoint

Fahrenheit 451
Books are banned in the society depicted in Fahrenheit 451.When they're found,
they're burned, along with the homes of the books' owners. But it's important to
remember that in the world of this novel, the suppression of books began as
self-censorship. As Beatty explains to Montag, people didn't stop reading books
because a tyrannical government forced them to stop. They stopped reading
books gradually over time as the culture around them grew faster, shallower,
intellectually blander, and centered around minor thrills and instant gratification.
In such a culture, books became shorter, magazine and newspaper articles
became simpler, cartoon pictures and television became more prevalent, and
entertainment replaced reflection and debate.
Action vs. Inaction
In the years up to and before World War II, many societies, including Germany,
become dangerous and intolerant. Even so, their citizens were afraid to speak
out against these changes. Fahrenheit 451 was published in 1953, just a few
years after WWII ended, and is very concerned with the idea of taking action
versus standing by while society falters. In particular, the novel shows how
Montag learns to take action, in contrast to Faber who is too cowardly to act. At
the same time, Faber does help teach Montag the difference between reckless
and intelligent action, so that by the end of the novel Montag is ready to act in a
constructive rather than destructive way.
TV is the enemy in Fahrenheit 451. It’s responsible for replacing
literature, intellectualism, and curiosity. On top of that, it’s become a
substitute for family, friendship, and any sort of real conversation. The
reason cited is "happiness." People are happier when they don’t have
to think, or so the story goes. TV aside, technology is the
government’s means of oppression, but also provides the renegade’s
opportunity to subvert.
Fahrenheit 451 takes place in a world of strict rules and order. Books
are illegal, free thought is essentially prohibited, and activities are
tightly organized. What’s interesting is that much of the restrictions
on the general populous are self-enforced. The government has taken
away the citizens’ ability to dissent and veiled all dissatisfaction with
a cheap version of "happiness." This means that little external
regulation is required, as the citizens conform contentedly to the
status quo.
In Fahrenheit 451, wisdom and knowledge are gained
through both experience and scholarship. Most
important is critical thinking – challenging ideas
rather than accepting them as absolutely correct.
Mentors and teachers are integral to this process, not
only for passing on knowledge but for opening the
door to independent thought.
Excessive violence in the futuristic world of Fahrenheit 451
betrays a problematic underbelly to the status quo.
Teenagers go around killing each other, TV is filled to the
brim with violence, and even driving a car brings on the
crazed thirst for speed and destruction. Violence is an
outlet, and the cravings for such behavior mark the
dissatisfaction of the general populous.
The crisis of identity is at the core of Fahrenheit 451. As the
main character learns from a series of mentors and
teachers, he sees his own identity melding with that of his
instructors. This is also a means of scapegoating – if your
identity is not entirely your own, then you are not entirely
responsible for your actions. The novel explores the
question of how to define the self, and seems to answer:
In the world of Fahrenheit 451, everyone seems to be happy. They
watch TV all day, they never ask difficult questions, they’re never
forced to face anything unpleasant, and they’re never truly bothered
by anything. That being said, everyone is horribly dissatisfied. It’s
just that no one is willing to admit it. The deep ennui that runs
through the population is subdued by mindless activity and an
insistence on happiness, both on the part of the government and
the citizens themselves.
Fahrenheit 451 creates a dichotomy between the world of
technology and the world of nature. The former is cold and
destructive, while the latter is engaging and informative. It is only in
nature that the novel’s main character is able to think clearly and
draw conclusions from his experiences. The novel argues that nature,
in fact all of life, is a cycle of construction and destruction. This is the
natural way of things, but technology has focused only on
destruction and violence, leaving man in a devastating, unnatural
Part 2: The Sieve and the Sand
What happens to sand in a sieve? What does this have to do with Montag; what
comparison does he make to the sand?
How does Mildred react to Montag's reading? Why?
Why does Montag think of the old man in the park?
According to Faber, how has religion changed? Is it a good change? Why?
How does Faber see himself and Montag?
Part 2: The Sieve and the Sand
What device does Faber give Montag so they can communicate?
What feeling about the ladies does Bradbury communicate by his description of their
conversation? Are they seen in a positive or negative way? How can you tell from the
specific words he uses?
When the women get together, what "fire images" does Bradbury use to describe the
ladies? List at least five "fire" words that add to the imagery of the scene. Why does he do
this, do you think?
Why do you suppose the poem made Mrs. Phelps cry? What was Mrs. Bowles' reaction?
Were you surprised that the Salamander stopped at Montag's house? What do you predict
will happen next? Give two reasons from the text for your answer.