File - Ms. Baldwin LCHS 7/8 School Four

Fahrenheit 451 Section One— “The Hearth and the Salamander”
abruptly – suddenly
abyss – a void, emptiness
adders – snakes
ballistics – the science of the motion of projectiles in flight
bestial – beast-like
buckling – yielding; collapsing
cacophony – harsh or painful sounds
centrifuge – a machine that uses centrifugal force to simulate gravitational
clarified – made clear
condensations – abridgements, shortening
conjure – to summon or effect (as if by magic); to call to mind or evoke
dictum – an order
dike – a dam
fathoms – distances of 6 feet
feigning – faking
gibbering – babbling
gilt – golden
gorging – eating greedily
gullet – the throat
heresy – disbelief in the established religion or rules
igniter – a lighter
intact – entire; complete
jargon – a type of language used by a specific group, vocation, etc.
lubricated – oiled
luminescent – glowing
mausoleum – a large tomb
noncombustible – not burnable
objectivity – impartiality
odious – hateful
olfactory – related to the sense of smell
pratfall –a fall made on purpose
proclivities – inclinations; desires
pulverized – smashed to bits
quibble – argue
rasping – harsh sounding
ravenous – extremely hungry
refracted – altered and distorted
sauterne – the color of white wine
stolid – unemotional
stratum – a layer
tactile –related to the sense of touch; inviting to touch
tamped – gently pressed in
theremin – an early electronic instrument
titillation – arousal; stimulation
Section One—“The Hearth and the Salamander” Focus Questions
Complete any 8 out of the following 25 questions in your W.W. Spiral. Please
address them thoroughly, noting that many of the questions have multiple parts.
Please do still number the ones you elect not to complete, and leave blank spaces,
so you can take notes during class discussions. You are still responsible for
knowing the material of all of the questions, even though you only need to
address a portion of them in writing.
1. The preface of the novel begins with a quote by Juan Ramón Jiménez: “If they give
you ruled paper, write the other way.” What do you think this means? How might
this apply to the novel? Provide an example from real life as well—who do you know
who "writes the other way" ?
2. According to Greek myth, the salamander is able to live in a fire without being
hurt, and the phoenix lives for 500 years before dying in a fire and being
regenerated from the fire. Why might Montag have these symbols on his clothing?
What might this symbolically suggest and/or foreshadow?
3. What seems to be Montag’s emotional state regarding his job and the incinerating
of books at the very top of the story? (This is the beginning of his arc.) Provide a
quote for support (CD) and then elaborate (CM)
4. Identify at least three ways that Clarisse is different from Montag. Use quotes for
5. Bradbury uses a lot of light imagery in reference to Clarisse. Find a quote from the
text that supports this. What might this light imagery symbolize?
6. Clarisse describes times when her uncle was arrested & even jailed for things such
as driving too slowly (40 mph) or being a pedestrian. What is suggested about a
society that considers such things crimes? What are they trying to prevent?
7. Describe the effect Clarisse seems to have on Montag just after their first
encounter. How has she upset him? Use a quote for support.
8. Why do you think that Bradbury would introduce Clarisse before Montag's wife,
9. Describe Mildred as the reader first encounters her. What significance do you
attach to the planes roaring/screaming overhead just at the moment that Montag
realizes what Mildred has done?
10. What kind of medical help is given to Mildred? Be specific and cite at least three
things the "paramedics" do.
11. The “paramedics” tell Montag that they respond to ten or so overdoses each
night. What does this seem to suggest about the society in which the book is set?
(Besides "they are not happy"—move beyond the obvious)
12. What is Mildred’s reaction when Montag tells her about the pills? Why does she
react this way? What is particularly dangerous about the fact that she seems to
have no memory of her suicide attempt?
13. What purpose is served by the electronic thimble earpieces and the giant
interactive televisions (talking parlor walls) in the Montag house? What do you
think Bradbury was symbolically suggesting by making the tvs the size of walls that
enclose the periphery of the living room?
14. Mildred and others refer to the characters on the tv shows as the “relatives”, yet
they are just characters on a show. What does referring to them as “family”, “aunts”,
“uncles” etc. seem to suggest?
15. How is life in Montag's house very different from that of Clarisse's house? Give
at least three examples.
16. What is the Mechanical Hound, and how does it interact with Montag? What is
the significance of the Mechanical Hound’s attack toward Montag?
17. Describe a typical high-school day according to Clarisse. Why does she not like
school? What types of students/citizens is the school turning out?
18. What happens when Montag’s team is called to a fire in an old house? In what
ways does this fire scene differ from the one at the top of the book ? Discuss how
Montag feels as a result of this experience.
19. The old woman ignited the flames herself with “ An ordinary kitchen match.” Do
you see anything significant in the fact that Bradbury points out that it was an
“ordinary” match? (Also, note that this sentence occupies a line all to itself in the
20. Montag senses that the Mechanic Hound is stalking him? Why does he worry
that the dog might have been programmed to do so?
21. Captain Beatty quotes history, scripture, poetry, and philosophy. He is
obviously a well-read man. Why hasn't he been punished? And why does he view
the books he's read with such contempt?
22. What does Beatty reveal about the history of firemen? On whom or what does
Beatty put the responsibility for the beginnings of book burnings? Explain.
According to Beatty what are firemen ultimately needed for?
23. Why do you think the firemen's rulebook credited Benjamin Franklin-- writer,
publisher, political leader, inventor, ambassador--as being the first fireman?
24. What is the reader to infer happened to Clarisse?
25. In what ways does Montag attempt to reach out toward his wife and how does
she respond? What does this reveal about her character?
For the following lettered questions, please address any 3 of the following 5
A. What are some of the thematic concepts that have been introduced in the novel
thus far? Discuss at least 3.
B. What is the significance of the title of this first section of the book, “The Hearth
and the Salamander”?
C. In terms of character arc, how is Montag different at the end of the first section
than he is at the beginning? Provide quotes for support.
D. Ray Bradbury wrote this book more than 60 years ago, yet this futuristic world
he created bears many striking similarities to our own. In what ways is the world
depicted in the book similar to our own? Explain and give examples. Pay particular
attention to Beatty’s “lecture” .
E. What does Bradbury include that increases suspense and tension in the novel?
Give examples. Explain.
Figurative Language & Other Literary Devices
This book is lush with figurative language and other literary devices. Provide
examples (direct quotes) of 3 of the following from the novel. Below each one,
discuss the significance of/connotation of /what the reader gains from the literary
 Metaphor
 Simile
 Personification
 Alliteration
 Synecdoche
 Allusion
 Symbolism
 Irony