Who are they on the brink of war with?
Steven, I think they're on the brink of war with a country that has different ideas than them. Maybe the other country wants to liberate the people in the country the story is set in.
They're on the brink of war?
Lena and Steven,I do agree that they are on the brink of war with a country with different ideas. They feel there ideas are the best so they might wan to spread it to other places that run their country the same way.
Could it be a civil war?
I think they are on a brink of a civil war because there are opposing sides in the society; people who read and people who ban reading.
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Where do you think the Author got the ideas of reversing the roles and ideas of society?
The author might have gotten some of his ideas from concerns about watching television. The theme of all the people just sitting at home, watching TV and getting stupid reoccurs a lot.
Alexandra,I think the author got his ideas for this book from other pieces of literature. I think the author is putting an emphasis on knowledge and how knowledge can change the world. I also think the author is emphasizing equality because if everyone was the same, the world would be a terrible place to live.
How far in the future do you see this book taking place?
I see this book taking place pretty far into the future since the books are worthless. Right now, I think books are pretty important and a lot of people are reading them. So in order for them to be totally gone, this book must be taking place a long time into the future.
Bennett-I think that this book is taking place pretty far in the future since there was that whole bit on how firemen used to put out fires.
Bennet:I think the setting of this book takes place in the 24th century.
I don't know exactly but probably pretty far because the people don't know firemen used to put out fires, think the TV is their family, and police don't care if children kill each other. Those are some pretty dramatic social changes, and print activated doors show how technology has progressed as well.
I see this story taking place a little ways in the future. The technology they have is greater than we have but not too much greater. We could be there in a couple decades. I hope though that the future does not look like that though.
I don't think that it is that far into the future because one of the short stories we read was just a little into the future maybe 50 years so not that far.
Bennet, I don't know exactly when this book takes place in the future but I do know that it has to be very far in the future because it would have to go through at least three generations until people that firemen were once used to put out fires instead of start them.
But this book was written in the 50's when they had no idea what technology could be like now. Personally, I think this book takes place in a time period like ours today.
Do you think that because the girl Clarisse will become a factor in something bad that will happen since she is different then everyone else?
I don't think that she will because she has been taken away as stated in the story. I think that the government will want to keep her story quiet in order to keep the society a "utopia."
Alex, I think that she will because the goverment is so pressing to keep everything the same and if she starts a change it could be a bad thing. I think that the goverment will suspect her just because she is diffrent.
Alex, I think Clarisse will become part of a riot, or uprising, and she will become a huge factor in the main plot of this story.
How is the setting in this story relevant in terms of censorship?
Tyler: the setting is relavent because it is a government, almost communistic, society that has baned free speech and thought
Tyler, I think that the setting is relevant because it is placed in the future and we can predict what will happen.
What are the parallels between The Pedestrian and Fahrenheit 451?
At one point in the story, Clarisse says something that her Uncle was arrested for being a pedestrian, so there's a connection there.
Allie, The Pedestrian and 451 are very similar. In both worlds, thinking is looked down upon and punishable. Plus, the man in the Pedestrian enjoyed going for walks, just like Clarisse.
Allie,Another similarity between the two is that they both take place in the future.
Alexandra: I think that he got the idea by thinking about the world without lit
Is there a possibility this could happen today?
I dont think so because almost our whole entire social system is based around literature of many kinds.
Alex:I think that this could be possible in todays world. Maybe not the United States, but in a more communistic country I think that it is possible because of the powers that some dictators have today in relation to censorship.
Paper books are being outdated and they are becoming a digital object which would make it more difficult to permanently destroy. Also, since literature is so important to our society now and definitely still will be in the future so no, I don't feel like this would be a possibility.
I don't think there is any possibility of this happening today. We, as a generation, are between the completely digital age and the "pen and paper age." We will not be able to completely burn a big part of our lives. We could start with steps toward this, but there is no way we will be this extreme in the near future.
Aspen,I disagree.I believe that it would be much easier for the government to destroy books online than with paper books. When all books become digital the government could block them a lot easier than it would be to keep paying firemen to burn all the libraries and all the books. There is also no full-proof way to make sure you have burned all the books and there is no way that they could possibly burn every single book. If the govt. decided to wipe out all books when they become all online it would essentially take "one click of the button" and it would cost no money.
I do not believe there is any possibility of this happening. The world has concerned themselves far too much with education, and how a certain country is standing in comparison to another country. Additionally, America gives large power to our constitution. If books were outlawed entirely, rights and amendments such as freedom of speech and press would be completely overlooked and ignored. In my opinion, such a ruling document as the constitution would not be shrugged off so easily.
They changed their history to make it feel like the conditions then are how it has always been. What goal would the government be after to provide false history to the public?
Aspen-The government might be doing this because it is easier to rule populations who are uneducated to the past. Also, the government might be doing this because it viewed any view contrary to their own as dangerous.
Aspen:It is likely that the government is so fervent in their beliefs that they would provide any evidence or "facts" that supports said beliefs. It would seem, however that altering what we know about history would never work due to generations that were alive before the change, and could inform their heirs of the truth.
The government changed the history to keep control over the public. By providing false history they can make everyone plan for the future to stay the same as it always was.
Aspen,I think goal the government is after in this story is to cover up the past because they might have done things that would make people that currently live in this country desire change and current government would loose power.
Aspen-I think that it would be easier to control a group of people if they have no historical knowledge, because in the past there have been revolutions and maybe the government does not want the people to be getting any ideas.
Aspen: the goal would be to keep the people nieve. Its just like in our society when the government doesn't give the people info so they could revolt.
Alex,I think Clarisse will be punished for thinking and becoming knowledgeable about the world.
Is it possible for a government to take such a monumental step in favor of censorship, or would people stand up and form societies to counteract it, such as wikileaks?
Anthony, I feel that it is possible. This also leaves me wondering how the government of this society gained the control that they have.
Tony- I think that it is possible to take such a step towards censorship; however, it would take an enormous amount of time and it would have to be a very gradual process.
Tony,I feel like it is possible but not plausible because I do believe people would revolt, take it to the supreme court, and I believe violence would be created. I think that the people would keep passing down info that the government is trying to censor to other generations.
Dean:What good would conversing the supreme court do if the government itself was in total control? Is not the supreme court a sect of Government?
Alex:I think the author got the idea by reflecting on the impact literature has had on the world in the past, and what it would be like without literature.
How does this story change the way we look at society today?
Bennet,I believe this story makes us rethink about problems with the government and how we act to these problems. I believe after reading this book people will stand up to the government about the problems in our society to insure that nothing happens as bizarre as this some time in the future.
Th government in this world wants to keep people in the dark, so I agree than Clarisse will be punished.
Ethan- I agree. Do you think the government is allowed to read books?
Grace: If they know the actual history to base their rules after the past, then I don't think they believe they need too.
Does anyone suspect that Clarisse or her family have been reading books?
Grace, I kind of do think that Clarisse has been reading books. She seems suspicious about it.
Grace,I do believe that they are reading books. Clarisse shouldn't know all the information that she does without reading old books because the government has censored all information about the past. Also why were her whole family be up laughing in the middle of the night. I believe that her family is reading books at night, assuming that everyone will be asleep so no one would find them.
Do you think that people now have changed history to benefit what they are trying to make you believe?
Nicole, I think this goes along with the term history is written by those who win the war. I think that the people who do bad in society and loose wars are written as badly in history books. The people who win wars look good in history books. I also think that teachers don't tell us everything and just teach the cirriculum.
I think that is what they do in text books as we said earlier in a conversation it is saying only what was good about a certain situation, country, or person not anything bad to make the person,, situation, or country look bad.
Alexandra: I think this does happen a little bit today in the censorship of books in other countries that maybe promote different religions or something the goverment does not want out there
Alexandra, I think that this would not be likely to happen today because people realize how literature is so important today and people have the right to write what they want to, whether other people agree or disagree.
What are the TVs a symbol for?
I believe the TVs are symbols for replacements for knowledge.
Alexandra, I think that the TVs are a symbol of the government's control of the society. This compares to the society in North Korea in which the government controls what the people see.
Alexandra,I believe that the TVs are a symbol of censorship. I think they represent all the false knowledge that the government are trying to convince the people to believe, and so far its working for everyone that isn't illegally reading books.
Do you think that the author truly believes that this will happen in the future? If so why?
Alex, I don't think the author believes this is going to happen. I just think the author is being creative to come up with a different type of story.
The government has clearly altered history to their advantage because knowledge is the greatest source of power... if you control it, you can control people.
I agree with this
Ethan- For what cause might the government want to have power over its people in America? After all there is no one dictator so far as we know.
Ethan-On the other hand, literature is another big power, so in a way the government is scared of what the literature will influence the people to do.
The government or some other authoritative group has clearly assumed a dictator-like position and now controls the country. Could this not also be England or another nation?
Ethan,I agree that if you have the knowledge, you have control of the people. If the government is hiding events from their past, once you gain control of the knowledge from those events ... you can use it against the government resulting in a possible collapse in government.
Ethan-I think that it is highly possible that someone has assumed a dictator-like position.
Bennet-To what lengths would the government go to if this was to ever occur?
Bennet-If the government collapsed, what would the people gain?Surely, someone else would take over and result in the same situation, or maybe it might even result in a worse situation.
Bennet: I think this story changes how we look at society is how we react to the new rules that this government has put in place. When I read this, I also saw some similarities between what is happening now. Everyone wants the newest, most expensive thing, and that really shows how we are living today too.
How is media and information transfer today different than it is in the story?
Ethan, I feel that the transfer of information and media today is similar in a way through the TVs. At the same time, I think that we have more of an ability for access to media through movies, music, and the Internet.
Why is the beast included in this story what does it do? Send fear through the people?
I think the beast will eventually hunt Montag.
Alex: I think that the beast is included in this story because it shows how far technology has advanced. They don't even have real fire dogs anymore, they just have these machines that wake up, kill, and then go back to sleep.
Why do the fire dogs kill? and who do they kill?
Alex-I think that the beast is included as a sort of intimidation to the people....
Elise, The fire dogs kill because the it hides the governments power to kill, and makes the people feel safer. I am not sure who they kill but I would think that they would kill anyone who causes problems and "Shakes up society". So I think that even someone like Montag or Clairesse could be killed later in the book.
Is the mechanical hound a representation of how the government has integrated defenses into society so that it is too late to resist because people became too complacent to care?
Ethan, I agree I think that the mechanical hound represents the harshness of this government as well.
Ethan-I think the mechanical hound is more of a representation of the unreliability of safety in that setting rather than the intentions of the government.
If reading books has been illegal for so long, how do people still know how to read? How can Montag read?
That's a good point. How can they learn to read if books are banned? What do they do in school if they can't read books?
Also, how did these people learn the language they speak if they can't read?
Grace-Perhaps they have access to other kinds of media such as government published newspapers or magazines.
Clarisse mentioned TV Class. I think the government uses television to control the ideas of the public. Maybe Clarisse is so different because she doesn't watch TV, she plays outside instead. The government can't reach her because she never plugs in. Her friends think she is anti-social because of this. How does this relate to today?
On page 34, the fireman are reading from rule books, so maybe there are government issued books.
Mollie: remember that the girl talks about the sports and things done in school. Everything that they do then in school is government controlled, even more than now.
They said that not all books are banned just books that are against the government and what they stand for, but if it goes with the governments views and beliefs then it is okay for people to read. Such as the script that Montag's wife was readding.
Grace,I believe that either the government are teaching them to read assuming that they will read government approved books. There is also a possibility that the older generations are teaching the younger generations how to read.
How does modern media influence the power literature has?
What do you think the response to this was in the time period this was published in? Was there backlash? Or did this become a motivator for social change? Is it still a motivator?
This book was written in the 50's when all of this was unthinkable. Technology wasn't such a big aspect then and I think the people at that time thought this would never happen.
Lena; This was written shortly after WWII. In WWII similar things were practiced it wasn't all books, but they burned books that they believed were against the idealistic society.
Lena, I do think that this is a motivator for social change. This made people think about how some governments can be too controling. It also created a fear for the future that was not present before.
What do you think is more powerful....the governments ability to censor, or literature?
Tyler, I think that literature is more powerful than the government. This is possibly the motive that the government had to crack down and ban books in the way that they did.
I think that they are both equally powerful in their own ways.
Lena-Did the government ONLY ban books? What about music? Other forms of media?
Tyler: I think that the governments ability to censor is more powerful because the government can shut down any form of literature. Just like in the book, the government burns books because they don't like what they say. They could do that with any form of literature.
Tyler, I think that literature is more powerful. That could be the reason why the government had to start making these decisions.
Tyler, I believe that the government did only ban books. I think that music isn't really prevalent anymore rather than in the SeaShell machines you put into your ears. Also, they have the TVs available to the people.
Tyler, I think that literature is more powerful. Otherwise, why would the government view books as such a threat? This connects to what Ethan said. Knowledge is power, and if the government withholds knowledge, they create a compliant public. Some people, like Montag's wife, have simply given away their freedom of thought by always watching TV. They accept the ideas the government gives to them.
Do you think Guy is considered an outcast in the fire station?
Yes because he says many different things to where they look at him weird and he Guy can tell that they know that he has different views of the world.
I don't think that he is. In fact I think that he is kind of becoming one because of the dog. What do you think?
Yes, Guy is an outcast. He isn't involved in games with the men and it seems many of them don't communicate with him. Throughout these pages I can see him slowly becoming more of an outcast.
Not yet but I think he will be. Right now everyone doesn't really try to know anyone else so everyone is an outcast.
Alex,I do think that Guy is an outcast at the fire station because he could possibly act weird while burning books because he reads books which are in this society illegal.
Allie: I don't think that Guy is an outcast, He tries to fit in, but he doesn't. The other firefighters don't hate him, or think of him as an outcast, he just isn't very social with them.
I think that he is a sort of outcast from the other firemen because his personality is different from that of the other firemen.
Grace, I think that people still know how to read because they were still reading books illegally and there may be signs or other types of media with words in it.
If he is hiding something in the ventilator grill, so it doesn't work, is that why his house is so cold?
Wouldn't somebody realize about that and check it out at some point?
It's cold outside and I think Bradbury is trying to give the reader the feeling of how unpleasantly unlike a home their house is and intensify the unhappiness that Montag had discovered within himself.
No because he never has anyone else come to his house and his wife is so doped up she can't remember if she took pills 10 minutes ago.
Do you think that Montag's wife knows of the hidden books in the ventilator grill?
Bennet: I'm pretty sure she doesn't because he took it out at night in the dark
Bennet; I think his wife is totally oblivious to everything that is going on in her house, she just goes and watched tv ignorant to the things going on.
I don't think she knows because she isn't involved in society and it seems that she hardly leaves her room. She's so involved with the TVs that she is missing so much of her husband's life.
Alexandra- I think the same because the government truly takes over your life.
Tyler, I think that literature is more powerful because people will disobey the government in order to read literature, even if it is illegal.
Is guy different from all the other fire fighters? If so, in what way is he?
Guy is different from the other firefighters, not just in the time the story is set in, but before that. His personality is different. Clarisse says he is the only one who will listen.
I think that he is because he has very different views on everything and then when he talks and thinks about things he goes into a lot more detail then everyone else.
Tyler-I believe that this individual is different being that he has begun to question his false state of happiness, while the other firemen seem to be complacent and blissful with what they do in life.
Tyler,I think Guy is different because he has hidden emotions for the books that he burns because he hides books and the secretly reads them.
Tyler; I think Guy is the same, but Clarisse different and is what is changing Guy's views
In what we have read so far what do you think is the most important and why?
So far, I think the most important thing we have read is the sense of punishment for becoming knowledgeable. Knowledge is power.
Rachel,I think the most important thing we read thus far is the meeting between Guy and Clarisse because Clarisse really opened the eyes of Guy who slowed down and noticed things he has not noticed before.
I agree with both of you. I think that what mollie said about knowledge is power is a huge point and the government is taking knowledge and therefore taking power from the people.
Televisions are a popular theme in all of the short stories and in the book. Why is this?
I think because televisions are great technological advances, and they can be very controlling and hypnotizing. The government can easily control what you are seeing.
Ethan-I think television is popular because it is an easy way to portray the magnitude of the governments propaganda.
Ethan:I think that they are popular because even now people watch more and more TV all the time. People now prefer to watch TV rather than read a book, so the government wants to take advantage of that.
Why are we assuming that there are books behind the ventilator grille?
there is one fairy-tale book hidden behind the grill. I dont know if there is more.
Do you think the form of the government is the same as it is today?
Jake; Not at all, at least not in the US. This is a clear dictatorship and maybe even a touch of communism.
But then again, the government has the power to censor what some media today.
Can the government be a true democracy and still censor all literature? Does this make the government inherently a dictatorship?
Ethan,I believe that the government can still be a true democracy and still censor all literature. It just all depends on the rights established by the government when first created.
I don't know if we even have a name for the type of government but I don't think that being a true democracy necessariy encompasses the non-censorship of books.
Ethan-I think that a government can do this while still being considered a true democracy as long as the people have voted to do this. However, I cannot think of a circumstance in which the people would actually vote for censorship.
Do you think the government today would have enough power to do this?
I think the government doesn't have enough power to do this today because as citizens, we are able to limit the government's power.
Media has allowed an increased amount of information to be transferred within a small amount of space, which creates information density. This leads to subconscious interpretation of the information in order to process it all, which allows information to be more directly embedded in people's minds. The government could manipulate this to sway peoples' minds if it became oppressive.
It depends on which government you are talking about. In a communist country the government would be more able to do this, but in a Democracy (because of the social contract) the people would not allow the government to do this.
Jake: I don't think that the government has enough power to do that yet. Maybe if they take away right of speech, then they would be able to have that amount of control.
Jake,I think that the government today does not have enough power to censor all literature. Based on the rights given to us by our founding fathers, such as freedom of speech, we as the people of the United States could impeach these people making these rules.
What do you think the firemen are symbols for in today's society?
Is this society a representation of a physical utopia, an ideological dystopia, or both?
Ethan, I feel that ideologically, this society is meant to be a utopia, and to some people it is. However, I think that to some that are aware of what is really happening, the society is horrible. For example, I feel that Clarisse is fully aware of the horrid state of society, but she continues to live in bliss through the world around her. She ends up opening Montag's eyes to the world so that he can see he is not happy with his life at all. Physically, I believe the city appears to be a utopia. There are many fun activities around town and technology has obviously advanced, however, when you look closer in, you can see it is not really a happy place.
Ethan, I think it is a representation of an ideological dystopia because the ideas of the people are changing because of the dystopian the government has made.
Do you think that the governments constant propaganda and censorship has effected political shows on television?
Do you mean today?
In the story.
I don't think there would be political shows in the story.
Tyler, I think that there are not political shows on the television, but I think that political themes are slipped into the seemingly light television shows that are shown to the public.
Have political shows even been mentioned?
Elise-Why do you think this is?
I think that there probably aren't even political parties anymore in the book. The government took away knowledge, so citizens aren't educated enough to be politically active. I doubt they live in a democracy.
I agree completely with Grace.
Jake-No, but if you think of all the political channels on tv today, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc. you would think that the government would want to censor any opinion on television if it did not agree with their policies.
Why did the government make books if they were later going to burn them?
They probably didn't know that they were going to. They most likely made the decision to burn the books much later. I doubt they would have known that they were going to burn them when they made books.
The government did not necessarily make the books, they just banned them. Private companies might have made the books and published them.
I'm confused... are you talking about the government issued books?
I agree with David.
I think the books were from an earlier form of this country and not coming from the government.
Bennet, I don't think that the government was still making books, I do think that they were just burning books that were made a little while ago.
Or maybe small businesses were creating these books.
Where is Clarisse's father? She only talks about her uncle, why not her Dad?
We don't know the answer to this, but possibly something might have happened to him. Clarisse might prefer not to talk about it.
Steven, I think her father must have been killed or put in jail. I have a feeling it was because of books.
Maybe her dad was arrested and is currently in jail. That would explain why we have not heard about him.
She has mentioned her parents briefly. I think she has a special relationship with her uncle, and I think he reads books.
They said the houses were fire proof, wouldnt that bring up why they became that way and more about what firemen used to do?
Alex: I think it is just to avoid what COULD happen.
I don't think that people think that hard about the history or the past because it never comes up on t.v. or in school.
How do the firefighters gain the right to enter a household to gather all books personally bought to burn them?