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Who are you?
Describe the Setting of the story. What is the time and place? How does this contribute to the story?
As stated in the book, this story takes place in the future. The funny thing about it is that they don't remember a lot of the past, like what they firemen did originally.
It is futuristic, incredibly communist, North America. It is has a foreboding sense of what might happen in the future for our society.
I definitively feel that the time setting is in the future, and the place is a regular/normal neighbor hood in the city. I feel that it sets us up for what to expect, knowing that things are different. I think it makes us take a different perspective, changing how we read the story.
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The story takes place some time into the future. Not too much, but not that little either. The characters are also living in a place where the government is very pro-propaganda.
How far into the future do you think this story takes place? How have things changed during this time? What do you think the purpose of firemen is in this time period? Why?
I think its post-apocalyptic, but a wile after and they have started rebuilding
I think the purpose of burning the books is to discourage free thinking and individuality. Someone, whoever is leading this society, is trying to keep everyone in line.
It doesn't sound too far into the future, but it must be so since nobody can remember the time when people had to put out fires and things like that. It's far enough into the future that people look at our time period as 'dark ages'. As for the purpose of firemen: The firemen start fires so that nobody can read books. It's censorship, probably s nobody will be offended by books or what is written in them.
The firemen are there to burn ALL of the books. I think that this happens in 100+ years from now. Many traits of society have changed, the role of firemen, education, houses are waterproof, and sociality has changed.
I feel like this probably happened around the same time as Harrison Bergeron and the pedestrian. The purpose of the firemen was to get rid of the books of the past, because the people in charge of the nation did want the idea's of the past coming back.
@Sarah I'm not sure its that they don't remember, I think its that they (the government or something) don't want people to know what the real purpose was of fireman in the past.
It takes place way in the future, because the generation that is living in that civilization is way advanced. They don't know anything different from what is the normal standard of their time. Everything is way different and confusing compared to our generation of people. The purpose of the firemen is to destroy history and anything different to their way of life. The government probably does not want the civilians to see anything different from from their standard because it would change how the people saw their lives and would make them want to rebel.
I'm assuming that the story takes place rather far into the future, as no one appears to remember, for example, that firemen really did used to put out fires as opposed to starting them (or, more likely, the government is hiding this fact). The time period of the novel is much different than it is today, where books are highly illegal and firemen burn them as well as the buildings they are stored in. Everyone appears to be ruled by television, and talking with family and friends and just noticing the small things in life, like aspects of nature, are considered irregular. All people move fast, without taking time to notice things, both literally and metaphorically (for example, people literally drive much faster in the novel, that's why the billboards have to be longer so that people actually have time to see them)
I'm guessing its probably at least 50 years in the future. Many things have changed. Kids are killing each other, robot dogs exist, fire men burn books, houses are fire proof. Many things have changed. Also fire men are used to burn books because I think the government does not want the population to know about the past. They don't want anyone to have bad thoughts about the horrible past. They try to control everyone with the parlor walls.
What I think is interesting is that the book was written in 1950 or so and he is predicting the future society with all its technology and social standards. He was actually some what accurate on many things like the huge TV's and super fast cars.
How do you think Guy is different from the other firemen? How is this going to impact the story?
He has a doubt complex. He doesn't just accept things for what they are like all of the other firemen. They all look the same but he feels differently than everyone else.
How do you think this is going to impact the plot?
I think Guy is different from the other firemen because of Clarisse. Clarisse obviously is like a daughter to guy, with facts of the past from her uncle Guy is able to see the differences from now. This will impact the story because I think Guy will try to change society. What do you think?
I think what makes him different is that the fact that he just doesn't toss away what Clarisse says, he actually thinks about what she's saying
But is Clarisse the sole reason for Guy's difference? Or is his personality just... different?
Guy actually thinks about whats going on. After meeting Clarisse he starts to see things instead of blindly following what every one else is doing.
He wonders about things and he isn't content without knowledge and information, which is completely against what this society is about.
Clarisse told Guy that he was a little different than the others- for example, when she talked about the moon, he listened and observed, and she said that other people would not have cared at all. Guy is already more free-minded and creative than others, but Clarisse helps to bring that out and makes him realize what his personality really is like.
I think he was not different until he met Clarisse. Clarisse changes his point of view by making him actually question and look at things. He makes him wonder, which makes him have a guilty conscience. which makes him different from the other firemen.
Why is the history so messed up? You know, "Benjamin Franklin was the first fireman to burn books and houses. This occupation started in 1790." Do you think that the lack of true history is contributing to the distopian elements of the society?
They intentionally falsify the information in order for the public to remain ignorant.
The lack of books means that people can say whatever they want and there is no evidence to the contrary. The lack of true history is contributing because the leaders can change the past however they want. Those who are controlling this society can warp the way the public thinks.
I think that it is messed up because the government wants every aspect of power that they can get control of. They want their people to be in complete and udder surrender to them, thinking that their ideas are the best. The government wants control, and they will do anything to get it.
Ignorant how? Do you think that the government are afraid of the public and what will happen if they have knowledge? Do you think that may be the reason they are burning books?
It could. i could picture society turning into a place that started learning the wrong facts. Government can easily change what goes in the textbooks. Do we actually know what happened in the past? There is a bond of trust that we must have in order to believe in history.
They want people to believe what they are doing is right because it's always what has happened, whether or not it's true.
I agree that the government and other positions of power are just trying to skew the past to keep the public ignorant of the truth. It helps cover up the malicious works of firemen saying that this is the way it's always been.
So... what happened to the Constitution? The freedom of speech and the right to privacy? Or is that just "warped" history too?
At the end of our reading passage, Clarisse had disappeared. Where do you think she has gone? Did she run away, or did someone take her somewhere?
I think she was killed like all of her peers.
I think it's like in the Pedestrian where she is taken to a reform place
I think Clarisse is probably in school, as it was discussed between her and Guy. This will probably bring up stories later on of how she felt left out in school and can give more insight to Guy for the future. Obviously Clarisse's absence is a major part of the story, and will impact Guy and the storyline to come.
I think that Clarisse was taken by the government officials. She was obviously different and not afraid to flaunt it. My prediction is that she is either in a mental hospital or jail.
I thought she got killed because of her social awkwardness.
I think she was probably arrested or put in one of those insane asylums by her therapist.
I agree with Gabby. I don't think that Clarisse would die this early in the book because she seems to have a big effect on Guy and I think she will continue to change him and allow him to rethink ideas and things throughout the book.
I think Clarisse was taken by the government. The government is trying to censor new ideas, revolution. The stories in books are one point, while people like Clarisse are another.
Do you think she will come back later in the book?
I agree with Riley. I think they took her to mental hospital, there was even talk about how she was seeing a psychiatrist, so maybe the psychiatrist told someone about her, and that person told the government or maybe they thought that she just needed to be kept away from the general pubic.
I believe she will come back later in the book, since she has quickly become a key character in Guy Montag's life.
@Rebecca. No I think she is gone forever.
I think she will come back, but she won't be the same when she does.
How come there's such a great gap in technology in the story? A lot of elements of the story give me the idea that technology isn't that advanced. On the other hand, the automaton dog is pretty advanced.
I think when Ray Bradbury wrote this he intended for everything to be futuristic but he couldn't exactly predict the technologies of the future, so he tried his best. Like the parlor walls are futuristic, but Bradbury had no idea about how important internet is becoming, and such. It's hard to guess future technologies.
Well, we have to keep in mind how long ago this book was written. The author was using a large portion of his imagination to create this society.
I think there is more technology because the houses are fire proof and there is the scene of saving Guy's wife with what seemed like new technologies. However, it does give off a vibe of this futuristic world is rejecting the technologies from now. The author did live in the 20th century and part of this century so he is fully aware of the technologies of now.
Why do you think it is significant that Beatty knew the literature that the woman in the house was referring to? He knew exactly what she said regarding 'Master Ridley' and all that. Why is that important?
This is important because Beatty would not have known about what the woman was talking about unless he had read it himself.
They earlier referred in the book to burning different authors on different days. Possibly these listed authors are the most prominent, and therefore, when she said 'master Ridley' she was saying that she had Ridley's works.
If I was a fireman, I would be curious about what I was burning, even if I knew it was against the law and not the right thing to do. I would try to catch glimpses of passages like Guy and so I'm sure that Beatty did the same thing.
I think that it is significant that Beatty knew the literature the women recited because it showed that at one time he had read the book. I feel like that is important because it shows that at one time he either was able to read literature or at one time he was breaking the law.
What do you think the old lady symbolized? As mention in the book, she was different from the others. How did she differ? Why?
She was literate. She had books in her house, so she was probably more able to think than other people around that city. She wasn't 'brainwashed' like the others who never saw books and never wanted to read them.
She differed from others because she had read those books, she had knowledge of things others didn't. The government in the story really tries to put a boundary on what the people know.
I think that maybe when she was young, she had seen what the world had been like, and what it had now turned into. It think that she disagreed with the path that it had taken, and was trying to protect some of the last evidence of the better past.
Depending on much into the future this is, maybe she was alive when books were ok to read. If so, that could be a hard adjustment. She could know how books truly are and that it was once ok, not that they have been burned since the 1700's.
She was just a little bit more extreme than the people whose books were usually burned. It almost seems as though she turned herself in because she wished to make a point, and she succeeded. Her suicide had a massive effect on the firemen: Montag steals yet another book, Beatty starts quoting literature, and Stoneman is so distracted he misses the turn.
Describe the motives for burning all books. What would motivate this kind of a law?
People became so overloaded from all of the ideas that books present. They wanted people to be "happy" so they took away what they thought was harming them, in this case, literature.
I think that the government and other powerful people burnt all of the books because they wanted the public to not the truth about history. In the book, it is mentioned that the firemen were started by Benjamin Franklin when he started intentionally burning things. They don't want the public to know the truth about our history.
CENSORSHIP! If there are no books, it dulls people's minds and they can't think for themselves. Then, they can be tricked into thinking that everyone is equal, or that their society is perfect. It's a distopia where the public doesn't know any better.
This book is a great example of the ignorance is bliss statement.
The government probably began burning books because they didn't want other ideas- such as "We could start a Revolution." seeping into the public system. They want to be in complete control of the people- and one way they do that is through the TV. Another is through the banishment of books.
I think the motives for burning all the books were to change the world. I believe that the government didn't want people to read, instead they wanted the people to be brainwashed by television.
Books provide information. Considering the government wanted control they would't want anyone to think out of what was "right." By taking away literature they would be taking away ideas, and thoughts of others so that they would know nothing but what was given to them by the government.
I think the government is burning all the books because the do not want the population to think about the past. They maybe do not want them knowing about the world wars or segregation. I think they just want everyone to be happy and worry about now, rather than the past. Also a lot of books talk about rebellion and anarchy, so the government is trying to get rid of that to try to reduce the chance of being over thrown. They just distract everyone with the parlor walls.
The government is taking away the books to eliminate things like creativity and free thinking. In order to stay in power, the public has to believe everything they say. Novels may change the public's minds or influence them to question things and have their own thoughts. Literature is a motivator for social change, and the government and figures in power do not want change.
Obviously this is a fiction novel but do you think that our society could digress to such a state?
Anything is possible, obviously something like this wouldn't happen next year, but you never know what the future holds.
It all depends on our actions. It is the government's responsibility to listen to the people, and the people need to also control the power of government. This seems like a society in which Government has overruled. So, this is an option for society today, although it would take time to reach this extreme a society
I agree. I think anything is possible. However I think the author purposely exaggerated the future so that society, hopefully, does not end up as awful as it seems in the book. Maybe his motivation was to try to make readers aim to a better future for society.
Well that society got the way it is because of so much censorship of everything, and if censorship went as far as that it could be possible. Today some things are censored like in the Patriot Act
I totally agree with Riley. Even Ray Bradbury is an example of this, he tried to guess what the future would be like, yet he missed somethings. I think that we can never predict the exact future, and that anything can happen.
although it could happen I feel like it would take a huge disaster where we don't want connection with the outside world, so although it could happen, I feel like it wouldn't.
What do you think the purpose of writing this is? What is the author trying to tell to the readers or society?
He has a strong opinion on censorship, and he believes that with censorship, people's freedoms diminish.
I think the purpose is to speak against censorship and how taking away literacy isn't going to help society. This books tells society to let people think for themselves.
i think the purpose of writing this is to warn people of would could happen in the future. If people keep watching television as much and not reading enough, we could turn out to be like this. I think the author wrote this to tell us that we need to change and we need to be more aware of the works of literature around us.
Do you think the government will try to "correct" Guy- like they arrested Clarisse's uncle? Or do you think he can pass under the radar long enough to motivate some form of change?
I think he is socially acceptable while still different at the same time. Since he has a normal job and doesn't do anything extremely out of the social norm, he should be fine.
Guy doesn't seem like the kind of man to motivate change at first glance. However, we realize as the story progresses that he is actually quite curious. I think that he could definitely fly under the radar for quite a long time.
I think that he is in a position to change things, so I guess a personal hope for me is that he will take the chance/opportunity that he was given, and use it for good. I think that if he tries enough, he truly can hide long enough, yet make a difference at the same time.
To the public eye, Guy doesn't seem so different from the others, so I think he will be safe from the figures in power for a while. The readers can see that Clarisse is causing Montag to start thinking more about the government and society. However, if he plans to do something drastic in order to motivate change, it will depend how obvious he makes himself. Also, on the back of the book, it says that Montag does start questioning "everything he has ever known" and starts hiding books in his house, and his collection gets discovered and he has to "run for his life".
Beatty is obviously not like the other fireman, how do you think he will affect the story?
I feel that because of Clarisse, there has been just that little seed of doubt planted in his head. That one reminder that he wants more from life. The realization that he is unhappy.
He is the leader. He is not the perfect firemen either. He has a past. He knows about literature and the government. He is one of those people who knows the information he needs to make change but he doesn't think he has the power so he tries to set other people straight.
I changed my mind. Beatty doesn't want to change. He takes pride in his title and his knowledge and he will enforce it when provoked.
@Emily I think you are talking about Montag
Do you think Guy will ever actually read the book that he stole? Or will he be too afraid?
I think that he has a thirst to challenge the system. I am guessing that he most likely will read the book.
I agree. It is clear that Guy differs from the rest of society and will hopefully try to make a difference, so by reading the book he might be able to realize the wonderful world of books.
I agree with Nate. The way that Emily put it was good, that Clarisse has planted a little seed of doubt into Guy's head, and that he will be curious enough to take a look at it.
What do you think that the government in the story is trying to accomplish through all the censorship? What purpose or goal do oyu think they have?
I think they are trying to dull people's minds. If people can't think for themselves, they can't argue with anything that the government does. The people don't have any power. This way, the government can do whatever they want to whoever they want and it is justified.
Obviously they don't have their history straight. They are most likely trying to censor what does and doesn't reach the people.
Power. Power is always a huge motivator for any form of control. I think that this is the reason for all these crazy laws.
Complete and utter control. They want to be in control of the people- so the people can't control them.
Like I said in an earlier post, the government wants every aspect of power that they can get control of. They want their people to be in complete and udder surrender to them, thinking that their ideas are the best. The government wants control, and they will do anything to get it.
What do you think of Guy's wife? Did she try to commit suicide and just not remember? How will she impact the story later on? Why?
She might impact the story. She could be a motivator for Guy to want to find happiness, so that she can be happy.
I think his wife is a symbol of the rest of the society around Guy. boring, bland, and a rule follower.
Her brain is so dead that she doesn't even realize that she did anything. It's like she is hypnotized. She shows the regular life of most of society, the people who don't think and have no desire to learn. Without her in the story, we wouldn't know much about the regular lives of society members, besides the firemen. She's like a normal middle class girl.
Mildred is pretty much "brain-washed" by the government. You can tell that because she spends all over her time with her TVs and her little radio. She doesn't think much outside of what her technology. She is more of a flat character so I don't think she will influence the story all that much.
I'm not sure about whether she attempted suicide or not, but why doesn't she remember? I know she had new blood pumped into her body, but why does that affect her memory?
Maybe Mildred was trying to commit suicide because of depression. Maybe the earpieces in her ear are white noise that help detract from her depression. That depression would most likely be caused by the horrific things happening in society.
I think his wife is like the control in the story. She represents normal society- a bland person who eventually becomes so depressed they attempt suicide. Remember- from the hospital- they said they received many, many of those cases a night.
Guy's wife lives a complicated life. It's hard to tell if she does remember if she committed suicide or not, or if she just want's to hide such a fragile state of herself. I think she will be one of the many obstacles when Guy tries to test the government because of her addiction to TV, and the fact that she might not get why her husband is acting out so much.
Like everyone else, I think that Mildred is an example of the people that Guy is surrounded by, even though he many not realize it.
I think that Guy's wife was really almost scary. The way that she took a whole bottle of pills but didn't remember doing it. I think that she did try to commit suicide because on the back of the book it says that later in the book she tries to do it again. I think she could impact the story later because she might make Guy go crazy or something of that effect because of how tense it was at his house at the beginning.
I don't think she will be a motivation for Guy because she is so "happy" doing her everyday boring thing. Thus, if Montag does try to change, she won't go with him because she doesn't want to change.
Why do you think Clarisse trusted him to share all of this information? If it was me, I probably would not share such important information to a stranger.
This is a great example of "Kindred Spirits" They obviously connected, and couldn't resist because of similarity of personality. They felt like close friends after meeting for the first time.
I think Clarisse is an odd bird, as described by her uncle. So I think that she probably doesn't think of Guy as a villain or anything as that is not her mind-type. Besides, she said she always wanted to talk or see a "fireman" so probably enjoys talking to such a "non-violent" fireman.
I don't feel like she thought she was sharing secret information. She is a free spirit and thinks that the stories she is the same as having a normal conversation with Guy.
I think she's just a very trusting person. She doesn't see anything wrong with how she sees things, so she doesn't see anything wrong with telling people
Well I feel like Clarisse know Guy from a time that he doesn't remember. I feel like this because it sounds like whenever she talks to him, that she has talked to him many times before. Plus Guy says that she looks familiar. So I really don't think that she is talking to a stranger.
Do you find it ironic that the author wrote a BOOK ABOUT BANNING BOOKS? Why do you think they chose to make the issue in the book about the banning of books and the bad repercussions?
It is ironic. Though, it's more of a book about not banning books. So, only the people who read will understand the importance of reading. That's pretty cool.
Another irony is that this book is banned. This is again, a reminder, a lesson, a motivation, for where we need to go in the future.
Yes!! Thank you, I was thinking the same thing. I was wondering if the author thought that he knew this book was going to be banned so he might as well be free in his writing. I think the author is trying to make society realize how much they are letting themselves go to or how much they are censoring everything can turn society into what is portrayed in the book.
What do you think the Mechanical Hound symbolizes and how do you think it will affect the story?
This is like the control of the government and the hold it has on everybody's thoughts. The Hound is completely justice and no mercy. It doesn't have feelings. It's not even alive. It's just a machine. It's the punishment for those who don't obey the law.
BIG Question: In modern society, how would this book motivate social change?
It warns people about the dangers of censorship.
I think it can scare people. I know I was definitely freaked out at the thought if having to live like this.
Reminder that Government should never get too powerful
Am I allowed to answer my own question?I think that this book warns about the dangers of an attempted utopian society- the dangers of absolute control by the government. This also warns about the dangers of becoming millennials.
We need to think for ourselves and question if we are getting all the information.
I think that it shows people the possibility of what we can become, and make us think of how we can undo the direction in what we are headed.
To pay more attention to the world around you. To look beyond what people tell you and to not just except what people tell you. To assume that what you know is all there is.
The book is trying to bring to attention the power of the government, the consequences of censorship, and the importance of people thinking for themselves and ensuring that they are not being cheated out of their freedom.
Do you think the hound dog was a metaphor?
I think it could be used as a symbol. However, I'm sure it was actually there. It was described very physically and realistically.
I agree with Riley. The Hound could definitely be used as a symbol to the government and what could come. After learning all of this information from Clarisse, he is much wiser and educated than most people in that civilization. The Hound reacted to a threat, a threat of rebellion. A rebellion would the scare the government which might expose the history that has been hidden and burned to the people.
Do you think Clarisse's Uncle is maybe Mr. Mead from the pedestrian? Ray Bradbury wrote both the pedestrian and fahrenheit 451. Clarisse said that her uncle was once arrested for being a pedestrian. Is it a coincidence? They also seem to both be in the future.
I thought this too! The connections are very obvious and it is a pretty cool how the author tied it together.
YES! They were talking about the viewing screens in both stories- and how he didn't have one. Clarisse doesn't have one either.
Cool realization. This sounds realistic, and could very much be true.
It might be. But, Guy also thinks that he hears the Uncle talking, which means that he wasn't in jail anymore, or he wasn't the pedestrian at all. But, then again, there are some differences between the Pedestrian society and the Fahrenheit 451. It seems more likely that the uncle isn't Mr. Mead.
@SarahM what sort of differences do you mean?
Wow, i really didn't think of that. I think that they really could be. Like Riley, I think that it is really cool that Bradbury did that.
I noticed this as well, I feel like there is a connection. But what I'm wondering is do you think that the author expects his readers to read pedestrian first? What do you think?
In the Fahrenheit 451 society, it seems much more likely that cars would be out at night. Cars rush by more often than it seems in the society of the Pedestrian. And, people don't have the same types of TVs it seems. The parlor walls in 451 can connect to other people, while the TVs of the Pedestrian seem to be like regular TVs like ours today.
Absolutely. The Pedestrian also brings up the "tomb-like houses" which was the same term as used in Fahrenheit 451. The houses in both pieces are dark and quiet. I think it's really interesting that Ray Bradbury further provides background for Fahrenheit 451, though the two works are not completely dependent of each other.
Great connection! They also have almost the same out look on life, like how he liked watching people and life go on around him and how he had the desire to think and learn about the world around him.
What do you think of the other firemen? They aren't mentioned often, but how are they important?
Along with Mildred, they set the standard for the average civilian in that day and age. They show that Guy thinks differently.
If the other common citizens were not mentioned, the readers would not know how drastically different Clarisse and Guy are compared to the rest of their society.
I think they represent what life is, and will be, upon following the trends of society.
What theme do you see already?
I see the theme of in a world of a very ruled society that there are different people; that it is okay to be different. This is especially shown in Clarisse. She is changing Guy who is changing his fellow fireman who will change possibly the world. One small person can make a big difference.
Anti-censoring. That people should have the choice of what they want to see, want to hear, want to learn, and what they don't want to. Pretty much everything Smith just talked about.
How is Guy changing the other fireman?
The theme that I am starting to see already is that of closeness. By this I mean that everyone is made to do the same things everyone else is made to do, and everyone is watched.
I see that the public are completely brainwashed and that the entire is society is degrading. If bombers are constantly flying over the city, then the country is on the verge of war. Soon, society will fall apart, and countries will most likely go to war.
I don't know if you would call this a theme, but the book moves at a fast pace. We only read forty pages, and already Guy has been exposed to many different experiences which make him think and question what world he lives in.
I think every time censorship is excercized, we become more like them. I don't think, though, that we will ever get that extreme. The extremity of this book is more to get the message across than to predict the future.
I think it will motivate change in people that are willing to change. The lazy people will not be affected, but that is probably who the author is directing the book to.
I do think that we are like them. Many people are being sucked into their video games, the IPods/IPhones, and virtual worlds. I think that some of our technological advancements and good and key to our nations advancement, yet somethings are unnecessary, and could hurt us. This day in age, when kids are asked to read a book for school, many respond with groans. Yet a few are happy about it (Clarisse). Rewind a few dozen years, and many people would jump for the chance to get a book.
Mechanical Hound, you mean? I think that somebody might have programmed the hound against him, but Guy also has something to hide.
Another BIG question: Do you think this could motivate social change- or are we too far gone?
Sorry- had to re-word this.
I really think that is is a motivation for social change because if people realize this, I doubt that everyone will still want to watch television all the time. Which would be a huge change from now.
I think that if everyone tries harder not to just follow what the government is blinding people to think then we will be able to change the way this book portrays the world.
Honestly, I think many people have read this book, but have not been concerned enough to change anything, or feel confident enough to even imagine that a single individual could create such a big movement. It again comes down to people who are passionate enough- like the Clarisse's and Montag's of the world.
You can never be too far gone. There is always a way back. As for motivation for social change, this book is against censorship.
I don't think we are ever too far away to change. Books like these affect many people, but there are always those few actually take action and change. So i think it is,
Why do you think the mechanical hound keeps threatening Guy? Did someone program it to do so? If so, who and why?
If things are so bad in the U.S. (most likely the country it is set in according to Smith) then what about the other countries in the world?