From the beginning of the book, how do you think the characters have changed?
Montag doesn't think about what his actions are going to cause or do but instead acts on impulse later in the book.
I think Montag has definitely changed the most. He developed a rebellious side and became very passionate about his books. Instead of completely obeying the system, actually reinforcing it, he goes against everything he knows. However, the book did say that he had been collecting books for quite some time.
Montag has decided to rebel against the government. AT the beginning of the book he ENJOYED burning books and now he is preventing it!
Why is human emotion such a prevalent topic in the novel? Why is it such an elusive quality?
Because books cause emotion. When people watch government controlled TV programs, they won't get any real emotion out of it
Ethan,I think that human emotion is so prevalent in the novel because it is something that some people have a hard time confronting in real life as well as books. People are closed off from what they feel at times and have a hard time being open if they're unhappy in the novel. I believe that Bradbury displays how insane one person can go when they deny their feelings for a prolonged period of time.
Ethan, I think emotion is so important in this book because Bradbury wanted to warn future generations. While some prefer to go numb and tune out, Montag symbolizes a conscious figure. Some people in the novel, like Mildred, hide from her emotions because they tie her to herself. And maybe Mildred doesn't want to be herself.
Even when Montag knew Faber had a book that day in the park, why didn't he report him?
Ian,Montag has never been the man who is completely against books. Although he never took action to defy the government, he did go against them in his mind, just be deeply thinking.
I think Montag knew what position Faber was in. He had books too, so he knew what Faber was thinking. He knew the importance of books and not wanting to get caught. He didn't turn Faber in because he was doing the same thing.
Ian,I think that Montag has been a believer in books for a long period of time, and he did not want to rat Faber out for being so kind to him. Also, it is possible that Montag just tried to forget about him.
Ian-I think that he did not report him because i think that he would feel a little hypocritical because of his OWN possession of books. I think that he now thinks of his personal ideals before his job.
Do you guys think that Faber will survive the fireman? Do you think that he can really cover up the scent of Montag?
It said the hound passed by Faber's house and he has the strongest sense of smell, so I think Faber will not be found out because of Montag's scent but maybe for something else.
What is Denham's Dentifrice?
I think it was an ad Montag heard on the subway.
It's a dental office
Ian,Why did the dental office ad bother him so much?
How do you think that this war will affect the outcome of the story?
Maybe it will give the outcasts like Montag a chance to regroup and organize a rebellion against the government.
I think the outbreak of war is a literary element used to put the importance of Guy Montag and his mission in perspective.
I'm not so sure that the war will even affect the story. It seems like a small topic, honestly. We don't even know what it's about. It could just be a side problem.
I don't know how the war will affect the story, but I do think the author included it for certain reasons. I think that the country declaring war almost exactly when Montag rebels shows a feeling of complete chaos in the book. I also think that the uncertainty of the war shows an opportunity for a large change to take place.
I don't think the war will affect the story much, because the people don't think of the wars as a big deal. Everyone just sees the wars as short little fights "that will be over by next week."
I don't really feel like the war will impact the story in the long run. I feel like it is just a distraction in this society from what is really happening within the goverment
I think it will effect the way everyone views the government and form a rebellion to overthrow their oppression which is the government in this cass.
I don't think that the war is that big of a part in the story, the author doesn't really talk about it that much either. I think that the war was included in the book to show how uninvolved people are with the outside world.
If you were in Ms. Phelps postition when she broke down and cried what might you need?
Zach,As an human being I think she just needed compassion, which people in this society dont know how to show.
Zach,To add on to Alexandra's reply, I would say that everybody has emotion, but in this society it has always been shut down or it has never been needed. In her normal life, outside of TV, she doesn't really love her husband or have a real relationship with her friends. It is all superficial. She didn't know how to react to her own crying, she had no control over it. When they asked her what was wrong, she said she didn't know.
How do Montag's surroundings at the end of the reading reflect his journey? Does it connect to a metaphor?
Alexandra,I think that Montag has changed because he now believes that books are important, and is actually reading them, where as in the beginning of the book, he thought it was terrible if you read a book.
How does Montag plan to avoid the negative consequences of possessing books?
He has no plan. He is more or less hoping that people don't turn him in
Montag has no plan. He just decides that he wants to change the world but doesn't really do much to protect himself or his house.
What do you believe evoked the war? What outside opposition sparked this catalyst between the two nations or peoples. What horrors of war are present in this society? Are they dependent on nuclear warfare?
David,I think that a culture clash or disagreement of views caused the war. Assuming this story is in the United States, a large power in the world such as the United Kingdom could have seen how the people were being treated and decided to take action. This is why there are so many jets flying around because the United Kingdom gets to the U.S. by air. I think that the horrors of war present are how careless the families are. Wives do not care if they lose their husband to the war. They do not even cry. I think this shows how heartless the society is. I believe that they are dependent on nuclear warfare because earlier in the book it is said that they ave won 2 nuclear wars since 1990.
On pg. 104, Faber says "But remember that the Captain belongs to the most dangerous enemy to truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority." What do you think he means?
Mollie,This quote means that the Captain Beatty was an enemy to truth and freedom because of his job. Faber sees that firemen do not help the people but only restrain them. Faber says that Beatty was in the mix of the majority of people in the society. The majority is unmoving and does not allow people to get out of it once they're in.
Why once Montag reaches the river he feels more safe? Why is it that once the hound reaches the river it turns around?
The hound is made of circuits and metallic features.If the hound walked into the water, then it would become fried based on electrocution.
Do you think it run on the side of the river.
I think Montag feels safe because he is out in nature. The river is calming. It's dark and he's away from society- the electronics, the people, the noises, etc. Either the hound turned around because he can't swim, he can't smell Montag, or he thinks that no one in their right mind would go there.
I believe that military tactics and technology have changed so that large-scale nuclear wars will not actually break out. Most combat today is localized aggression and proxy wars.
I agree with Ethan. Combat, is no longer against certain countries but instead against a certain group believing in radical idealism. However, countries like Iran or North Korea are still valid problems for our country that may result in nuclear wars.
We already know the people in the book have trouble showing emotion, but why?
Haleigh,I think this is because they have been so clouded by television.
Because of censorship, nobody has REALLY experienced any emotion at all before
Back to the idea that they don't know any other emotion than what they feel when the watch television.
Maybe because they would rather be disconnected with themselves instead of feeling emotion. I think its a coping mechanism. They are afraid of themselves and their thoughts.
Do you think that Montag's fame of being wanted could motivate other outcasts like him to join together and take action?
It depends on if this sort of thing is a common occurance or not.
Do you think that all people in the society are still able to freely think? Or have they completely lost that ability from their brain?
I think that the people in the society believe they are freely thinking, while they're actually being almost told what to think. Their thinking is being controlled and modified, although they don't realize it.
I think that, yes, they are still able to freely think, but it gets pushed to the back of their head because of other things, such as their 'families' in the parlor. Their TV's kind of control what they think, too. It tries to wipe out their free thinking, but I think it's still there, it's just (almost) unreachable.
Lena,I think the people in the society have to the ability to think, but that ability depends on the person and also what they do in life. For example, Clarisse was just a regular girl who went to school. She could have been like her classmates in only caring about sports. It was her family who helped shape her into wanting to analyze life. Then there are men like Montag. I feel that his job gave him a freedom of thought. Whereas is wife, who did not work, only watched TV and so she had no room for her own thoughts.
I feel like for the most part they still have the ability to think freely, but they don't have the motivation to, they don't want to think or show emotion. So it appears as if they have lost their ability to think for themselves.
Do you think that the war is real, and maybe just included in the story as a literary element? Or do you think that it is fake, and just made up to entertain society, like Mrs. Smith said?
I feel like the war is just there, i don't think it will serve a huge purpose in the story other than just being another distracton
Sarah,What I wonder is: If the war is only 48 hours and they use atomic weapons, then why would they need soldiers? What happens to these people that "supposedly" go off to war?
Sarah,I think the war is used as a thing that the government is using the war to deal with another problem. If its over population, or citizens who disobey that is up the the reader to decided or maybe we will find out later in the book the truth behind this.
I agree with Casey. The war is just there. I think that the people have nothing else to do. The government just needed something to happen, and that was all they could come up with.
I believe that the war is real. However, I also believe that it is a nuclear war. This would account for the short period of time the war is predicted to last. A nuclear weapon can level a city in less than a day, so I cant find it very hard to imagine an entire country to be leveled in 48 hours.
Why did Ms. Phelps start crying in the first place? Did she seem mad at Montag?
I think Mrs. Phelps started crying because literature is strong and when he read her the poetry, maybe she realized her faults. She was mad at Montag because he had read her the poem and she was against that.
Grace, I think that she started to cry because she was overwhelmed with everything. I don't think that she was mad, but she just didn't want to think about her life, because she knows she is not happy.
I don't think she was mad at Montag, I think it was more that him reading the poem was her first real brush with emotion.
Grace,I think that Ms. Phelps began to cry because she was realizing the beauty of poetry and knowledge itself. However, this caused her to grow upset because she knew that she had to cover up her feelings about literature. This caused her to pretend to be angry with Montag. She then turned him in to the firemen because she wanted to have him gone, so she wouldn't have to deal with thinking anymore.
aI think that she was letting all the feelings she had and finally the powder keg was lit to let every emotion every tear out in one bling rage and furry.
I believe that she was saddened by the poetry. In some books and poetry, the author expresses his sorrow through his writing. I believe that this poet did the same. She was sad because of the literature. She actually felt emotion. However, she felt that her sadness was a bad thing and she preferred to become happy but lack emotion.
Jacob, I think that Montag feels safer because the hound won't go to the river. The hound won't go to the river because it won't be able to keep functioning because if it gets wet, maybe it will stop working.
How do you think the author could have predicted as many things in the book (headsets, big screen TV's, etc.) that are in society today?
Ian-I think that the author knew the power of television and the effect that it has on people, so he used this as the governments "power" over the people.
Then why do you think most societies like the one in the book are based on the TV "controlling" the people?
Ian As I was reading this became apparent to me as well, its kind of freaky that he predicted so many of these things so accurately.
Ian,I think the author knew that we would advance. He probably guessed we would advance and see what path we would take. But, the author did not add things that we have now, like phones and computers, because it wasn't a big thing at the time this book was written. If the author had known how big those two things would become I think the book would be different.
I feel like he could predict this because when the book was written tv's were just coming around and it may have been based on what the people of that generation dreamed about having and it probably seemed so far away he chose to write about it as being the "power" of the goverment
TV's were around when this book came out and maybe he forsaw the horrific affect it could have on society.
That was experimental technology back then so he predicted that it would make it.
Ian, I think at that time, TV's were just getting started and things are always advancing. He maybe thought and society thought that bigger is better, so that is how he predicted that.
On page 111 Beatty says that Mildred's friends turned Montag in earlier but he let it ride. However when Mildred turned him in he came after the books in the house.
Jacob, I think that Beatty waited for Mildred because he wanted the downfall of Montag to be more personal than just neighbors betraying him. I think Beatty was being especially cruel by making a point that Montag is all alone in this- that's why he waited for Mildred's call.
He also could have waited for Mildred's call because he knew it would stir more emotions in Montag. And if Beatty truly wanted to die, then he would need Montag as sad, mad, and confused enought to kill a man.
In a way though I feel that this is a bad thing for Beatty because now Montag can really accept that his wife didn't really love him, and that the world has corrupted everyone. Montag can accept this and move on. Several times Montag tries to show Mildred the glory of books, but she can't accept it. Mildred was the last thing that Montag was holding on to. Perhaps this was a mistake on Beatty's part.
Or perhaps he intended to get Beatty extra angry and make him do things without thinking that he might regret later on.
Why did Beatty want to die? Did he realize what Montag realized about books?
Giovanna,I think that knowing so much about literature and books, which Beatty demonstrated while showing up Montag at work, yet he could not express his knowledge because he knew the capability of the Hound, he felt there was no where to go in life.
What will happen to the firemen when there are no books left?
Then they will be jobless. Or maybe they will be sent to war
I'm not sure that there will ever be no books left. There will always be a person who has a book, or makes a book, for that matter.
They may become firemen who fight fires, instead of creating fires, or they will find something else to burn places down for.
I believe that they will continue to exist even if books are no longer present. They are a symbol and a constant reminder of the dangers of owning a book and will always be used to evoke fear in the populace.
They will find another job and do that instead.
Do you think that even if somebody stood up to the government that the people would back that person up and be able to leave their television filled life?
Well Montag is standing up to the government but because the government controls the information that gets to people, Montag is portrayed as an awful fugitive.
Maybe some people would back that person up, but I think that most people would just stay where they are.
No because the people would probably think that they are stupid and the people would hand him over to the government to let them keep having bliss.
Ya i also think that the people would rather stay in their "happy" lives than to rebel.
There are other people who think differently. We know Faber has the same ideas as Montag, and other people do too. I think what matters is if people have the ability to change other people's thoughts. There will always be the people with the same beliefs, but in this society, would people be able to make a difference?
When Montag is in the river, or woods, he starts thinking about Millie. Why do you think Montag cares about her suddenly?
I think Montag suddenly realizes that he misses her and feels bad for her. Mildred was the only person, other than Clarisse, that Montag had a relationship with. They had lived together for so long and I think he cared about her.
You never know what you have until it's gone.
On. pg 93, the women are talking with Montag about their kids and the government. It seems that the women voted for the most handsome man. Obviously, they have no idea what is happening in the government because they don't vote based on the person's talent and beliefs, but for their looks.
Mollie, a question I had about this conversation was about the other candidate. The book described him as a person who still uses his mind, but his looks and manner hardly compare to the handsome, put together candidate. How would a man like this even make it that far in the election if the voting is so superficial? Why do you think he would be allowed to run?
I think the government knew no one would vote for him because if they did, they would probably get in trouble.
So when he loses it would be used to show people who is superior.
Why do you think the government banned books- because they wanted the best for the people, or because they wanted complete control?
I think they believed they could make a "perfect" society by making everyone equal in their knowledge base. But I also think they wanted complete control over the people.
I think that they used the idea of banning them for the better of the people to cover up the fact that they wanted complete control of what they do. They didn't want anyone rebelling against the government.
I think the Government outlawed books because it made it easier the public reliant on them for information and that way the Government could control their thoughts, therefore the people.
I think it's because they want complete control. Books cause emotion, and when enough people feel a certain emotion, it could cause an uprising
Im going with complete control because that is in their minds the perffect way to control everyone and with no questions asked.
Do you think you could possibly last in the boarding schools were the children are treated very poorly and shown no affection.
I feel like if we were raised in the society that these children are raised in then you would be fine, it would seem like the norm. But if you were raised like we are being raised and taught to think and express emotion and then put in one of these boarding schools, then it would be totally different. I feel like if I was put in that situation then I think I would go crazy
I think many of us would attempt to commit suicide or run away because every human wants to love and be loved. I know personally that I would be extremely unhappy not being able to express emotion or knowledge.
Do you think that the government will ever get restless with the amount of books out there, and maybe take a more forceful approach to the extinguishing of the books?
They are already using a forceful approach. They are burning people's belongings, their books, their houses, and in the case of the old women, they're burning people.
Tyler,I don't think there is much more the government could do. Like Mollie said, they are already burning people. What else do you think they could do?
I think it is pretty forceful as it is right now.
They could resort to torture and kidnapping.... how far do you think the government would go to enforce their hatred for literature?
Why would they need to torture people when they have the hound to locate books.
On page 104, Faber gave Montag the option to decide where he would stand. This was what Montag had wanted, but when he was granted this, he ruined his chances. DO you think he should have just listened to Faber?
I think Faber giving Montag the option to choose a side was really important because it proved to Montag that Faber was really trying to do the right thing, he genuinely wanted a society that thought for themselves.
I don't think Montag should have just listened to Faber because that goes against one of the main themes of the book, which is thinking for yourself and not following others.
What form of government do you think this is?
More or less a dictatorship
It is a democracy however the government has more control over who wins that in our democracy.
I don't think it's a democracy at all. People are dictated by the government on how they should live, and what they should do
Ian, the people are allowed to vote on the person who will run the country. Yes the government has influence on who the people vote for but it is still considered a representative democracy.
Well you cant necessarily tell but I feel like it is kind of a twisted democracy, where the government almost chooses the leader for the people, as opposed to them really thinking and then electing a leader based on their beliefs
Technically, it's a democracy. But since Government controls thoughts, they definitely influence/manipulate view points.
Jacob, I don't really view it as they are given a choice. If they are influenced on who to vote for, then its not really a choice, is it?
Ultamatly the people are still the ones voting. During debates in our Presidential race the candidates try to influence who we vote for right? However we do not always vote for them.
Thats a good point. I don't think we can really determine whether or not it is a dictatorship OR a democracy just yet
A very heavy dictatorship but the government watns the people to see it as a democracy.
If no one stands up to this government, then do you think that in the future this government will be able to completely influence the people's thoughts from childhood? Do you think that's what this government is doing right now in the book when the children are not at home with their mother's?
I think Faber's generation was the last generation who was around when books were regarded as good things. So yes.
I agree with Jacob. I think the children will have no idea what books are. After a while, the government may be able to extinguish all books and no one will even know what knowledge is.
I agree with Jacob. People believe in what they grow up hearing. When you are that young, you don't have the mental ability to comprehend and decide right from wrong. The children would just believe in what they heard.
And really, that's the easiest thing to do, influence children through school. If the government chose that we didn't need to know about something, then they could make the school's totally take that away from their teaching system. If I hadn't been in this class I may not have learned about new books. As far as I knew it didn't exist.
People today believe what they grow up hearing too. It's really common for children to share similar view points with their families. Kids don't understand enough to form their own views, so what they first hear is often seen as legitimate.
Why do you think the society learns to read? Obviously someone is going to use that skill to read books. So, do you think the government teaches them how to read because they want someone to capture and compete with?
Maybe they want a challenge or a reason to set places on fire, or they are clueless, and just want them to know how to read for technology purposes.
I feel like over time they managed to take books out of society, I feel like it is just a matter of time until people stop learning to read all together.
Mollie,I think that the society learns to read because the government wants them to feel like they are able to decipher material and think. The government feels that they are gaining a control over books and the people, so I think they are not worried about people reading books are much. I think that also the government wants people to make an example of. They want to be able to arrest people and show others that reading books is punishable.
Mollie,That's a very good question. It made me wonder where Montag learned to read, and who taught him? Hopefully we will know the answer by the end of the book.
Are we sure the society learns to read? I don't remember the book ever telling us this, and during the people's daily lives there is really no need for reading. Jobs are very simple so that the people don't really 'know' anything.
Mollie,Maybe the society wants them to know how to read because it will make them feel empowered. Also, the government could make them read what they want to read. Books about how great the government is or how TV is better. Also, they can show people books that have bad events in them to prove that books are bad.
Also, how do they learn to read? If they don't have books to look off of, then what do they use?
Sarah,Montag and Mildred were reading through the books that one day. So even Mildred knows how to read. She had to learn somewhere, and it wasn't Harvard.
Mollie,I think Mildred knows how to read because she was alive during a time when books were not yet banned.
What do you think Montag will do once he gets out of the society?
Giovanna,I think that Montag will try to find others with similar ideals to him and take a stand to the government.
Maybe he will start a rebellion against the government for banning books.
Once he is out of society I think he will end up coming back and telling the people all about the world outside of their society and maybe he will inspire something or someone to rise up with him and to take a stand against the government.
Find others that have and enjoy books and join them.
What do you think makes up the non-rural parts of society? Would the government allow farms to have lots of land? How would they censor and control those people?
It seems as if the government does not believe the people living in rural areas are much of a threat to the government.
Aly-Perhaps, if there are farms at this time, the farmers are not educated. If they didn't know how to read then what would be the point of having books? This could be a way that they are controlled. No education.
This is a really good question. I hadn't even thought about the society beyond the cities. Maybe Montag will end up finding people who are in the early stages of rebellion as he travels out of the city. He might be able to find a group of people with hidden books, and no televisions, who are ready to help him stand up against the government.
Sarah- This could totally be true! What if there were other rebellions all over the world? If it were true than Montag wouldn't know about it because the government would want to keep it quite.
This book touches over how we perceive others based on their outward appearances and stereotypes. Do you think this book could possibly help us to change our ideas and judgments about people based on how they look?
Lena,This could go back to the question of the semester, "How can literature be a motivator for social change?" I think that it is absolutely possible to use this book to change our stereotypical view of the world.
I think Montag killed Beatty because it was a life or death situation. If Montag had allowed Beatty to live then Faber would have been discovered and all they had worked for and hid up to that point would have gone to waste. I don't think he had a choice.
Why do you think Bradbury wrote this book in the first place? Why was his outlook on the future so bleak?
Perhaps he was influenced by the rapid changes in society in the 1950's and the use of nuclear weapons at the end of WWII.
Lena,Bradbury wrote this book because he was obviously worried about the path our country was going on. I think that he saw something forming that he felt he had to voice to the people because there were not enough people like him who were weary of technology.
I think that Bradbury wanted to spark the idea of where we would be without literature.
I don't necessarily think this was his outlook on the future, but I feel like it was more of a warning to future generations of what could happen if we stop learning and thinking. I think Bradbury wanted to inspire us to change something so the future doesn't have to end up like this.
I think Bradbury wrote this book to open our eyes to what technology can do to us. He is showing us that a "perfect" society is impossible because this world isn't perfect. He wanted to demonstrate how the world can be changed through knowledge and literature. Maybe as a child, he hated learning or being at school and maybe someone changed his mind and created this book to show other kids how important literature is.
Do you think that killing the Hound was good for Montag? Would that event open up the people's eyes to see that society can have power against the government? Do you think there are enough men like Montag and Faber that if they were inspired they could make an impact?
Killing the hound showed Montag and society that the government can be stood up to. If enough intelligent men committed to it, they could make a difference, but it would have to be a mutual and simultaneous commitment and effort.
I don't think Montag will make much of an impact yet. The government has portrayed him as a fugitive, and in such a sheltered society, I don't think anyone bothered to develop their own feelings toward him.
I do think that the death of the Hound shows society that the government can be defeated, if only in small ways. I think that another thing that could open peoples eyes is the fact that Montag frames another fireman as having books. If people see that the ones who supposedly hate books and destroy them are actually secretly reading them, it will cause them to think. Montag's main goal is to cause large portions of society to start thinking again and then realize how wrong everything is.
I think that officials and people with power like Beatty are required to read. This was they know the mistakes of the path, and then the government uses those mistakes to convince them how reading can put bad ideas into one's mind.
Do social classes exist in this society? What are they and what is the nomenclature (order/ranking)?
Yes, they do exist in this society. The educated people are the ones at the bottom of the social classes, the "normal" people are the middle class, and the government is the highest class.
Ehtan,At first I thought the social classes were Government, and then the rest of society. Now that we know there are farms, there must be farmers, which means there are definitely three levels of the social status. I actually think that the farmers are above the rest of society because I feel that there must be less censoring out in the country side, which means they can think more freely. I guess I am basing this social structure off of the amount of freedom they have to think.
I feel like there is only really two classes in this society: the oblivious citizens and the government. There are the citizens who don't care what is going on, and the government that controls the what is happening.
I feel like their is a social structure but I do not feel like the people of the society are aware that it exists. Their is the government on the top, and then the people, and then the Harvard graduates are at the bottom, they are looked down upon as compared to everybody else
Do you think that Montag will be able to influence other people to turn against the government or is it too late because he's portrayed as a criminal?
People in this society have entered into a social contract, a mutual agreement to conform to society, to ensure that they can remain ignorant and "happy." It will take a large collection of intelligent minds to create a gravitational pull strong enough to draw people out of the social contract.
That's a really good point. I think he will be able to convince the educated few but as for the rest of the society, he'll have a difficult time because they are afraid of him.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needsThat's the wikipedia web address for Maslow's hierarchy of needs.