Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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Insightful questions for discussion

  • How is Clarisse a symbol of one part of society? How is Mildred a symbol of another part?
  • What is the relationship like between Montag and Mildred?
  • What happened to the society in the first place that made it so bad?
  • Why would society accept all these technologies?
  • Why hasn't anybody done anything to change what's going on?
  • Why is Beatty against books if he's educated?
  • Why is society so enclosed?
  • Why don't people just unplug themselves?
  • What does Bradbury mean when he says the book has "pores"?

Questions for adults participating in the discussion
  • During the time you were reading the book, how did you campare it to your life or society after reading the story?
  • How is today different from your time period? What are the similarities and differences?
  • What are your thoughts on the amount of technology people (exclusively teenagers) use today?
  • Do you think technology can/will come to the point where it almost completely takes over our lives?
  • Do you think that people like Montag exist in our society?
  • During your time of reading the book, did you think that in 2010 it be would just as relevant as before?
  • What was the technology like when they were younger?
  • Do you think this book relates to our society today?

Potential for mindless entertainment to stifle individual thinking
Abuse and/or misuse of technology
Threats to personal freedom
Memorable quote from novel...
"It'll be even more fun when we can afford to have the fourth wall installed. How long you figure before we save up and get the fourth wall torn out and the fourth wall-TV installed?" (20).
"Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely 'brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking... Don't give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy... If the drama is bad, if the film says nothing, if the play is hollow, sting me with theremin, loudly. I'll think I'm responding to the play. when it's only a tactile reaction to vibration. But I don't care. I just like solid entertainment" (61).
"Number one: Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me, it means texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You'd find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion" (83).
"The mechanical hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live in its gently humming, gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel back in a dark corner of the firehouse" (24).
"Thats my family" (49)
"Montag had done nothing. His hand had done it all, his hand, with a brain of its own, with a conscience and a curiosity in each trembling finger, had turned thief" (37).
"The Hound, he thought.It's out there tonight. It's out there now. If I opened the window...
He did not open the window" (48).
Relevant connections to today's world...