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Warm-up (not optional ) • Jot down a few things you dislike about the set-up of a school day. Consider: • Scheduling • Class requirements / credits • Electives • Length of periods, etc. 2. What style of learning suits you best: lecture/note-taking, collaborative learning (group work), experiments? Explain why.
What’s school like in F451? • An hour of TV class • An hour of a sport • An hour of transcription history • An hour of painting • “We never ask questions, or at least most don’t; they just run the answers at you,bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film teacher” (29).
Montag’s First Step “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. Now it plunged the book under his arm, pressed it tight to sweating armpit, rushed out empty, with a magician’s flourish!” (37-8).
Montag is alone, but not alone. (What literary device is that?!) • “…if she died, he was certain he wouldn’t cry. For it would be the dying of an unknown, a street face, a newspaper image, and it was suddenly so very wrong that he had begun to cry, not at the death but at the thought of not crying at death . . . ” (44). • “How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?” (52).
Montag’s growing curiosity “There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing” (51).
Captain Beatty • “School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, language dropped, English and spelling gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?” (55-56). • “More cartoons in books. More pictures. The mind drinks less and less” (57). • P. 57
“We must all be alike . Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cover, to judge themselves against! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it” (58). • Homogenization • If people read books, there is a threat that they may become intellectually superior to others, defeating the goal of making all equal. • Complexities to Beatty’s character: He uses books to exercise authority over others
“Ask yourself, What do we want in this country, above all? People want to be happy, isn’t that right? Haven’t you heard it all your life? I want to be happy, people say. Well, aren’t they? Don’t we keep them moving, don’t we give them fun? That’s all we live for, isn’t it?” (59). • Mildred and others have suppressed pain
“She didn’t want to know how a thing was done, but why. That can be embarrassing. You ask why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed” (60). • P. 61
Faber • “I don’t talk things, sir. I talk the meaning of things. I sit here and know I’m alive” (75). • I think, therefore I am. • Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me is has texture. This book has pores. It has features . . . The good writers touch life often” (83).
Power & Control: TV vs. Books • :…you can’t argue with a four wall-televisor. Why? The televisor is ‘real.’ It rushes you on so it must be right. It seems so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn’t time to protest, ‘What nonsense!’” (84). • “You can shut [books], say, ‘Hold on a moment.’ You play God to it. But who has ever torn himself from the claw that encloses you when you drop a seed in a TV parlor? It grows you any shape it wishes! It is an environment as real as the world. It becomes and is the truth. Books can be beaten down with reason” (84).
The Value of Books: Power, Thought, Action, & Escape • 1: quality of information • 2: leisure to digest it • 3: the right to carry out actions based on what we learn from the interaction of the first two • “The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are” (86). • “The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book” (86).
Ladies of the Parlor • “Pete and I always said, no tears, nothing like that. It’s our third marriage each and we’re independent. Be independent, we always said. He said, if I get killed off, you just go right ahead and don’t cry, but get married again, and don’t think of me” (95). • “I plunk the children in school nine days out of ten. I put up with them when they come home three days a month; it’s not bad at all. You heave them into the parlor and turn the switch. It’s like washing clothes: stuff laundry in and slam the lid” (96).
“He wasn’t much, was he? Kind of small and homely and he didn’t shave too close or comb his hair very well” (97). • “Fat, too, and didn’t dress to hide it . . . Even their names helped. Compare Winston Noble to Hubert Hoag for ten seconds and you can almost figure out the results” (97).
Montag’s Explosion • “Go home and think of your first husband divorced and your second husband killed in a jet and your third husband blowing his brains out, go home and think of the dozen abortions you’ve had, go home and think of your damn Caesarian sections, too, and your children who hate your guts! Go home and think how it all happened and what did you ever do to stop it? Go home, go home! Before I knock you down and kick you out the door!” (101).
“But remember that the Captain belongs to the most dangerous enemy to truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority” (108). • Beatty: P. 107 • Beatty uses literature to refute literature
Granger to Montag • “Welcome back from the dead.” • Literal: Montag, as far as the rest of the society is concerned, is dead (scapegoat) • Figurative: Montag is reborn; he is a new man with a new purpose
Granger & The Intellectuals • “We’re book burners, too. We read the books and burnt them, afraid they’d be found . . . Always the chance of discovery. Better to keep it in the old heads, where no one can suspect it” (152). • “We mustn’t be pedants; we were not to feel superior to anyone else in the world. We’re nothing more than dust jackets for books, of no significance otherwise” (153).
No Threat • “And when the war’s over, someday, some year, the books can be written again, the people will be called in, one by one, until another Dark Age, when we might have to do the whole damn thing over again. But that’s the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and worth the doing.”
Emotional Connections • Granger’s story: p. 155-6 • The Realization of Millie: • “ I remember. Montag clung to the earth. I remember. Chicago. Chicago a long time ago. Millie and I. That’s where we met. I remember now. Chicago. A long time ago” (160). • Too late?
The Phoenix: Rebirth • A bird who burned itself up and then sprang from the ashes, born again • “We’re going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we’re doing, you can say, We’re remembering . . . Come on now, we’re going to build a mirror factory next year and take a long look in them” (164).
The Ending • P. 164-165 • What mood does it leave the reader? • “The day was brightening all about them as if a pink lamp had given more wick. In the trees, the birds that had flown away quickly came back and settled down . . . To everything there is a season. Yes. A time to break down, and a time to build up. Yes. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (165). • “When we reach the city” (165).