Class - The medics that helped with Montag's wife made it sound like it was normal for people to overdose on sleeping drugs because they talked about how they had to invent a machine to help and how they had more emergencies they had to go to that night. Do you think it is normal? If yes, why would so many people do it? Is it a way to escape life? To escape something else like the government?
Class - "Strangers come and violate you." Is Montag referring to the government? If yes, what make their government bad?
-Class- Why didn't Mildred (Guy Montag's wife) remember that she took all the sleeping pills?
I'm a little confused by the hound. What could it symbolize? What's the point of it?
Class - Montage quickly and aggressively denied the fact that he wasn't in love (proven by the dandelion). Could this retort be a sign that maybe Montag doesn't truly love his wife?
Class - The way Montag goes about his life gives me the impression that he is lonely, sad, and/or missing something. Do you agree? Explain you answer.
Is Clarisse's uncle the same man from The Pedestrian?
Shannon- I think the hound symbolizes the government and how it seems to be watching Montage.
Emma-I think that Guy doesn't truly love his wife. He probably did at one point, but as time went on they were more like companions because they don't have the same values anymore. ex: Guy wants kids, but Mildred does not.
Emma- I think your inference about the sleeping pills is right. I think that they take these pills to escape the government. They have so many things troubling them that they just want to escape and commit suicide. To many citizens in this society, that is their only way out. "Strangers come a violate you." Like in the pedestrian, the government interferes and questions everything your doing. If your just taking an evening stroll, the government will make sure your not up to anything.
I thought it was interesting that Montag talked about his hand the same way Shakespeare uses the hand in Macbeth.
Class- I'm sure a lot of you noticed the quote: "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." I immediately thought of the correlation between this author's symbolism and Shakespeare's symbolism in Macbeth. Is it possible that their stories are in various ways, somewhat similar?
Class - Can Clarisse's statement, "It's a lot of funnels and a lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom, and them telling us it's wine when it's not," be applied to not only education like she was literally talking about, but also to other facets of society, like media?
Emma- What I understood from Montag not believing in love was that in the future they don't have feelings because earlier in the book Clarrisse asked if he was happy and he asked her what that meant
Grant- There must be some kind of influence of societal change. Her uncle is a big reformer.
Savannah and Shannon- I noticed that as well. I thought that it was a really cool connection between the two and how the two books fit together in different, but still viable, ways.
-Shannon- I believe that the hound symbolizes how the future society will look at Montag as the story goes on. Clarisse has made it so that Montag has began to see the simple things in life which are against society. If he continues to "go against the system" his friends and other citizens will look down on him (the hound growling at Montag symbolizes this).
Savannah - I think Macbeth and Montag's stories are very alike. They both use their hands as blame-pieces for their actions.
Emma-Yes I do agree. I feel like he is missing some sort happiness to come home to after a long days work. It seems like Clarisse is the only one who really wants to know Montag, besides the other firefighters.
Class- Why does Bradbury call Guy Montag and not Guy? The other characters are called by their first name.
Class/ Shannon- You'll should REALLY take a look at page 27: "It doesn't think anything we don't want it to think." This symbolizes the society. The hound is the population and the humans/firemen are the government. They have all ruling power over the current society.
Savannah- I feel that they are because I have found other examples that relate to Macbeth and also The Pedestrian and Harrison Bergeron
James- I agree. That's what I thought of at first too. News and other parts of social media today are a lot of flashing lights and not much actual content, like water versus wine.
-Class- Do we the readers believe that Montag is the "good guy" or the "bad guy" of the story since he is a fireman that destroys books but he is also beginning to realize the wrong of his society?
Class- Does anyone see a similarity between the Hunger Games and 451?
Grant - Clarisse's views come from her uncle and I think they are kind of rubbing off on Montag. He looks forward to seeing her everyday and he listens to her. Montage mentioned that people "don't talk", but they are. Could Montag maybe want to be more like Clarisse and adopt her ideas? How come he took the book even though his job is to burn it?
Emma - I do think that Montag is searching for something. I think that he is trying to find something to fill that hole in his life with, whether it's Clarisse or the books he's taking and hiding.
Emma- I think that Montag is truly unhappy. However, I don't think he even knew until Clarisse came along and made him look around. She made him taste the rain, look up at the moon, smell leaves, but most importantly she made him look inside himself. I think that Montag was almost uncomfortable with it in the beginning, not because he was mad or upset with Clarisse, but perhaps because it was unsettling that he himself could not see this before Clarisse's questioning.
Delaney- I think Bradbury does this to not confuse you. Guy is also a pronoun commonly used to describe a guy...like a boy. He may feel like it will keep the book more clear by calling him Montag.
Class- Why is it, do you think, that when people have their books burned they attempt suicide? It is because they are so attached to their books or some other reason?
Amber- Wow Amber I definitely agree with you. Thanks!
Monica- both in the Hunger Games and 451, the government manipulates the society.
Amber-why did he name Guy Guy if its just going to confuse us?
Class - Does the turmoil within the nation, such as fighter jets flying overhead, suggest inner turmoil within Montag? Will this turmoil escalate as does that withing Montag?
Delany- Characters are often referred to by last name only. An example is Harry Potter. Hagrid, Dumbledore, Snape. Not Rubeus, Albus, or Severus. I don't think it really means anything.
Class- I am confused on what is going on pg. 34, "Once upon a time!" "what kind of talk is that". If they have never read in a fairly tail book, why does Beatty have such an outburst about it? I know it doesn't sound "normal" but most things don't.
Nick' I think their books symbolize their freedom. They would rather die than not be free.
Alex - I absolutely agree with your point of view. My prediction is that later on he and Clarisse will rebel against the government which makes me think of them as the good guy. I also feel kind of sympathetic for Montag which may be a sign that he is the good guy. Burning the books is normal in that time period, so it shouldn't be considered as "bad".
Shannon-good point. Thanks!
Delaney- I think that Bradbury does this because he wants to show the main character and how Guy is different. He has different thoughts and opinions about banning and burning books. Montag is used to show that he doesn't want to burn books, and he doesn't even really want to be a fireman. I think that Bradbury did this to show how different Montag is.
Nick - I do think the attachment to their books, a symbol of freedom of thought and non-conformity to the society, is the reason for the martyrdom of those whose books are burned.
Nick- I think that this is the first time in 451 that the firefighters have burnt down a person with their books. That's why afterward nobody was talking on the way back. The woman went down with her books because she felt that she needed to prove a point of how powerful books can be and they she can't live without them. To her, books are her life.
Nick- Even though the handbook for firemen said that they had always been burning books we know different. At one time people would read books frequently and some people became emotionally attached to books. They commit suicide because they are protecting a part of their heritage and eradicating the books destroys a part of that person.
I wonder at what point firemen went from heroes to arsonists.
Amber- I agree!
Nick- I think that they want to die with the books because they believe that the books should be able to live on and be read; and the people are so attached to that belief that they are willing to die for it.
James - I think that Montag is conflicted that maybe he should believe Clarisse that life was different before or if he should just continue following the beliefs that he was taught. Eventually he will have to make a choice and that choice will decide the rest of the story.
Sean made a really good point: What side you work for decides the opinion you will be swayed towards.
Alex- I think that the author is trying to transition the way we view Montag at different points in the book. In the very beginning, he came across as a fire loving, sadistic, book burning fireman who had no other desire and no better feeling then when he was burning things down. But I'm not quite sure personally how I view Montag, I think it really depends on how he handles his newly found image of the society he lives in. As of now, I view him as an continually changing individual that refuses to conform.
Class- On page 37, Montag is blaming his hand for starting the fire and hiding a book in his clothes. Does anyone else see this tie into Macbeth of how Macbeth often blamed his hand for murder?
Class- Why do you think that Clarisse had to go? Do you think it had anything to do with her uncle?
Shannon- I was wondering the same thing, I think it is because they want everything to be equal, like in "Harrison Bergeron". They have to get rid of the books so that no one knows more than what is happening in the time frame.
Nick, I don't think that the quality of life would be very satisfactory if that person were in jail or if the government to kill them. Reading books is illegal and would get a person in a lot of trouble.
Is it possible that the books are burned because the government is hiding something? They don't want the public to have access to sources that could make them rebel or question authority? Do the people that own the book not agree with the government?
Annabelle - I think that Captain Beatty is realizing that Montag is changing from being a typical Fireman to being more thoughtful and questioning his job.
Amber- I agree. I just think it's interesting that the roles of firemen between then and now are literally completely reversed.
Macy- I think that the government took them away because Clarisse was questioning society and cause others in society (Montag) to question the government.
Shannon-I was wondering the same thing. The current firemen act like its a joke when people say firemen used to put out fires. Does anyone else have any input?
Amber: That is a great point! I definitely see the blaming of something that cannot speak. This is a great connection. Do you think there is something deeeper behind this 'hand' idea?
Class- What is the importance of Clarisse's character in Montag's life. What new perspectives has she given him. Montag has been living his whole life never thinking about life in a different perspective and then one day Clarisse walks into his life and his whole viewpoint changes.
*Annabelle, not Amber. Sorry!
Amber- Montag and Macbeth do this because they are trying to blame an action that they know is wrong on someone else. For example, when we were kids and we messed up on something we never, ever took responsibility. We always blamed it on someone/thing else. That's exactly what Montag and Macbeth were doing, they were blaming it on "someone" else.
Nick/ Shannon: It's obvious that the government has manipulated the people to believe what they want. For example, Benjamen Franklin wasn't the first firefighter.
Class - Going along with Amber's comment, Is it ironic that Clarisse mentioned in the old days that firemen used to put out fires with water and then when Montag goes to burn the books, Bradbury states, "...his hose which sprayed not water but kerosene." Could this be a sign the Clarisse's unorthodox ideas be affecting Montag? Is he starting to believe her and not society?
Class- What are your ideas on Clarisse leaving? I was so suprised!
Emma - I think the government is burning books in order to control people, like you said to limit access to sources that might incite dissent within the society. As we discussed, literature motivates social change and without literature social change may not occur.
Emma- I think that it is possible because they are hiding the past; like when Montag says that he has never read anything about firemen stopping fire instead of starting fire. I think that the government does not want the people to know the past. I think that the people who own the books want them to be published to the rest of society so that everyone can read and enjoy it.
A lot of the symbolizes we noticed in Macbeth and Lord of The Flies also play a big role in 451. The blaming of his hand, civilization versus savagery, etc.
Elizabeth- Clarisse plants the seed in Montag. Now, the seed is growing and he will soon be strong enough the challenge the system. He only spent a small amount of time with her, but all he needed was for the idea to be planted in him. He can do the rest on his own.
Liz- I think that Clarisse is very important in Montag's life. Clarisse has caused Montag to question is whole position and thoughts on life. Because of Clarisse, Montag reconsiders his job, his family, and his thoughts on the government and burning/banning books.
~Monica~ The government most likely took her and her family away because they were beginning to question the government have a 'bad' influence on society.
Monica - She can't just leave. She made such an impact on Montag when she was part of the story so if Bradbury takes her out for good, then who is going to give more ideas that stimulate social change?
Elizabeth- Clarisse walking into Montag's life completely changes how he looks at the norm of society. In fact, the concept of someone opening the eyes of the main character is very common in books. Look at "Macbeth" and the "Lord of the Flies", Macbeth and Banquo were living happy lives until the witches came and corrupted Macbeth. Jack and Ralph were friends at the beginning but when "The Beast" became real in the boys minds both of them turned against each other.
Class- Grant and Bekah just discussed the possibility that the ventilator that Guy is always referring to with a guilty conscious, is really hiding a book. They took it to another level of inference by discussing the possibility that the man in the park could be the one who gave him the book. In my opinion, I believe that Clarisse's Uncle is not only the same man from the Pedestrian story, but also the man from the park who is inferred to have given Montag the book in the ventilator. However, this is all speculation and there is no definite proof but this is what I'm gathering from the underlying tone in the book where walking is unusual, Clarisse is unusual, the Uncle is unusual, and I feel that all these things seen as unusual now will have a huge impact in the end. What do you guys think?
Emma- I most certainly think Montag is beginning to see her ideas, that is why he is beginning to ask so many questions. I also think the Hound fits into this situation, maybe this is the reason the hound growls at Montag.
Class: Does Guy Montag enjoy his job?
Monica- I feel that with Clarisse leaving Montag is left to question now what he believes. Will he choose the believe what he has his whole life or what he has learned in just the few days he has known Clarisse.
Elizabeth- Clarisse is Montag's eye opener. She is also his source of joy because she has so much input on everything. She tries to cheer him up by leaving objects at his door when he comes home.
Emma- i think that the water symbolizes good and kerosene is bad. When kerosene is spread, the evils and lies of the society are quickly spreading and growing.
Amber- That is an excellent point about the government taking her family away.
Monica-I was very surprised as well. I had no idea what was going on with her until this discussion. I agree with Amber and why they left, but I was just surprised the government would go to this extreme to make sure that the government would stay in control.
Allison: I don't think he does but he feels like he's trapped and doesn't have a choice.
Amber- I think that there would have been more of a scene if they had been taken away. I think the government would have publicized it- on TV perhaps- to show a warning to anyone else thinking about challenging the system. I don't know what happened to Clarisse but I don't think the government removed her.
Alison- I think that Guy is very torn about his job. Since meeting Clarisse he has begun to question whether or not burning books is the right thing to do.
Class - Is it possible, like Liz said, that the beast in Lord of the Flies has similar symbolism to the mechanical hound in Fahrenheit 451?
Elizabeth- That is a really great point. Maybe Clarisse was just a lead into the mind of Montag.
Emma- I feel that Clarisse's ideas are causing Montag to question his beliefs, job, and the society. He is wanting to "investigate" on whether or not her statements are true or if she is crazy or not.
Alison- He thought he did. But now he's starting to really think about what they are actually doing, so he's questioning it.
Macy/ Monica: I think that it is very reasonable for the government to go to these extents. They will do anything for power. Like Hitler, he killed millions of innocent people to stay in power and it didn't bother him at all. The government will go to any extents to stay in control.
Class: Is burning books the right thing to do?
Alison - I agree with Amber. It's not that he doesn't enjoy his job, it's just that he has no other choice. He has to do it. When he mentions that all firemen look alike, it makes me think that he has to do that job because the government assigned it to him so he can't disobey them.
Monica/Liz - Could Clarisse be like Lady Macbeth, instigating action within the story?
Class- If the society can't read books, then what do they read? And if they can't read then how do they know about history and ideas and people? Would we only know new information from TV and other people? Is this an efficient way to live?
Alison- Guy has liked his job for a long time. Ever since Clarisse came into his life he has thought about his life in a different way, it is almost like he is now challenging the system
-Class- Early on in the book there is a scene where Montag and his coworkers burn down books and and the house holding the books and the book describes the joy of Montag to burn these books. Is this supposed to be a satire of how in a more civilized society there is more savagery than less developed civilizations?
Shannon- That is a good point. I didn't think about that, so I guess that the reason Clarisse was taken away may be revealed later on in 451.
Amber- Yes, but in 451, do you think it will go to the extent of killing members of society like it has in Macbeth and LOF?
Alison - In our view today, burning books is wrong, but in that time, it's required and no one questions it.
Alison - Burning books is not the right thing to do. Books provide the knowledge necessary for power. The burning of books controls the population in an improper way.
James- Yes I do think that Clarisse does play the role of the instigator, but she isn't instigating bad actions like Lady Macbeth in my opinion.
Class- I think it's strange that even though they don't have books, people still know how to read. They read the billboards Clarisse talked about. Why does the government allow people to learn to read if there are no books?
~Delaney~ Yes, they get all their information from their parlor walls. There are no books and they depend completely upon the information given to them through the government's censorship.
Class- Sorry I might have already asked this, but, What do you think about the pill story? Was it a hint of suicide? Ideas?
Alison- You make a good point. Burning books sounds horrible to us but in the time frame that Montag is in, I don't think that anyone ever thought about "Is this the right thing, or are we just doing what we are told to do?" But when Clarisse comes into the picture I feel that that question came into his mind and he is going to try and challenge it.
Emma- I believe that Clarisse's ideas aren't only being taken into account by Montag, but are weighing down heavily on him. Not only did the author use little points of interest to let the reader infer about society and what Clarisse said and how Montag is thinking about it, but Montag had what seemed like some revelations in the firehouse as he was questioning not only the hound that turned on him, but his very own work. He question the Caption Beatty face to face, asking him if Firemen ever put out fires instead of starting them. I think there is a definite doubt planted and growing in Montag's head.
Alison- It's the wrong thing to do but they thing it's right because it is the norm. We know that killing people is wrong but their are still various countries around the world killing each others' citizens and the media seems to care more about Jersey Shore than something horrible going on in the world.
~Class~ Book are often censored, but is the society in 451 censored also?
Class- Grant has a good question, "Does Clarisse symbolize something?" I think that she could symbolize a conscience.
Class: What would it look like to challenge the system in F451?
Alison- It depends on the society and the books. If the society has a law that books have to be burned, then according to law you have to. This does not make it right, however, because people should not be deprived of their reading right.
Amber- The books aren't only censored, but banned.
Class - Jacqueline just said that people are afraid of people who don't think like them. Is this true in books like Lord of the Flies, not only in 451?
At the very beginning, the lust Montag has for burning reminded me of the bloodlust detailed in LOTF when Simon was killed, and other times.
Delaney- When no books can be read you are right people don't read this then causes people to have a very limited viewpoint. Then the gov. is controlling what society knows and learns.
Alison- Montag could stop burning books, save them, and start a rebellion against the government to change the society.
Monica- Yes I think it was a hint a suicide. She had to be "cleansed" of her blood and stomach acid because of all the pills that she took.
James- I think that is absolutely true in LOF
~Alison~ challenging the system in F451 means that you are put into danger. They will most likely catch you and kill you brutally to show other people: like to warn them not to do it, not to ever question the government.
Class - Clarisse says that Montag is different. Is it possible that she is purposely planting those ideas in her mind because she knows that because he is different, he might do something about it?
Class - Why do you think that kids kill each other?
James- I think that there is always a Protagonist and Antagonist in a piece of literature; so I feel that this is true.
James- Yes we see this in LOF. Jack is afraid of Ralph because he doesn't believe in how Ralph is running things so much in fact that he breaks off and starts his own tribe.
Annabelle - I think that your point about Clarisse is a good one. The government is trying to control the population and without the conscience of Clarisse, people like Montag would not challenge the established society.
~Class~ Have you noticed the 200 foot long billboards because they drive so fast? Could this show how the society's lives are zooming by? What proof is there that their lives are speeding by?
Emma, great point, are her actions towards Montag creating a Montag that threatens society's norm? Maybe she cant do it herself but thinks Montag can.
Emma-I think that this is different for each person and each case that you look at. Some kids kill each other because they are afraid or have been bullied. But each case is different.
Emma- I think that all the kids kill eachother, because society really has gone to savagery. The children in 451 are like the boys in the end of LOF. They have all gone crazy.
Emma- I think that he is different and Clarisse is in the story to persuade him to challenge to government and to make things go back to how they were, books, worksheets etc.
Emma - I think kids are killing each other because they are desensitized to death and murder. Just like Captain Beatty uses profanity, the society is desensitized to things that would be considered amoral in today's society.
Class - In this time, firemen start fires. Could policemen instigate crime and other jobs do the opposite of what they do today?
Class~ Why doesn't Mildred remember she took the pills?
Emma- I do not think that what Clarisse said is entirely true. I think she exaggerated. She described over fifteen of her friends that died last year alone. If she is not exaggerating then I really do not know why so many kids kill each other.
Amber- With the 200ft Billboards it does show that life is zooming by. I also think that it symbolizes how a civilized world is slipping away. They are no longer having time "to stop and smell the roses."
Class- In the world of "Fahrenheit 451" something that people used to do all of the time is now banned. Is there something in modern society that is banned but shouldn't be?
Emma- to your comment a long time ago. I think that Montag's self-conscious mind grabs the book because there is a seed of doubt that is growing with influence from Clarisse. He is curious to see what ideas are truly available.
Amber - I think Mildred knows what happened but she doesn't want to think it was.
Amber - I think it's Bradbury's commentary on how in society, people are always 'too busy' to pay attention to each other and their lives are just passing in front of them.
Emma- I think that the policemen would not instigate crime but they would arrest people who are doing "good" instead of "bad". Like in the "Pedestrian", Leonard Mead was arrested for no reason.
Amber- I think she does and she lied because she attempted suicide, and she really just doesn't want to talk about it, especially to Montag.
Class- Will Mildred attempt suicide again at some point in the story?
Emma- I only think this turn around of jobs only relates to firemen. The houses are now fireproof, so nothing starts on fire. They only need firemen to start them now. I don't see how this could relate to other jobs like police officers.
Amber - I think that Mildred doesn't remember taking the pills, something extremely horrible, is much like Hazel in Harrison Bergeron. Something was horrible so they are unwilling to recognize that. Does that happen in today's society as well?
Shannon-I don't know. I think that she might, just to get away from everything. And I think that Guy will then use that to help fight back and to go against the government.
Class - We have been reading pieces that depict the future. Do you think that in reality, our future wourld could turn out like this?
Shannon~ I think that she wants to but won't. When she was on the verge of dieing, they sent the 'snake' in to clean all of the poison out. So, she may want to but knows it will be hopeless.
Shannon- if something doesnt drastically change Mildred, she will for sure try it again. I think she conciously knew what she was doing and has a reason for it.
Amber- I think that Mildred chooses to pretend not to remember taking the pills because she doesn't what Guy to see how un happy she is. She wants things in her life to change for example she wants a fourth tv wall. She feels that if she has these new gadgets then maybe she will feel life is more worth living.
Shannon- I feel that she will because she is being so secretive and denying it. Like Bekah just said, "This isn't life and they know it". I think Mildred is so sick of not having the "normal" life. She thinks that there is no point in living if there is no life other than T.V.
Class- The fishbowl was talking about how Mildred Montag disagrees with society and tries to kill herself. Does she really realize the wrong of the society? She seems more like the model citizen for the society who never disagrees, who never rebels, who isn't even their own person.
Class~ Did anyone else find it ironic that the snake was sucking out the poison from Mildred's body when in reality, snakes insert poison? It's backwards; does this symbolize society?
Amber- absolutely yes. Is bradburry making a point?
Emma- Perhaps the question is do you think if our society became like this would anyone realize it?
Amber- I think Mildred remembers very well that she took the pills. I just don't think she cares. I honestly believe that because this society has lost touch with so many emotions and feelings and they have forgotten how to use their senses, who would care if you swallowed 30 pills or 1,000? Even when the strange men came in to drain Montag's wife and pump her with new blood, the one thing that was lacking was definitely emotion. They were smoking cigarettes and explaining how often this happens. So it makes you think, Mildred is obviously not the only one who has been thinking along these lines. So for Mildred to wake up, not dead but in a failed attempt, I infer that she would rather ignore her attempt then admit to failure of taking her own life.
Emma- In really hope that our future does not result like these books. But I do think our society is slowly leaning to technology based. Maybe we will turn out to be like the people in 451, HB, and Pedestrian.
Emma- I think that it is highly unlikely. the future will probably be similar to today, we will probably just rely on machines more. With all of these handicaps and weird jobs like firemen starting fires, I don't all this could be true. There would be a huge loss of jobs with all these advancements.
Alex - We need an answer to a question to answer this, but we don't have that. Was Mildred attempting suicide or did she truly not mean to do it? If it was suicide, then yes, I think maybe she disagrees with how their society is run.
Alison~ I think that Bradbury is trying to show you that everything that we know is backwards. The snake and the poison is backwards; the fireman's jobs are backwards; and society seems backwards too.
Alex - You make a good point. Mildred is more a model of the population, rather than an outlier like her husband. She only overdosed on the pills because she was trying to fill her life with something, much like the young people that go to the fun parks to be violent.
Emma- I would hope not. But with how much technology is changing rapidly and improving and updating, it is highly possible that books will no longer exist, and people might be forced to live under strict "this is how it is and you're going to like it" law.
Amber- Yes I do think that the snake symbolizes how backwards their society is. I think the Barburry also wants to make the reader repulsed by how their society is, maybe lead us to start social change and make sure that this isn't our future.
Emma- I don't think so. At least I hope not. Our society is full of bright minds, including everyone in this room. It changed like this began to happen, I should hope that people could get together, step up, and stop it before it gets this bad.
Alex- I feel that she doesn't think that she can change anything and there is no hope so why not commit suicide.
Emma- I completely agree.
Class - Instead of this book motivating social change, is Bradbury maybe warning us of what could happen in the future?
Emma - I don't think Mildred's overdoes was her disagreement with society, but Bradbury showing the superficiality of society. It doesn't actually improve the people within it but leaves them needing to fill it with something, even if that means turning to drugs.
James- I liked what you said to Emma. I think that we have always had a sort of defense mechanism. We recognize terrible situations, but if you ask anyone if they would rather be happy or depressed, I think the answer would be pretty clear. I know I have definitely tried to forget or at very least ignore what's hurting me because who wouldn't rather remember the good of life and not the bad. The problem is the government in the book obviously had the same idea, and if Mildred really did forget, than she's not choosing to remember why she would even want to kill herself in the first place. She is programmed to remember why she wants to stay