Class- How do you know if you are actually thinking for yourself?
Did Montag kill Beatty out of fear they he would judge him or turn him in?
Hi Class! In this book, they talk about fire as more that what we think it is. Does fire have a more prominent meaning than we think?
Class- On page 93, the parlor is described as "the volcano." Is this symbolic for anything?
~Class~ Did Beatty really want to die?
Class - Why is this society so desensitized that they are unfazed by abortions and profanity?
Class- So I have three questions:1. When did their culture turn so violent?2. Why and how did the government convince everyone the no one dies in war?3. Why are children pests instead of blessings?
Jacqueline- I think that Montag killed Beatty because of the instinct to protect himself. Montag knew that Beatty could harm him and destroy his family, so his hands reacted instinctively and burnt Beatty.
Class-Put yourself in Montag's position when he is about to kill Captain Beatty. Would you kill him or try and just run away?
Sean- I think that fire is playing the role of control in this book. Fire is controling the people because they are showing that it is consuming the books and knowledge in socity.
Class- What does loyalty mean in a society where all true feelings are lost?
Amber, i think he knew he was going to die so he just accepted it and died. With his last words though he made then worth it by insulting and getting at Montag.
sean-I think that fire is a barrier that blocks the society from knowledge. Fire is more then something that destroys illegal material, it blocks ideas that could possibly influence society.
Amber- Yes i think he did! Kind like how Mildred wanted to kill herself. They are unhappy and see no purpose in their lives. Very depressing...
Bekah- You know when you are thinking for yourself if you are not thinking about something that someone told you. If you are thinking about new ideas, or are going against the system, then you know that you are thinking for yourself.
Class- Beatty taunts Montag almost as if he wanted to be killed. Did Beatty recognize that a life in this society wasn't worth living?
Class- Who is the "bad guy" in this story?
Sean - I think that fire is used to show the change in Montag. At the beginning fire is destructive and can only consume things, whereas later in the book fire becomes more of a source of warmth.
Rebekah - Unfortunately, in a society where personal opinions/views are lost loyalty means the same thing as obedience.
James- Great question! I think since all common sense and knowledge is basically gone, there is no emotion. So killing and obscene actions are just a second nature now.
Rebekah- First off, great question! To really think for yourself is when you make your own decisions based on your own opinions with no outside influence. It's pretty hard for the people in the Fahrenheit 451 Universe to think for themselves because they have constant outside influence from TV and even people.
Amber-I dont think that the captain did want to die. I think that he thought Montag was too gutless to kill him, I don't think that the captain thought he would do it.
Bekah- Interesting question! I believe that you are thinking for yourself when you are making your own decisions based off of what you believe, and not what the influential power is thrusting onto your mind. In 451, Montag, Clarisse, and Faber are the only ones that think/thought for themselves. They are the ones getting out of the regular curve and making decisions made on their own mindset and not what the government has forced upon them.
Bekah-In this society is the only true loyalty to ones self? In everything Montag is doing he is protecting himself. He cares for Clarrise and Mildred but he is ultimately looking out for himself and he wants to protect himself.
Nick- I think that Montag didn't mean to kill Beatty, he just reacted instinctively. Bradbury says that the 'hands' did it, and I think this means that Montag's inner self did this while his outer self didn't recognize it.
Alison- I think there wasn't just one bad guy, but that their whole society had turned into the "bad guy". But if you wanted a specific person I would say Beatty was the bad guy.
Bekah - I think that loyalty means nothing because it is truly nothing without feeling. Without trust and respect, loyalty is impossible so loyalty means nothing in this society
Rebekah-Loyalty in Montag's society is not owning, reading, selling, writing, or be involved with books. Loyalty is not being different. It is always following the rules.Loyalty is being a person who always follows the rules and doesn't think about rebelling or overthrowing the government.
Bekah, in this society, there is a corrupt vision of loyalty. If you believe in the same cause, then you are loyal. In the is book if you believe what the government believes then you are loyal to the government, and if you believe something different than what the government thinks, or if you have a different opinion that the government, then you are dis-loyal.
Alison - That is really an interesting question because from the eyes of society Montag is the bad guy because he is trying to change it in a way people are not comfortable with. But through Montag or Faber or Clarisse's eyes society is the bad guy because it is so oppressive.
Alison- The answer to this question depends on what side of the story you are on. However, I believe that the "bad guy" is not just one person, but the entire government that is oppressing the knowledge of the people. However, on the side of the government making the world equal and with no conflicts, Montag and Faber are the antagonists.
Class- The radio said that “war has been declared”, how will this effect the events in the book?
Class-why is Mildrid afraid?
Class- How does Beatty have this knowledge about books?
Bekah- This is a great question! I think that you know when you are thinking for yourself is when you are able to back up your opinion with own life experiences and not just stories you have heard from others.
Alison- I don't think that there is a single 'bad guy'. I think that the bad guy is just a society that has become so ingrained in technology and self fulfillment that it is impossible to stop it. The government isn't helping things, though.
Class- Does Guy think that Faber is a coward because he is giving orders through the ear piece and not in person?
Class - How is Faber like Piggy from LOF? I think that he is like Piggy because he uses his intelligence to help a worthy cause (Montag's cause).
Alison - I don't think there is a specific 'bad guy' in this story, but rather there are people like Beatty who represents the government,and other symbols like fire, the salamander, and the sieve and the sand.
Delaney- I think that Mildred is afraid of change. She knows that if Montag keeps pursuing the books, her life will become in danger or different. She doesn't want to change.
Sophia, I think your notions are correct.
Sean - I think that Montag thinks of Faber more as a wise person. Kind of like how Ralph viewed Piggy in LOF. He realizes that Faber is willing to help him in a very dangerous task, making Faber far from a coward.
On page 121, Montag thinks of something Beatty told him, "You always said, don't face a problem, burn it." In this society, does this solve every problem? Could this be what caused this situation in the first place?
Allison- I think that their is not neccsearliy one "bad guy" in this story because Montag is going agasint the people and the goverment but we see it as a good thing because it is hard for us to imagine a world without literature. Also beatty and all of the firemen could be seen as the bad guys because they are buring the books and destroying knowledge and intelegence, the firemen are simply doing what they are told and what they think is right, so to answer your question I do not think that there is one bad guy who is the antagonist of the story.
Alison- I definitely get that feeling that something in his past still haunts him. Therefore, I believe that Beatty used to, if not currently, be a fluent reader. Like Emma said you see how nervous he is talking about it.
Alison-I think that the bad guy is Montag (in this one society). In that one time period that Montag is in is different than today's. Today we might call him a hero, but people in the future might call him a criminal.
~Class~What makes Mildred turn in Montag?
Sophia- Piggy and Faber are both the background men. They work behind the scenes, and support the main character.
Alex- I think that this war will change the plot drastically. When war comes, people change. There will be anti and pro war people, and because of this, a sort of war will also start within the country. This will be ignited even more by the tension of the anti and pro book groups already in the country.
Allison-I think Beatty is someone who is a frequent reader. He reads books so he can turn the idea of reading books against society. We use quotes from novels to prove our point-Beatty is doing the same exact thing. He reds books to prove his point.
Alexander- Maybe people will when their husbands, sons, or brothers die realize that the gov't lied to them and be curious to see what else has been a lie. This will help the people who read books gain a foothold into the citizen's minds and open their eyes to reality. Kinda like how Clarisse did it for Montage.
Alex - I think that war being declared is going to drastically change the rest of the story because now it is not just about a select few people (like Mildred, Beatty, Montag, and Faber)anymore. The entire society is involved.
Class- Who is more in control: Beatty or the Hound? Beatty can shut down the hound and is the commander. The Hound is powerful and dangerous, and an agent of the government.
Amber- Mildred is so fed up with what Montag is doing, and how he is ruining her friendships and her parlor, that she sends in the alarm.
Class - Did Mildred still love Montag towards the end, or was she to warped to really love anything but her parlor "family?"
Jordan- I think that getting rid of a problem doesn't solve it. It just postpones it, and can even make it bigger by just addressing it.
Class- There is a bit of irony of how Montag so easily destroys the Mechanical Hound which was something that Montag feared. Is this symbolism to show how Montag is starting to become stronger than other people in society, not by being strong but by being an intellectual?
Class-What makes people believe that their way of life is the RIGHT way of life? We are saying that the people in this book are should have a society more like ours why do we belive that we are superior?
Amber- I think Mildred's reason for turning on Montag is pure fear. She seems to have a bit of a dilemma with herself and eventually the cowardliness of sticking to the current status quo takes control.
Amber- I think that Mildred turns in Montag because she is the normal citizen. The government as brainwashed her into thinking that books are bad, and she knows that the government is always right. She turns him in because she believes the government, and this is what she thinks is right, even if it is what the government told her.
Bekah - Well since Beatty is dead I think that the hound is definitely more powerful. Even if Beatty was still alive the hound would be more powerful because the hound isn't concerned with personal feelings, it is programmed to hunt and kill.
Jacqueline- I think that the way a person grows up and their values in life impact the way they see the 'right' way of life. I think that we can live out the benefits of our society so we think our society is more 'right' than the one in 451.
Jacqueline - I think that people refuse to believe their society is wrong because they don't want to admit that they are being warped. People will only hear what they want to hear.
Rebekah- The hound is more in control, at least now. Beatty is now dead and the hound is hunting him. The hound is just so dangerous that Montag has always been more afraid of the hound than the captain.
Jordan-I think that burning books solves problems-to an extent. Burning books may get rid of the racism that was on the page. But in reality, people are still going to be racist and people are still going to have their opinions. Burning books only gets rid of problem to an extent.
Alex- When I read your comment I thought about Lord of the Flies, Jack eventually killed the pig so easily and had no guilt afterward. Looking how Jack turned out, I am a bit worried of what Montag will be capable of.
Sophia-I dont think that mildred understands love. She feels safty and loved when she is with her "family" but i dont think she has the capasity to understand a physical real love.
Jordan- I think that running away, or "burning" your problems is the coward's way to escape it. In 451 and even in our lives today, we try to hide or problems or not think about them. Trying to have fun all the time, talk about meaning less stuff, drive fast and hit dogs, or get into fights in school... see what I mean! to ride the emotional roller coaster, always feeling that buzz in your blood. Never stopping and thinking about what you are doing. To burn your problems, is to run away from them, to turn a blind eye.
Class - Do you think that Mildred really did forget a few books that Montag hid in the yard or did she really leave them there so Montag could complete his mission?
Jacqueline- It's because the people had never known, or rather seen, the alternative. We believe that our society is superior because we have never seen how life was before computers, the internet, the iPhone, etc. It's like what I said in the fishbowl, if this happened to our society would anyone notice?
A society will always believe that their society is superior to any other society. We think we are superior because we are not used to how any other society lives. We think that our way is superior because we think that are way is the best because it works, and it has worked for a long time. The society in the book would most likely shun our society because we are different the them in ways that they may not be able to comprehend.
Jacqueline - You bring up a great point! We are hardly in a position to judge this society when we ourselves are so dependent on technology and less reliant on what we learn in books.
Class: What is the true meaning of fire and how it relates to the books?
Class- I'm observing a continuous theme of hands. Montags hands did it, the hands actions, he has no control of his hands, hands have a mind of their own, just as we observed as one of our 5 words in Macbeth.
Bekah- I think that neither of them are in control. Although Beatty may seem to be more in control, he also seems to be fighting a battle inside of himself. He seems to like literature, but knows he can't show them because he is the fire chief. The Hound is a machine, and is not in control of his own actions to a certain extent. The Hound is controlled by the government but has enough control to fight things. In terms of who has more self control, the Hound would probably win. However, it is hard to determine who is in more control over society.
Amber - I think that Mildred turned Montag in because she realized that Montag's actions might change society's view about itself, and if society begins to change she could lose the important things in her life like the parlor families.
Monica- Fire represents total destruction, whether we are talking about the destruction of books and buildings or our own individuality. When Montag burns his own house he nearly destroys everything he has been working on, symbolically and physically.
Class- How is the poem that Montag reads to the women at his house, called "Dover Beach" perfect for the situation?
Jacqueline-People have always thought that they were superior. Long ago the people of America believed in Anglo-Saxionism. This is the thought that the English speaking white man was better than all other cultures.
Monica- i think that fire in this book is a sort of drug. The government doesnt like books, so they apply the drug to the society in order to keep it under control. The fire is an out for what the government is against.
Sofia- wow, that's a hard one. I think that Mildred meant to leave a few books. She felt guilty of turning her husband in, so she left him one last chance. I think that by turning him in though, she got out of the picture, a 'free' pass. The house and most of the books were burnt- she was now not guilty.
Alison - I think you're right. The motif of hands is used in the same way in Macbeth as in Fahrenheit 451, a blame-piece for all actions, including social change.
Ruth- I think that Mildrid forgot the books there. She was in such a rush to leave the house that it is a mistake that anyone could make. I don't believe that she left the books on purpose because she doesn't care what happens to Guy. She is not nice enough to be thinking about the man that got her into the situation in the first place.
Alison - I agree that hands are a re-occurring symbol in all the pieces that we read. Hands, to me, represent actions.
Class- In the book the government believes that emotion is bad. Is it?
Alison- Liz and I are doing 'hands' for our element project. We said that the hands are guilty, and they are also begging for forgiveness. They are the ones that start the burning of knowledge and intelligence.
Class- Emotions...Do they create good things in society or do they make things more complicated?
Sofia- Good question. Mildred could have left the books on purpose, but then why would she have called in the alarm for the burning? It does seem however, that she did leave the books for Montag, possibly because she felt the first glimmers of love for him.
Class-How do you think that Montag will try and trick or outrun the hound in the future if the hound isn't stumped at Faber's house?
Class- Does Montag think that Faber is a coward because he is giving him orders through earpieces?
Alex- It depends on the circumstances. For example, if you are angry it could turn violent. But if you apply that anger to say- soccer(haha)- then it could help you have a great game. For the most part, however, emotion is not bad. Especially happiness, joy, and love. Those emotions make life worth living.
Jacqueline- I think the reason is because people don't want to think that what they are doing is wrong. Even today, we think we are so good! We fight for freedom, democracy! But you look at all the racism, sexist people, the homeless on our own streets! People cheating, lying, thieving, etc. We think we are so great, but when you look closer you see every country has its issues no matter how great they think they are.
Nick- I think that Montag is tired of this hound, and when or if it finds him, he will try and destroy it instead of running away/
Class-What's the importance of the street crossing?
Alex- I have to say emotion is definitely not bad. I believe that emotion is what creates the common sense in the world. As you can see society in 451 needs some emotion or they wouldn't be in the position they are in.
Allison- I think its human nature to blame someone else and when we don't have someone else to blame, we blame our hands. No one wants to take the blame. It's human nature.
Sean- I think that Montag thinks that Faber is so wise, and the government is so impossible to beat, that he thinks that Faber is not a coward. Montag knows that they are fighting impossible odds, and he doesn't blame Faber for staying behind the scenes.
Jacqueline- Emotions are amazing things. They may make some things more complicated, such as relationships but they have more benefits to people than negatives. I am probably the only one who watches Star Trek, but if you do, think of Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He spends his whole android life trying to find emotion. I think that emotion is something we take for granted, but it really is one of the best things that we as humans could have.
Alex - Emotion is not bad as long as people know how to deal with it. It's fine to be angry, it's fine to be sad, it's fine to be happy, as long as people react appropriately to what they are feeling.
Sean-No I don't think that Montag thinks that Faber is a coward. I think he just appreciates how much help that Faber has given him. I think Faber is almost as much a hero as Montag because he is taking a risk too, and he will try to print more books.
Class-The inner circle is talking about pain, Can people truly experience happiness until they have experienced pain? How can you appreciate and understand happiness unless you have experience pain. Is this why they people in this book can't be happy?
Class- What sacrifices are necessary to challenge the system?
Sean- I think Montag does think of Faber as a coward because like we talked about the other day, it is easier just to be behind a screen, phone, or just some sort of barrier, so you do not have to show your true emotion or fear to your confronter. Great question!
Class, Do firemen receive orders from the government to burn books? How does that chain of power work?
Grant - The street crossing symbolizes Montag taking the last step toward complete change. He is crossing over from his society to the unknown, something very rare in his society.
Alexander- You have a great question! Emotions are neither good or bad. Anger is bad or course but what about happiness. Love, compassion, jealousy, selfishness. Emotions can't be classified under one thing or another, but with emotions you need balance. Balance seems to be a recurring theme all through 451.
Nick- I don't think that he has a plan. He is running from the law and one of the most advanced pieces of technology is following him. I think that the government has a big enough want to find him that they will go to any extent to capture Montag.
Jordan- I agree with what you said and aren't emotions what seperate us from animals and alow us to move past animalistic tendencies.
Bekah- Many things are required to be sacrificed in order to challenge the system and inspire social change. It all depends on your cause, but I think that some main ones are relationships, material items, money, being innocent, and the most is your life.
Rebekah- To challenge the system you must sacrifice you mental limits. You have to break through mental obstacles that are keeping you from changing the world.
Jacqueline- Great point! I agree, happiness isn't true happiness unless you have felt negative feelings too. But I think the reason that people can't feel happiness in 451 is because they don't have any true reason to be happy. Materialistic desires don't make you happy.
Class - Does the mechanical hound represent the society itself - only doing what it is told to do without thinking about it?
Jacqueline- Do we know that animals do not have emotions?
Rebekah- Yes! Defiantly! Before you do something that big, you need to be willing to give up everything you know and love. Just look at Montage, he literally lost everything, but he still goes on because he knows that the end result will be worth it.
Alison- I thought that the firemen get a tip or hint from other people and then they go and investigate it.
Class- Is our society perfect?
Jordan- I agree that innocence is a big sacrifice you must make to challenge the system.
Rebekah- To challenge the system, like in Lord of the Flies, I think that you have to give up some morals. Killing for example, eventually this will not be a choice in order to continue challenging the system.
Alex- I agree with Monica in that emotion is the creator of change. When people have an emotion about something, whether positive or negative, you form an opinion about that thing. This opinion can change or support others opinion on the same subject. Emotion can make us want to change things, because we are angry with how thinks are going. Without emotion, there would never be any change. The society would always stay the same. Also if there were no emotion in a society, ten there would be no society to begin with. Society is formed when people have an opinion about something, but without emotion, you cant form an opinion.
James- Good point! I agree with you, I think the Hound really does represent society well, mindlessly doing what the government wants.
Alex D- What is the definition of perfect?
James- I think that the Hound is very complex because it does what it is told- but yet it is still dangerous. It can still 'bite the salamander' in it's tail. I think that the Hound could stand for Montag himself because he started out as being controlled by the government but now has become a danger to them.
James-Yes, this is a really good connection. The hound is dangerous and "alive and not alive". this is the same with the normal people in society, they only go through their normal and similar daily lives.
Jordan-Well we might never understand the true relationships between animals but as humans I think it is safe to say that we are more mentally advanced and I think what makes our society grow is our ability to feel emotions. People are driven by their emotions, loyalty and trust stem from emotions so I think that our society is advancing because of the emotions that drive deciosons.
Alex D and Jordan-Perfection can not be defined, it varies from person to person. For a 5 year old, it might be a world made of gummy bears. For a 50 year old, it might be a cure to arthritis. (See Tron: Legacy)
Jordan- Are we Flawless? Are we living in an age where the public doesn't have to worry about anything because the public in Fahrenheit 451 doesn't have anything to worry about besides what on TV that night.
Class - People are desensitized to everything from abortions to war - is our society moving that way too?
Class- We are doing the canned food drive to help people without enough food. What happened to the poorer countries in 451 if no one is concerned about them? The US has become so powerful and self absorbed that other countries must be in ruins.
Alison- Good question, I sort of think of the firefighters as the government. This is because firefighters are the ones to take action, and honestly they don't have any guidelines on where to go or what to do. So theoretically I think of the government as the firefighters.
Alexander- No way. We have so many issues all through the US and since no one is perfect it is impossible for a county to do everything right. And even if some did everything right, someone would think she did everything wrong. People have so many different opinions and view points, so it makes complete agreement impossible. So no we are no perfect.
Class- How is "Dover Beach" a perfect poem for the situation when Montag is reading it to the women?
Alex-In our eyes, yes its perfectly suited to our needs as of right now. This makes it difficult to understand other people's societys or future societys and the way they suit the people of that time.
James- I don't think so. For example, there is such a big debate over abortions and war that it shows that people aren't impartial. They still care about what is happening. The people in 451 are so out of it that they don't even care.
Alex- that depends on whose eyes you are seeing the society through. If your are seeing it through the eyes of someone below the poverty line, then they will not think that our society is at all perfect. But if you are seeing it trough the eyes of say a upper class person, ten they will like how society is perfect. Imperfectness goes even further because of the different opinions within the country. Because people have different opinions on things, then there will be arguments. Because of these arguments, a society cannot be perfect, because you can never satisfy everyone's opinion.
Jacqueline- This still means that we could take our emotions for granted. Think about one time when you thought about how great emotions are (besides now)
Rebekah- Great point! To me I relate this to the book, The Hunger Games. There were so many poor countries and the government honestly didn't care if people were starving or barely staying alive. The only care was for the government and the Capitol who ended up getting everything and giving nothing.
Class- Why do people in society prefer to repress unpleasant feelings when it can cause disruption in society?
James-I think our society is heading there in the way that the overall population is slowing becoming stable. It is not growing and it is not shrinking. People are having kids to replace the population-the same idea that Mrs.Phelps had. She had two kids so the population will go on.
Class- Ray Bradbury said that the main theme of the book is alienation of the public by the media. Do we see that in our society?
Monica- Yes you are brilliant! Very good connection... just wanted to say that!
Bekah- Each country cares only about themselves, and that's it. There is no care for the poor at all.
Alex- Yes I see we are gradually moving towards that in out society today.
James-I think that Bradbury is trying to show us the dangers in pressure from our peers to make a decisons in society. At this time things like abortions are not neccesarliy somthing to be proud of and they are very controversial so this whole ideal of how people's perception of you will change if you make that decison. If these were considered a good thing would more women do it?
Bekah- I think that they chose to repress these feelings because they like the way their society is working, and do not want to cause any change to it. The government thinks the same thing, and represses the society. This is why they take away Clarisse, because she had a different opinion than everyone else, including the goverment.