Monday, March 21, 2011

CRQ4 Fahrenheit 451

English 12 ENG12PLC
Fahrenheit 451. Critical Reading Questions #4: pages 44-66

a) On page 46 Montag thinks about an old joke about a man who called his wife to ask her what’s for dinner. Why?
b) Summarize what we learn about Montag’s marriage on pages 44-52.

c) How does Montag learn what happened to Clarisse? What has happened to her?

d) Describe Mildred’s attitude toward what happened to Clarisse. Describe her attitude toward the burning of the old woman and her books. Describe her attitude toward her husband as he struggles with what he had to do at the old woman’s house. Then, compare Mildred’s attitude toward these things with her attitude toward the people she calls her “family.” Are they her family? Who are they? Now think about this whole complex set of questions and explain what Bradbury is saying about where we might be headed. He wrote in 1950. How did he know to make such eerily accurate predictions?

e) On page 55 we learn how Montag became a fireman. “In my sleep I ran after them.” What does he mean?

f) On page 55 Capt. Beatty shows up at the home of Guy and Mildred Montag. On page 57 Beatty starts a kind of history lesson that continues through page 66. Summarize the process he describes. “When did it all start?” What does he mean by “it all?” What drives the process he describes? Explain the role played by the following items in the process Beatty describes:

• Photography, motion pictures, radio, television
• Books
• Population
• Speed
• the “pastepudding norm”
• cutting—condensations, digests, tabloids, the one page Hamlet
• from nursery to college and back to nursery
• school/discipline
• zippers
• theatres,
• sports, recreation
• minorities
• facts vs. philosophy (a sense of motion without moving)

This is a complicated task, this question f. You may have to reread Beatty’s “lecture” to Montag until you understand. Make sure your explanation is consistent with this important part of the lecture: “There you have it, Montag. It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God. Today thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time . . . (page61). In other words, your explanation must not claim that the Government imposed these things on the people. Beatty makes this clear.

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