Fahrenheit 451 Discussion Questions

Pre-AP English 10
Fahrenheit 451 Discussion Questions
Part 1: The Hearth and the Salamander
Describe the imagery on page three. What does “451” mean?
How does Montag feel about being a fireman? Describe your first impressions of him.
Clarisse is hypnotized by the Salamander and the phoenix disc, explain why (6).
Explain the importance of the power failure and connect to Anthem (7).
Clarisse describes a past that Montag has never known. She describes a time when firemen put out
the fires and the world did not move so quickly. Describe his reaction to this conversation with
6. Interpret the following quote: “He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the
lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back” (12).
7. Montag describes his wife sleeping in their room, yet says that, “the room was indeed empty,”
explain this paradox (12).
8. After working on Mildred, the machine operator tells Montag that "we get these cases nine or ten a
night." What does this reveal about the emotional stability of the populace? What other forms of
violence are rampant? Why do you think this society has become so violent?
9. Explain the foreshadowing that takes place on pages 25-27.
10. On page 30 Clarisse describes herself as “responsible.” Do you find it odd that children are shooting
and killing each other in this utopian society?
11. As a fireman, Montag has the position of power that Equality wanted, explain this sentence: “I-I’ve
been thinking…” (33). Does it state that nobody is allowed to think in this story like in Anthem?
12. Explain what is happening, concerning Mildred, on page 46.
13. Connect what happened to Clarisse McClellan to Montag when he thinks the hound is outside (4748).
14. Explain the significance of this quote: “Shut the ‘relatives’ up,” said Beatty, looking around at
everything except Montag and his wife.” “This time, Mildred ran” (53).
15. The situation on pages 56-57 when Mildred feels the outline of book in the bed is very odd. Explain
your understanding of what is taking place.
16. In the last paragraph on page 59, Beatty discusses why people started to burn books. Discuss whether
you agree or disagree with his reasoning.
17. After reading page 61, write down your understanding about being “smart” in this society.
18. Interpret the following quote: “We let fireman keep the book twenty-four hours. If he hasn’t burned
it by then, we simply come burn it for him” (62).
Part 2: The Sieve and the Sand
1. Interpret the following quote: “Maybe the books can get us half out of the cave” (74).
2. Discuss your understanding of the following quote: “Plant the books, turn in an alarm, and see the
firemen’s houses burn, is that what you mean?” (85).
3. After reading page 89, who did not want books anymore?
4. When you read for the first time, what did you think the following quote was going to uncover: “I’ve
had this little item ready for months. But I almost let you go, I’m that afraid” (90)?
5. Describe how long the women estimated the war to last (94).
6. Interpret the following quote: “I’ve never known any dead man killed in a war. Killed jumping off
buildings, yes, like Gloria’s husband last week, but from wars? No” (94).
7. Interpret the following quote: “No use going through all that agony for a baby. The world must
reproduce, you know, the race must go on” (96).
8. Describe your reaction after reading page 101.
9. Why do you think Beatty responded the way he did when the alarm sounded (“He glanced
perfunctorily at it and shoved it in his pocket” (108)?
10. Describe how you felt at the end of “The Sieve and the Sand,” when they pulled up to Montag’s
Part 3: Burning Bright
1. Interpret the following quote: “Mildred, you didn’t put in the alarm? (114).
2. Beatty’s last words were, “Hand it over, Guy” (119), reflect upon Montag’s last words to Beatty,
“We never burned right” (119). What does it all mean?
3. Why does Montag say that Beatty wanted to die (122)?
4. On page 126, Montag discusses the high risks of crossing a street; describe your feelings toward this
5. When Montag was almost run over on page 128, what did that remind you of concerning Clarisse?
6. Describe the positives and negatives of the mechanical hound?
7. Why does this society need everything to be a game? Describe the new game of “finding Montag.”
8. Interpret the following quote: “One of them had to stop burning. The sun wouldn’t, certainly. So it
looked as if it had to be Montag and the people he had worked with until a few hours ago” (141).
9. Describe what happened when Montag met the men for the first time. What did they tell him about
the chase?
10. Once the hound kills “Montag” the announcer states: “Montag is dead; a crime against society has
been avenged”(149). What just happened?
11. Explain the significance of the phoenix (163).