Fahrenheit 451: Part 2

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FAHRENHEIT
451
THEMES AND MAIN IDEAS
TRANSFORMATION
• The state of undergoing a change.
• Montag goes from burning books to reading them.
• Pg. 82 “ ‘And I want you to teach me to understand what I
read.’ ”
CONFORMITY
(INDIVIDUALITY)
• Conformity- making everyone the same
• Ex. Mildred
• People tend to be afraid of things that are different or
unknown. Sometimes they conform in order to feel safe.
Individuality- expressing one’s own personality and
characteristics
• Ex. Clarisse
• Pg. 22 “ ‘He says I’m a regular onion! I keep him busy
peeling away the layers.’ ”
ALIENATION
• The separation of individuals. People do not interact.
• This theme is supported by the lack of front porches and
their use of technology.
• Ex. Mildred is consumed with her mindless entertainment;
she doesn’t care about talking to her husband.
• Pg. 44 “Well, wasn’t there a wall between him and Mildred,
when you came down to it? Literally not just one wall but,
so far, three!”
CENSORSHIP
• Censorship is the banning/restricting of ideas. It is used
to control thinking and “dangerous” thoughts.
• It contradicts our First Amendment rights.
• Pg. 59 “ ‘Colored people don’t like Little Black Sambo.
Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s
Cabin. Burn it.’ ”
APATHY
(COMPLACENCY)
• Apathy- lack of interest or caring
• Complacency- satisfaction with current state
• Ex. Mildred doesn’t care about the old woman or even her
husband.
MASS MEDIA
• Mass media controls the content that it shares. Thus, it
can influence a society.
• Many times it is generalized; it lacks depth.
• Ex. Commercials
• This theme is juxtaposed to the importance of literacy.
SELF-ABSORPTION
• People are concerned about themselves but no one else.
They are concerned about their own desires and needs.
• Rely on instant gratification--no patience.
• Can’t withstand discomfort.
• Pg. 65 When Montag is trying to talk to Mildred about
being unhappy, she has a rude response. “ ‘I’m tired of
listening to this junk,’ said Mildred, turning from him to the
announcer again.”
ALLEGIANCE
• Allegiance- showing support
• Support the government, even blindlessly, in order to feel
protected
TECHNOLOGY
• Although technology can be beneficial, most of the
technology mentioned in the book is used for negative
reasons. It can be destructive.
• The TV screens and Seashells are mindless entertainment.
They destroy people’s ability to think.
• The hound is a killing machine.
CIVIC
RESPONSIBILITY
• As a citizen, you have certain responsibilities. You should
be contributing to society.
• Pg. 89 “The old man nodded. ‘Those who don’t build must
burn. It’s as old as history and juvenile delinquents.’ ”
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