Fahrenheit 451

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Fahrenheit 451
The Symbolism of the
Firemen
Main Characters in Fahrenheit 451
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Guy Montag
Clarisse McClelland
Mildred (Millie) Montag
Captain Beatty
The Legend of the Phoenix
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A supernatural, beautiful bird
Yellow, orange, gold, red feathers (fire)
Associated with the pagan sun god, Heilos
Only one phoenix lives at a time, stands alone lives
for 1000 years
Builds funeral pyre, throws self into flames
Reborn into ashes, rises to live again
Symbol of immortality, life after death, resurrection
The Salamander
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Greek, meaning “fire animal”
Small lizard, cold-hearted
Popular in fall (symbol of death, end of life)
Born of fire & flame
Fire-proof skin, can endure flame without
damage
colors of red, orange & gold = fire, flames
Symbol of faith & courage
The Beetle
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A small, black bug
Associated with devil
Act as mediators between gods & normal men
Symbol of the immortality & the divine;
industrialness
The Python
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Powerful snake
Biblical reference to Adam & Eve
Symbolic of sin
The Hearth
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Fireplace
Contained fire, controlled
Symbolic of the home
Symbolic Colors In Fahrenheit 451
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Red – fire, blood, war, danger, power &
passion
Orange – determination & enthusiasm,
aggression, thirst for action
Gold- wisdom, wealth
Yellow – energy
Black- devil, evil, power, death
Guy Montag
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“It was a pleasure to burn”
Futuristic fireman
- caretakers of society
- keepers of peace of mind
30 years old
Married to Millie
- thinks they have good marriage
- can’t remember how they met
Appears to love job, “forced smile”
Clarisse McClelland
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Montag meets her on his way home
“I’m seventeen & crazy”
She doesn’t fear Montag
Questions & talks with him
“Do you ever read any of the books you
burn?”
She is odd, enjoys walks, talking
“Are you happy?”
Mildred (Millie) Montag
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Montag’s wife
Representative of Society
- Escapes
- drugs, ear seashells, TV parlor walls
- Overdosing
- Selfish
- Violent (Clarisse points this out)
Millie’s Overdose
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Overdoes on sleeping pills
Crew comes, pumps her stomach & blood
Crew is very informal, routine
- smoking cigarettes, joking around
Millie is in denial
Montag is scared
She doesn’t believe Montag
Montag & his Meetings with Clarisse
These encounters set up Montag’s future and
his battle against censorship & banned
books
They start his quest for knowledge
Meeting One
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She meets Montag on her way home from work
She likes to walk, talk, look at things, smell things
- lives with her parents, uncle
- Doesn’t watch parlor walls
Not afraid of Montag – others fear firemen
“Do you ever read any of the books you burn?”
Jet cars race down the street –foreshadowing
- people don’t drive slowly, uncle did once- got
arrested
- miss things like colors of the grass
“Are you happy?”
Meeting Two
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“Rain tastes good”
Dandelion test
She sees a psychiatrist
He thinks she is more mature than Millie
She starting to forget he is a firemen
Montag doesn’t know how firemen started
As she leaves, Montag TASTES rain
Third & Final Meeting
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Montag feels he has known her for years
“Why don’t you have children?”
“It has been a long time since anyone cared.”
His smile, laugh nicer, more relaxed, not
forced like before
Anti-social behavior
Ends conversation by saying “goodbye”
Impact of Clarisse
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Opposite of society and its norms
The catalyst – gets Montag thinking
- asking questions, softening Montag
Discovery of Violence of Teens
- teens smash windows, beat each other
- drive recklessly
- “Afraid of others her own”
- They kill each other”
- foreshadows her death “goodbye”
The Mechanical Hound
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A programmable, robotic dog, has 8 legs
Made of rubber & metal
Armed with needles to inject victims with
Morphine or procaine
Programmed by DNA, to find victims
Montag fears the dog, “It doesn’t like me”
The Mechanical Hound (cont.)
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Devil dogs are guardians of Satan
Mechanical – it “functions”
Can only be programmed
Beatty suspects Montag is “having doubts”
Montag is told about a man who programs
the dog to kill him
The Firehouse & The Old Woman
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Alarm sounds, heads to the woman’s house
After several warnings, she refuses to leave
Her statement about Master Ridley
- burned for heresy for a crime he did not commit
- she begins the quote, BEATTY FINISHES IT
She lights a match & burns with her books
Montag’s hand steals the Bible
For the 1st time, Montag is sick after a burning
Back Home After the Burning
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Montag pretends to be ill, calls off work
Millie notices Montag crying about the
women
He hides the book under his pillow
Realizes he is no longer in love with Millie
Millie tells Montag “Clarisse is gone”
The History of the Firemen
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Beatty informs Montag of the Firemen
Things have MASS
People long for a simpler life
Classics cut, short, people lost interest in reading
English, grammar, spelling neglected
Languages dropped
Money & pleasure only important
Minority groups did not like books
History of the Firemen (cont.)
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People became too politically correct
Too worried about offending
People want to be happy
Only way to ensure happiness is equality
People MUST be made EQUAL
Fire is pure & clean
At Montag’s House
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Only books allowed are comics, manuals &
trade magazines
“Every firemen gets an itch…..” Beatty knows
Montag is curious
Millie finds the book while Beatty is there
Millie & Montag argue after Beatty leaves
FAHRENHEIT 451
Section 2
The Sieve & The Sand
The Sieve & the Sand
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Montag remembers a story about a SIEVE as
a child
Sieve – Sifter, sand falls through the cracks
Trying to fill a sieve with sand is impossible
How is this like Montag?
Millie & Montag
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Millie is unhappy with her husband
He is trying to discuss books with her
She thinks books are useless
She wants Montag to get rid of the books
Montag realizes he needs a teacher
Meeting Faber
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Faber is a retired college professor
Montag met him in the park, one year ago
Calls Faber on the phone
Asks him about books
Faber is too cowardly to talk to Montag
Montag’s Trip To Faber’s House
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Montag’s moment of self-discovery
Realizes the “old, burnt-in smile” is gone
Sieve & the Sand = helplessness
Tried to read the Bible without comprehension
Tries to memorize a passage on the subway
Dentham’s Dentifrice
- toothpaste commercial distracts him
At Faber’s House
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Faber is afraid of Montag
Faber is cowardly
Montag needs someone to talk to/explain
things
Faber tells Montag about 3 missing things -
Three Missing Things
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Quality of information
-Books have quality, texture, pores
- Provide details of life
Leisure – time to think, digest
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Time to develop own conclusions
Right to carry out actions based on the first 2
The White Clown
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Television show
Millie thinks these television characters care
about her – fantasy world/real vs. fake
Very violent, people cutting limbs off of
people and laughing about it
The women enjoy this violent television
View of Families & Marriage
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Relationships & Husbands
- husband off at war, not worried
- replaceable
- no love
Children & Childbirth
- have no kids at all, no desire
- births by cesarean
- don’t want to raise kids, drop them off at schools
- turn the TV on & leave them alone
- laundry, “ruinous”
Fahrenheit 451
Section 3
Burning Bright
Who turned Montag in?
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Mrs. Bowles & Mrs. Phelps turned them in – Beatty
ignores those complaints
Millie turned him in –worried about TV more than Montag
Beatty is torn between duty as fireman/his conscience
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Beatty wanted Montag to be a good fireman
Could have finished him off
Beatty appears HUMAN
The last time Millie is seen in book
Beatty & Montag
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Beatty wants Montag to torch his own house
Beatty confesses to sending the Mechanical
hound
Beatty seems to feel regret but also enjoys
tormenting him
Beatty doesn’t realize Montag ENJOYS
buring his house – SYMBOLIC of a life he
hated
The Legend of Icarus
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Beatty compares Montag to Icarus (more
proof that he is well-read
A young man who wanted to fly
- made wax wings that worked
- flew too close to the sun/melted & his died
Beatty taunts Montag with this idea
- going down wrong path will get him
“BURNED”
Montag & the TV Screens
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Montag enjoys burning the TV screens
Revenge on something he hated
Symbolic of his life and what is gone
After the burning, he is NOT smiling
Montag talks with Faber
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Faber tells Montag to leave through the ear radio
Beatty discovers the ear radio & threaten to go after
Faber
Montag “We never burned right”
- firemen burn out of habit, shown have been aware
of what they were burning
Beatty rants, Montag stalls him
-”Go ahead – spit Shakespeare at me”
- Beatty was wrong to encourage burning & he knew
the value in books
Montag Kills Beatty
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Montag sets fire to Beatty, killing him
Beatty teases/taunts him
Did Beatty WANT to be killed? HE WAS EDUCATED
- he didn’t fight back, stood there – defenseless
- Too cowardly to carry out any plan against firemen
- Knew he was responsible for society
- Charred wax doll (Millie & Beatty) symbolic of people
“Don’t fix a problem – burn it”
-people avoid problems rather than try to solve them
Montag gets away
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Montag is injured by the Hound
- injures his leg
- Difficult to run
Hears war is going on while on the way to
Faber’s house
Cross a busy street to get to Faber’s house
- Violence/speeding cars
Visit with Faber
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Gets to Faber’s house safely
Faber tells him of a place down the river
Montag covers self in whiskey to kill the
scent (protect from hound)
Faber cleans house to rid of Montag’s scent
Journey Down the River
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Montag gets to river, splashes with whiskey
and gets rid of his old clothes to lose the
hound
Follows railroad tracks to find a group of men
around a fire
Fire has changed to warm, soothing and
pure from destructive & dangerous
Meeting Granger
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Granger is the leader of the group
They group memorized books
Gave Montag a drink to change his body
chemistry
They watched on a small tv, an innocent man
get killed by the hound –protect society
Human Books
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Montag couldn’t remember what he read
people memorize
Montag would become the backup, if
anything happens to that person MOntag
takes over
They were all in hiding, hoping to come back
one day and get people reading & thinking
again
War
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A bomb strikes the city. Everything is
destroyed
Millie is dead, Faber got away
They started walking down the river to return
to the city
Hope, of the future
Represent the phoenix/city reborn from the
ashes
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