This month’s theme is banned books! OooooOOoooo!
“Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.
Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.
Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.
When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.”
Questions for Livestream which will be held on October 31st, 2018 at 5 PM PST!
1. Did you like how vague the future setting was? Or would you have preferred more detail?
2. How did you feel about the style of writing?
3. Mildred’s character was very unaware and out of it for the first half of the book. Do you think Millie knew more than she led on?
4. Montag comes to learn that “firemen are rarely necessary” because “the public itself stopped reading of its own accord.” Bradbury wrote his novel in 1953; to what extent has his prophecy come true today?
5. The firemen were “custodians of [society’s] peace of mind, the focus of [the] understandable and rightful dread of being inferior.” Do you think there is any justification in this reasoning? Do you think the destruction of books could lead to more happiness and equality?
6. How plausible is the future envisioned in this novel? Specifically, do you think the author provides a convincing account of how censorship became so rampant in this society?
7. Are there any circumstances where censorship might play a beneficial role in society? Are there some books that should be banned?
8. Do you think Bradbury would like the internet and technology if he was alive today, or be against the direction our society has gone?
9. Was there anything you would have done differently?
10. Do you think the book has held up in the last 70 years?