June 20, 2006

Final thoughts on Farenheit 451

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:47 pm by mrsmauck

This book would be a great introduction to my banned books and censorship unit, I think. However, one thing Ray Bradbury feels very strongly about is that the reason for the erosion of knowledge and cultural awareness and connectivity and community involvement in Guy Montag’s society was not governmental control or censorship, but too many efforts at political correctness in literature and the slow decline in education and reading. The people chose not to read, and the government simply institutionalized this decision with the book burners. So I’m not really sure if discussing censorship and book banning would be the best discussion in conjunction with Bradbury’s message of the importance of education, literature, and freedom of speech. Hmmm….something to ponder.

Some things I loved about this book, and would love to discuss and teach:
1) Bradbury’s dreamlike metaphors: moths and dead leaves for burning books, etc.
2) People can live like Mildred and her friends did, still today: they can go around with iPods in their ears all the time; watch mindless reality TV and music videos (a story in 2 1/2 minutes); live for cheap thrills; delight in things that entertain and help you escape and shun things that are distressing or make you think too much.
3) The Book People. Love the whole idea of an underground network of renegade readers.
4) The ending: The meccas of mindlessness are obliterated, the Book People understand that humankind is like a pheonix, ever burning itself up and then being reborn, Guy ruminating on Ecclesiastes: There is a time and season for everything: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build. What a great building block for students to learn symbolism!
5) The imagery: All the firemen have slick black hair and dark five o’clock shadows, the Mechanical Hound’s protruding and retracting poisonous needle, the stomach pumper men’s straight line mouths with a drooping cigarette: perfectly conveying their laissez faire attitude about another accidental suicide attempt.



  1. Yasser said,

    I agree I liked the underground network of readers as well

  2. Allison said,

    I lived teaching this book for the first time last year. You’ve covered most of what I taught, and given me a few ideas for new discussion points.

    I, too, like the underground network.

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