Fahrenheit 451 – Part One Flashcard Example #11246

Who wrote Farenheit 451? When was it published?
Ray Bradbury; 1951
What is the title of the first part of the novel?
“The Hearth and the Salamander”
What is the significance of the title of the novel itself?
Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature (theoretically) at which books burn
Where is the book set?
In a dystopian future (it’s definitely sometime after 1990, and the 24th century is the commonly accepted time period) in an unnamed city
How many atomic wars are we told have occurred since 1990?
2, and another war of some sort is starting (think of the scene where Montag hears bombers or when there’s mention of a war in over the radio in the firehouse)
Who is the protagonist?
A fireman named Guy Montag
In the book’s society, what do firemen do?
Start fires to destroy books, which are considered a danger to society and are thus illegal
What image does Montag use to describe the kerosene hose at the beginning of the book?
A python
What image does he use to describe himself?
A conductor
What do normal firemen wear?
A helmet with the number 451, a “Phoenix disc” on their chest and a badge with a burning salamander
What does the captain wear that is unique?
A helmet with a Phoenix on it
Why does Montag have “uncertain feelings” after stepping out onto the sidewalk?
He feels like someone was waiting for him (it turns out that neighbor Clarisse sort of has been)
What color is Clarisse wearing when she first meets Montag?
Who is Clarisse McClellan?
Montag’s new neighbor – she is “17 and crazy” and likes being outside and thinking, which makes her unusual
What memory does Clarisse’s bright, dark eyes inspire in Montag?
Sitting with his mother by the light of a candle as a child
How old is Montag? How long has he been a fireman? Why did he become one?
30; 10 years; his father and grandfather both were
What is the official slogan of the firemen?
“Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulker, burn ’em to ashes, then burn the ashes”
What story does Clarisse ask Montag about?
Whether firemen used to put out fires instead of starting them
Why are billboards now 200 feet long?
Cars move so quickly that you can’t see anything but blurs of color, so they need to be huge to be read
What “crimes” has Clarisse’s uncle been arrested for?
Only going 40 mph in a car and being a pedestrian
What are “Seashells”?
Tiny wireless earphones which play music and other media constantly – Mildred has and frequently uses them
What does Montag kick as he’s getting into bed which causes him to realize that something is wrong?
The empty bottle of sleeping pills
What does Montag hear as he’s trying to call emergency hospital because of Mildred’s overdose?
Jet bombers overhead
What are the two machines that the men from emergency hospital bring?
-a snakelike device with an eye on the end that searches out toxins and pumps them out of the stomach
-a device which replaces poisoned blood
Why is Montag annoyed by the two men who come from Emergency Hospital?
They aren’t doctors
What new TV related product is Mildred using while Montag is getting ready for work?
Something which essentially lets you read for a part in the show from your own home
What does Mildred want Montag to buy for her?
A fourth wall of TV screen for their parlor (Montag won’t do it because 1) it costs 2000 dollars which is a third of his yearly salary and 2) they just got the third wall 2 months ago)
What does Clarisse say the significance of the dandelion is?
If it rubs off under your chin, you’re in love (according to the dandelion, she is and he isn’t even though he’s, well, married)
Besides her general oddness, what does Montag think is interesting about Clarisse?
She seems much older than his 30 year old wife even though she’s not even technically 17 yet
What does Clarisse think is odd about Montag?
He’s one of the first people who’s actually stopped to talk to her and seemed interested
What is the Mechanical Hound?
An 8 legged metal beast that can be programmed to hunt people’s biological markers and kills by injecting them with either morphine or procaine
What does Montag worry that the hound knows about when it growls at him?
Whatever he has hidden behind the ventilator grill in his house (spoiler alert: it’s stolen books)
Why doesn’t Montag have any children?
Mildred wasn’t interested in them
How is school structured in this society?
Watching video lessons that discourage argument, with lots of sports and abstract art mixed in
What do children do for fun?
Break things or drive fast, basically – apparently they literally kill each other, which is just great….
When they aren’t burning books, what do the firemen spend their time doing?
Aimlessly playing cards
What phrase does Montag use that makes the other firemen alarmed?
“Once upon a time”
What are the names of the firemen who show Montag the official history of the firemen?
Stoneman and Black
When were the firemen theoretically established?
In 1790 by Benjamin Franklin to get rid of English books in the colonies (yeah no, this didn’t happen…)
What are the rules of the firemen?
1. Answer the alarm quickly
2. Start the fire swiftly
3. Burn everything
4. Report back to the firehouse immediately
5. Stand alert for other alarms
What is different about the call that the men answer in the middle of part 1?
The woman who owns the books refuses to leave the house and winds up dying in the fire
Why is Montag troubled by the fact that the women is there?
Usually, the police remove any people before the firemen get there so they’re “not hurting anyone, just hurting things”
What kind of cars do the police and Beatty have?
Black Beetles
What book does Montag take from the woman’s house?
Dreamthorpe by Alexander Smith (it’s where the quote about time falling asleep in the afternoon sunshine comes from)
Who is the woman referencing when the firemen arrive?
A man named Ridley who was burned at the stake for heresy
What does the woman do when Montag tries to convince her to leave the house?
She lights the fire herself with an ordinary kitchen match
Why do the firemen work at night?
It makes for a better “show”
What is some evidence that Mildred and Montag aren’t very close even though they’re married?
-they sleep on separate beds
-they can’t remember where or how they met even though it was only 10 years ago
-Montag realizes that he wouldn’t even cry if she died most likely
What is Mildred’s “family”?
The people on the TV screens in the parlor
What does Mildred eventually tell Montag happened to Clarisse? Why didn’t she tell him earlier?
She was hit by a car and died, and her family moved away; Mildred forgot because it wasn’t “important”
What makes Montag throw up the morning when he refuses to go into work?
The smell of kerosene
Why does Montag want Mildred to call Beatty for him?
He doesn’t think he’ll be able to maintain his story if he has to talk to the captain himself but he really doesn’t want to go into work
What about books makes Montag upset at the thought of burning them?
Each one represents the work of a human being (remember his aversion to the thought of hurting people instead of just things)
Who comes to see Montag while he is sick?
Captain Beatty
What does Beatty tell Montag about?
Essentially, the real story of how society became how it is (it’s really just better to reread this part…)
Why doesn’t Montag want Mildred to fluff his pillows?
He’s hiding the book from the woman’s house under it, which Mildred and Beatty wind up seeing in the end
What are some of the reasons that books are “bad”?
-they contain contradictory ideas or tell the stories of people who never actually lived at all
-they make some people “smarter” which defies the idea that everyone needs to be the same in order for society to work
-similarly, they make people less happy because they upset different minority groups
What does Beatty say the point of life is?
To be happy (which is why firemen are a good thing!)
What does Beatty say about the one book that he knows Montag has stolen?
He has 24 hours to burn it or they’ll come burn it for him – Beatty says it’s really not a big deal for firemen to get curious about books every now and then, but they always come to the right decision
What is Montag hiding behind the ventilator grill in his house?
About 20 books, all of which were stolen from burnt houses over the past year or so
What does Montag tell Mildred they have to do at the end of part one?
Sit and read all the books before they decide what to do, starting “at the beginning”

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