* / ~
* (Individuality) vs ~ (Society)
“It was a pleasure to burn” Page 1 ~
Bradbury starts Fahrenheit 451 with the sentence, “It was a pleasure to burn.” This relates to my theme, individual vs society, because in this society, it really was a “pleasure to burn” books.
“With his symbolic helmet number 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black” Page 1 ~
The narrator is describing Guy Montag as he lights up the sky with colors of fires after setting off a fire. This relates to my theme because it is describing Montag before his individual change.
“Montag grinned the fierce grin of all men signed and driven back by flame” Page 3 ~
The narrator is describing Montag’s face as he watches the fire burn. This relates to my theme because it is describing Montag as someone who follows society’s rules before he changes.
“Kerosene is nothing but perfume to me” Page 4 ~
Montag is telling Clarisse that he is so used to smelling kerosene that it’s like “perfume” to him. He is so used to be around it that it now smells good to him. This relates to my theme because it is still describing Montag before he breaks away from society.
“So many people are. Afraid of firemen, I mean. But you’re just a man, after all…” Page 5 *
Clarisse is describing that people are afraid of firemen because they start fires, but in reality, they are just ordinary human beings. This relates to my theme because Clarisse is expressing her individuality and how society makes assumptions of people.
“Do you ever read any of the books you burn” Page 5 *
Clarisse is asking Montag if he has ever read any of the books he has set on fire. Montag finds this question appalling. This relates to my theme because Clarisse is once again expressing her individuality while Montag is expressing his choice to follow the law.
“Is it true that long ago firemen put fires out instead of going to start them?” Page 6 *
Clarisse is asking Montag about the history of firemen, and how she had heard that once firemen actually put out fires. This relates to my theme because Clarisse is starting to make an impact on Montag.
“The toaster spidered out a piece of buttered bread for him” Page 16 ~
This is describing the technology of this society, and how technology does the work for people so they don’t have to do anything. This is why Mildred is described as childish because technology does everything for her.
“They want to know what I do with all my time. I tell them that sometimes I just think” Page 20 *
Clarisse is telling Montag that people question what she does with all her free time, but she lies and tells them she just thinks in order to prevent herself from getting in trouble. This relates to my theme because Clarisse is slowly experiencing Montag to a whole new world.
“How odd. How strange. And my wife thirty and yet you seem so much older at times. I can’t get over it” Page 21 *
Montag is telling Clarisse that she acts more mature than Mildred does. This relates to my theme because this is what attract Montag to getting to know Clarisse more.
“What, the Hound? It just ‘functions.’ It’s like a lesson in ballistics” Page 24 ~
Montag is describing what the Hound does and that it is not actually a real dog; it is a mechanical one that sets fires.
“Sometimes I’m ancient. I’m afraid of children my own age. They kill each other. Did it always used to be that way?” Page 27 *
Clarisse claims that the children her age frighten her, and she asks Montag if people have always been this way, or if the world has always been like this.
“Montag, a funny thing. Heard tell this morning. Fireman in Seattle, purposely set a Mechanical Hound to his own chemical complex and let it loose. What kind of suicide would you call that?” Page 29 ~
Bradbury is trying to show that people in this society are going crazy, even firemen that are considered to be “normal” are committing suicide. This relates to my theme because society is a huge part of this book, and people would rather kill themselves than express their individuality.
“Books bombarded his shoulders, his arms, his upturned face.” Page 34 ~
The narrator is describing the scenery around him as he lights up another house filled with books.
“A book lit, almost obediently, like a white pigeon, in his hands, wings fluttering.” Page 37 ~
Montag describes how easily the books light up and burn. He is using a metaphor to describe the books lighting up with fire.
“Any man’s insane who thinks he can fool the government and us.” Page 31 ~
Beatty is explaining to Montag that he believes anyone who tries to break the government deserves to be in an insane asylum. This relates to my theme because Montag is beginning to realize how messed up the society he lives in is.
“I’ve tried to imagine just how it would feel. I mean, to have firemen burn our houses and our books.” Page 31 *
Montag is expressing to Beatty what he would feel like if firemen came to his house and burnt it with “his” books. This relates to my theme because Bradbury is finally showing the change in Montag from being a part of society to being an individual.
“Didn’t firemen prevent fires rather than stoke them up and get them going?” Page 31 *
Montag is relating back to what Clarisse once said to him. Beatty is appalled that he is saying this to him. This relates to my theme because it’s showing the change in Montag and the interest he has in learning about what the past was really like and how it was different.
“Individuality is dangerous in the world portrayed in Fahrenheit 451.” Page 1 *
In Bloom’s Literature: individual and society, Dunn explains how individuality is dangerous because if something goes wrong in the society, everything is in jeopardy.
“A totalitarian society, a system wherein almost everything is controlled by the government, demands that individuals conform to the crowd.” Page 1 *
In Bloom’s Literature: individual and society, Dunn states that a totalitarian system is when individuals are afraid of the government demands, so people usually tend to stick with the crowd and ‘blend in’
“To stand out in this type of society is to be targeted by forces that seek to control and limit human potential.” Page 1 ~
In Bloom’s Literature: individual and society, Dunn explains how if one if different in this society, he or she can be targeted by the government. This relates to my theme because individuality and society is important, but individuality can put your life in jeopardy.
Captain Beatty warns Montag, “We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal.” Page 1 ~
In Bloom’s Literature: individual and society, Dunn restates Beatty sayings to Montag that everyone must be the same. This relates to my theme because it is what society wants, and what this society considers normal.
“Montag’s point (even though it is the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, that states all men are created equal) is that the idea of an individual within society eats away at the uniformity of the greater society.” Page 1 ~
In Bloom’s Literature: individual and society, Dunn restates that Montag believes that individuality eats away the uniformity of the greater society.
“One method of protecting society from the will of its individual members is book burning—one of the most extreme manifestations of censorship.” Page 1 ~
In Bloom’s Literature: individual and society, Dunn states that the way that individual is kept from people is by burning books, so they will never find out what life used to be like before books were illegal.
“If one member of the whole acts independently, the state will splinter into a society of individuals.” Page 1 *
In Bloom’s Literature: individual and society, Dunn states that if one acts different, the whole society will turn into individuals.
“The irony for Bradbury is that society as a whole is made up of individuals, all pursuing their personal goals while contributing to the common interest.” Page 1 */~
In Bloom’s Literature: individual and society, Dunn states the irony in the way that individuals make up the society of Fahrenheit 451, but at the same time they must all be the same.
“By placing his characters in such a stifling atmosphere, Bradbury shows the dangers of the potential imbalance.” Page 1 */~
In Bloom’s Literature: individual and society, Dunn shows the fact that if there is individuality in the society of Fahrenheit 451 it could cause imbalance to it.
“Perhaps the best explanation of the individual’s role in society comes to us from Reverend Padover, an outcast who welcomes Montag into the new society.” Page 1 *
In Bloom’s Literature: individual and society, Dunn introduces a character that helps Montag be welcomed into a new, different society. This relates to my theme because although Montag is an individual now, he is now being welcomed into a new society.
“It is the individual who, ultimately, must take responsibility for the actions of his or her society by challenging the state should it go against the will of the people.” Page 1 *
In Bloom’s Literature: individual and society, Dunn states that it is the individual who is responsible for creating a society.
“Montag’s uneasiness becomes more intense when he is called out on a job during which he encounters an elderly woman who is so attached to her books that she throws herself into the fire and perishes along with them.” Page 1 ~
In Bloom’s Literature: Fahrenheit 451, written by Don D’Ammassa, he restates the part where Montag has to burn the house of an elderly lady who decides to stay with her books and burn. This relates to my theme because it shows the importance of an individual.
“Montag, who has in fact been concealing a small cache of books himself, even though he is uncertain about his motivations, subsequently has a series of conversations with other characters.” Page 1 *
In Bloom’s Literature: Fahrenheit 451, written by Don D’Ammassa, Montag is being shown braking the law because he has a stash of his own books although he is uncertain about why he has them and if he’ll read them.
“Influenced by the latter, Montag realizes that he has become a rebel.” Page 1 *
In Bloom’s Literature: Fahrenheit 451, written by Don D’Ammassa, he states how Montag has now become a rebel by owning his own books. This relates to my theme because it shows Montag becoming an individual.
“He encourages efforts to create an underground press and attempts to convince his friends that reading is an important right; but he is betrayed by those he trusted.” Page 1 *
In Bloom’s Literature: Fahrenheit 451, written by Don D’Ammassa, Montag tries to get friends that reading is important, but he is betrayed by Mildred and her friends.
“Montag is given the option of redeeming himself by burning his own books as a public gesture, and he does so—but as an act of defiance, not surrender, immolating a government official in the process.” Page 1 */~
In Bloom’s Literature: Fahrenheit 451, written by Don D’Ammassa, Montag must burn his own books/house to redeem himself, but he is not surrendering to the government’s law.s
“Rescuing a small number of books, Montag now finds himself a fugitive, hunted down by the very firemen with whom he once served.” Page 1 *
In Bloom’s Literature: Fahrenheit 451, written by Don D’Ammassa, Montag is now on the loose, as a fugitive, with few books, running from the government who is after him for the murder of Captain Beatty.
“Montag finds a society of people who have undertaken the preservation of literature by each memorizing a complete book, which they can recite as needed.” Page 1 *
In Bloom’s Literature: Fahrenheit 451, written by Don D’Ammassa, Montag is introduce to a new society. This relates to my theme because it can either turn Montag into an individual or a society follower.
“Like most dystopias, Fahrenheit 451 takes a perceived trend in current society and extends it to an illogical extreme.” Page 1 */~
In Bloom’s Literature: Fahrenheit 451, written by Don D’Ammassa, he explains that a dystopian society can cause troubles.
“In this case, Bradbury was undoubtedly reacting to the witch hunts of Senator McCarthy, which reverberated loudly in the artistic community, as well as expressing a general criticism of societal pressures toward conformity and uniformity of opinion.” Page 1 */~
In Bloom’s Literature: Fahrenheit 451, written by Don D’Ammassa, he relates to my theme by explaining how Bradbury showed the pressures of society and the importance of one’s own opinion.
“Montag’s journey from false identity into self-discovery begins when he meets a young woman, Clarisse, a kind of Muse.” Page 1 *
In Bloom’s Literature: Fahrenheit 451, written by Petri Liukkonen, he explains the impact that Clarisse made on him. This relates to my theme because if it wasn’t for Clarisse, Montag would be the same person that society wants him to be.
“Behind his mask of conformity, Montag gradually undergoes a change of values.” Page 1 *
In Bloom’s Literature: Fahrenheit 451, written by Petri Liukkonen, he explains that Montag is changing by becoming interested in books while pretending that he is still following all of society’s rules. This relates to my theme because Montag is being his own person and breaking the law while also making it seem like he isn’t changing, so society doesn’t turn against him.
“Beatty flicked his fingers to spark the kerosene.” Page 37 ~
Beatty is about to light a house full of books on fire while the lady who owns them is still in the house. This relates to my theme because Beatty is just following society’s orders.
“He balanced in space with the book in his sweating cold fingers.” Page 38 ~
Montag walks into his bedroom with a book from the old lady’s house in his hand. It is important that Mildred does not see the book because she will report him to the fire police.
“He stumbled toward the bed and shoved the book clumsily under the cold pillow.” Page 39 *
Montag knows how important it is for Mildred to not see the book in his hand, so he slowly walks and stumbles to his bed where he hides the book under his pillow.
“Funny, how funny, not to remember where or when you met your husband or wife.” Page 40 ~
Guy asks Mildred, “When did we meet? And where?” Neither of them can remember, and it’s only been ten years.
“She’s nothing to me; she shouldn’t have had books. It was her responsibility, she should’ve thought of that. I hate her.” Page 48 ~
Mildred tells Montag that she blames the old lady for the old lady’s death. She says that it is her responsibility. This relates to my theme because Mildred is an example of what the government wants in a person in this society.
“No, not water; fire. You ever seen a burned house? It smolders for days. Well, this fire will last me the rest of my life.” Page 48 *
Montag grieves the death of the old lady. He can’t get it out of his mind. This relates to my theme because Montag is rebelling against society by caring/feeling bad for this woman who died with all her books.
“Was I given a choice? My grandfather and father were firemen. In my sleep, I ran after them” Page 49 */~
Montag complains that he wasn’t given a choice when it came to choosing an occupation. He claims that because his grandfather and father were firemen, he had to become one. This relates to my theme because in this society, one is to follow in their parent’s footsteps, and Montag is now realizing how much he hates being a fireman.
“It’s not just the woman that died. Last night I thought about all that kerosene I’ve used in the past ten years. And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I’d never even thought that thought before.” Page 49 *
Montag realizes that it’s a human being who creates books, and the people who destroy the books with fire and kerosene are also humans. This relates to my theme because Montag is started to break away from society and forming his own opinion of the laws of this society.
“Montag made sure the book was well hidden behind the pillow.” Page 50 *
Beatty comes to visit Montag since he didn’t show up to work that day. Montag is frightened that Beatty could see the book, so he makes sure the book is well hidden. This relates to my theme because Montag is being his own person and rebelling against society by having a book.
“Mildred’s hand had frozen behind the pillow. Her fingers were tracing the book’s outline and as the shape became familiar her face looked surprised and then stunned. Her mouth opened to ask a question…” Page 53 ~
Mildred goes to fix Montag’s pillow when she finds the book and realizes what it is. She is shocked and horrified that he is breaking the law by being in possession of a book. This relates to my theme because in this society, if you are found with a book, you are usually considered “insane” and your books/house will be burnt to the ground.
“The old man admitted to being a retired English professor who had been thrown out upon the world forty year ago when he last liberal arts college shut for lack of students a patronage. His name was Faber…” Page 71 *
Montag meets Faber, a retired English professor. This relates to my theme because Faber becomes a big part of Montag becoming an individual later in the book.
“Professor Faber, I have a rather odd question to ask. How many copies of the Bible are left in this country?” Page 71 *
Montag thinks that since Faber is an old English professor, he can ask how many copies of certain books their are left in the world. This relates to my theme because Montag is becoming interested in books.
“Then his eyes touched on the book under Montag’s arm and he did not look so old any more and not quite as fragile” Page 77 *
Faber’s whole attitude changes once he sees/feels the book Montag is holding. He hasn’t held a book in forever.
“Faber backed up, as if he feared the book might vanish if he took his eyes from it.” Page 77 *
Faber is still surprised that Montag has a book, so he acts as if he takes his eyes off the book, it will disappear.
“I stole it.” Page 77 *
Montag reveals that he stole the book from the old lady. This relates to my theme because this is one of the first steps to Montag being an individual.
“Nobody listens any more. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me. I can’t talk to to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say.” Page 78 */~
Montag complains that he has nobody to talk to anymore and nobody listens to him. This relates to my theme because this is one of the things that drive him to be interested in books.
“And maybe if I talk long enough, it’ll make sense.” Page 78 *
Montag feels that when he talks he is talking to no one, and maybe if he just keeps talking, it will all make sense eventually.
“And I want you to teach me to understand what I read.” Page 78 *
Montag wants Faber to teach him how to understand the books he is reading. This relates to my theme because this is where Montag asks for Faber’s help which changes him in every aspect.
“We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren’t happy.” Page 78 */~
Montag explains that he has everything he needs to be happy with his wife, but he just isn’t. This relates to my theme because unhappiness is what makes Montag want to be different.
“The only thing I positively knew was gone was the books I’d burned in ten or twelve years. So I thought books might help.” Page 78 *
Montag believes that books will help him because books are what he gets rid of everyday. This is ironic because Montag burns books for a living and is now using a book to help himself.
“It’s not books you need, it’s some of the things that once were books.” Page 78 *
Faber explains to Montag that he doesn’t actually need the books, he just needs the information in the books that people are keeping from him.
“So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life.” Page 79 ~
Faber explains to Montag that the reason books are hated are because they show the truth about life. This relates to my theme because Montag becomes more interested in books because he is interested in learning more.
“My wife says books aren’t real.” Page 80 ~
Mildred does not believe in books. This relates to my theme because Mildred is a perfect example of what this society what’s people to be like.
“I can get books.” Page 81 *
Montag claims that he can get (steal) books when he is “burning” them. This relates to my theme because this is how he gets the books to become an individual.
“That’s the good part of dying; when you’ve got nothing to lose, you run any risk you want.” Page 81 *
Montag is risking it all because he believes that he has nothing to live for. This relates to my theme because it is showing that Montag will do anything to read these books which leads to him breaking away from society.
“This afternoon I thought that if it turned out that books were worthwhile, we might get a press and print some extra copies.” Page 81 *
Montag is interested in getting more copies of the books he has stolen. This relates to my theme because Bradbury is really showing how interested Montag is in these books.
“So few want to be rebels anymore.” Page 83 *
Faber explains that people don’t want to rebel against the government, and most people that do rebel become scared. This relates to my theme because the reason people don’t become individuals is because they are scared of what the government will do.
“Our civilization is flinging itself to pieces. Stand back from the centrifuge.” Page 84 */~
Faber thinks that this civilization will eventually fade and everyone will kill themselves.
“God, how I want something to say to the Captain. He’s read enough so he has all the answers, or seems to have.” Page 85 *
Montag believes the reason that Beatty is smart is because he has read to much, so he knows more than anyone else even thought reading books is illegal.
“Only a week ago, pumping a kerosene hose, I thought: God what fun!” Page 85 ~
Montag is having a flashback to when he loved his job and when he loved burning books. This relates to my theme because it shows Montag’s stages of change.
“Those who don’t build must burn.” Page 85 ~
Faber says this to Montag. This relates to my theme because Faber is saying their are individuals, those who build, and people who follow society, those who burn.
“Montag places the green bullet in his ear. The old man inserted a similar object in his own ear and moved his lips.” Page 87 *
Faber puts a green radio in Montag’s ear, so they can communicate when Montag is with Captain Beatty.
“No use going through all that agony for a baby” Page 92 ~
One of Mildred’s friends believes that having a baby is not worth going through pain. This relates to my theme because it shows the typical stereotype of women in this society.
“But Montag was gone and back in a moment with a book in his hand.” Page 94 *
Montag shows his books to Mildred’s friends. This relates to my theme because Montag is expressing the importance of books no matter what.
“What’ve you got there; isn’t that a book?” Page 94 */~
Mildred’s friends are shocked that Montag comes back into the room with a book.
“Ladies, once a year, every fireman’s allowed to bring one book home, from the old days, to show his family how silly it was, surprise tonight is to read you one sample to show how mixed up things were, so none of us will ever have to bother our little old heads about that junk again, isn’t that right, darling?” Page 95 ~
Mildred tries to “explain” to her friends why Montag has a book, and Montag goes along with it in order for them not to put in a report about him.
“He searched the house and found the books where Mildred had stacked them behind the refrigerator.” Page 98 *
Montag is still reading the books that Mildred told him not to. This relates to my theme because Montag continues to read books which eventually makes him break from society.
“Some books were missing and he knew that she had started on her own slow process of dispersing the dynamite in her house, stick by stick.” Page 98 */~
Montag realizes that Mildred is slowly getting rid/burning Montag’s books in order to cover up the traces of him having a book.
“In Beatty’s sight, Montag felt the guilt of his hands.” Page 101 */~
Montag thinks that Beatty knows about him owning books. This relates to my theme because it shows the pressure that society puts on an individual.
“Let’s have your hands in sight, Montag. Not that we don’t trust you, understand, but…” Page 102 ~
Beatty is teasing Montag even though he really knows that Montag has books in his house.
“I can’t do it, he thought. How can I go at this new assignment, how can I go on burning things?” Page 106 *
Montag is finally about to stand up to Captain Beatty because he can’t go on burning books. This relates to my theme because Montag is finally standing up for himself.
“Why, we’ve stopped in front of my house?” Page 106 */~
Beatty pulls up in front of Montag’s house. Montag is really confused.
“Didn’t I hint enough when I sent the Hound around your place?” Page 107 ~
Early when the Hound came, Montag just didn’t open the door and thought it was a regular dog. It was actually the Hound coming to warn Montag to get rid of the books.
“Mildred, you didn’t put in the alarm?” Page 108 ~
Montag realizes that Mildred put in the alarm that he has books. He feels very betrayed by her.
“When you’re quite finished, you’re under arrest?” Page 111 ~
Beatty says that after Montag finishes burning his house down, he is under arrest. This relates to my theme because it triggers what happens next.
“It was pretty silly, quoting poetry around free and easy like that.” Page 111 ~
Beatty is claiming that it was stupid of Montag to recite poetry in front of Mildred’s friends or anyone around the fire station.
“Give a man a few lines of verse and he thinks he’s the Lord of all Creation.” Page 111 ~
Beatty thinks that Montag believes he is better than them now because he has read lines from the Bible.
“We’ll trace this and drop in on your friend.” Page 112 ~
Beatty finds the green radio and threatens to track him down. This relates to my theme because Faber is a big part of Montag breaking away from society.
“Well, that’s one way to get an audience. Hold a gun on a man and force him to listen to your speech.” Page 113 *
Montag gets the fire gun and points it at Beatty. Beatty doesn’t believe that Montag will actually go through with it, so he just tries to scare Montag.
“We never burned right…” Page 113 *
Montag says this as he is holding the fire gun up to Beatty.
“…Montag shot one continuous pulse of liquid fire on him.” Page 113 *
Montag shoots Beatty continuously until he dies. This relates to my theme because killing Beatty helps Montag get away from the firemen.
“Beatty, he thought, you’re not a problem now. You always said, don’t face a problem, burn it. Well, now I’ve done both. Goodbye, Captain.” Page 115 *
Montag is reciting something that Beatty has always said to him. He is doing exactly what Beatty told him to do.
“In the middle of the crying Montag knew it for the truth. Beatty wanted to die.” Page 116 */~
Montag finally realizes that Beatty truly wasn’t happy, or he would’ve fought back when Montag held up the fire gun to him. He realizes that Beatty wanted Montag to kill him in order to rid himself of misery.
“Police Alert. Wanted: Fugitive in city. Has committed murder and crimes against the States. Name: Guy Montag. Occupation Fireman. Last seen…” Page 117 ~
This is the police warning on the radios/TVs that comes out in search to find Montag because he is on the run.
“But the falling made a difference. An instant before reaching him the wild beetle cut and swerved out.” Page 121 *
The beetle was about to catch Montag, but as he was giving up and fell, the beetle lost him, and he was close to being free. This relates to my theme because Montag is close to being free from this society.
“I wonder if they were the ones who killed Clarisse.” Page 122 *
Montag thinks back and wonders if Beatty is the one who killed Clarisse because of her love to learn/think. This relates to my theme because it shows how individuality can get you killed.
“I feel alive for the first time in years.” Page 125 *
Faber says to Montag that he feels alive for the first time because he is standing up for what he believes in. This relates to my theme because Faber is an individual rebelling against society.
“I feel I’m doing what I should’ve done a lifetime ago.” Page 125 *
Faber is finally doing what he feels he should’ve done a while ago. This relates to my theme because Faber is standing up for what he believes in, and the society he lives in will not stop him.
“For a little while I’m not afraid.” Page 125 *
Faber is no longer afraid of the government because he is ready to help Montag fight against the government in banning the use of books. This relates to my theme because Faber is helping Montag rebel against society.
“What are your plans. To keep running.” Page 125 *
Montag claims that his plan is to keep running from the government. This relates to my theme because it shows how threatening the government can be and that Montag afraid to go back.