English is intended to help students develop the critical abilities they need at the college level.
However, firemen have been given a new occupation; they are burners of books and the official censors of the state. As a fireman, Guy Montag is responsible for destroying not only the books he finds, but also the homes in which he finds them. Books are not to be read; they are to be destroyed without question.
For Montag, "It was a pleasure to burn. Therefore, Montag, along with the other firemen, burn the books to show conformity. Without ideas, everyone conforms, and as a result, everyone should be happy. When books and new ideas are available to people, conflict and unhappiness occur.
At first, Montag believes that he is happy. When he views himself in the firehouse mirror after a night of burning, he grins "the fierce grin of all men singed and driven back by flame. When Montag meets Clarisse McClellan, his new vivacious teenage neighbor, he begins to question whether he really is happy.
Clarisse gives Montag enlightenment; she questions him not only about his own personal happiness but also about his occupation and about the fact that he knows little truth about history. At the same time, she also gives the reader the opportunity to see that the government has dramatically changed what its citizens perceive as their history.
For example, Montag never knew that firemen used to fight actual fires or that billboards used to be only 20 feet long.
Nor did Montag know that people could actually talk to one another; the governmental use of parlor walls has eliminated the need for casual conversation.
Clarisse arouses Montag's curiosity and begins to help him discover that real happiness has been missing from his life for quite some time.
After Montag's encounter with Clarisse, he returns home to find his wife Mildred Montag Millie unconscious; she is lying on the bed with her Seashell Radios in her ears and has overdosed on tranquilizers and sleeping pills.
Two impersonal technicians, who bring machines to pump her stomach and provide a total transfusion, save Millie, but she could possibly overdose again and never even know it — or so it may seem. The matter of the overdose — whether an attempted suicide or a result of sheer mindlessness — is never settled.
Although Montag wishes to discuss the matter of the overdose, Millie does not, and their inability to agree on even this matter suggests the profound estrangement that exists between them.
Even though Montag and Millie have been married for years, Montag realizes, after the overdose incident, that he doesn't really know much about his wife at all.
He can't remember when or where he first met her. In fact, all that he does know about his wife is that she is interested only in her "family" — the illusory images on her three-wall TV — and the fact that she drives their car with high-speed abandon.
He realizes that their life together is meaningless and purposeless. They don't love each other; in fact, they probably don't love anything, except perhaps burning Montag and living secondhand through an imaginary family Millie. When Montag returns to work the next day, he touches the Mechanical Hound and hears a growl.
The Mechanical Hound is best described as a device of terror, a machine that is perversely similar to a trained killer dog but has been improved by refined technology, which allows it to inexorably track down and capture criminals by stunning them with a tranquilizer.
Montag fears that the dog can sense his growing unhappiness. He also fears that the Hound somehow knows that he's confiscated some books during one of his raids. The fire chief, Captain Beatty also senses Montag's unhappiness. Upon entering the upper level of the firehouse, Montag questions whether the Mechanical Hound can think.
Beatty, who functions as the apologist of the dystopia, points out that the Hound "doesn't think anything we don't want it to think.
After several more days of encountering Clarisse and working at the firehouse, Montag experiences two things that make him realize that he must convert his life.
The first incident is one in which he is called to an unidentified woman's house to destroy her books. Her neighbor discovered her cache of books, so they must be burned.
The woman stubbornly refuses to leave her home; instead, she chooses to burn with her books. The second incident, which occurs later the same evening, is when Millie tells Montag that the McClellans have moved away because Clarisse died in an automobile accident — she was "run over by a car.
Montag decides to talk with Millie about his dissatisfaction with his job as a fireman and about the intrinsic values that a person can obtain from books. Suddenly, he sees that Millie is incapable of understanding what he means.
All she knows is that books are unlawful and that anyone who breaks the law must be punished. Fearing for her own safety, Millie declares that she is innocent of any wrongdoing, and she says that Montag must leave her alone.
After this confrontation with Millie, Montag entertains the idea of quitting his job, but instead, he decides to feign illness and goes to bed. When Captain Beatty, who is already suspicious of Montag's recent behavior, finds that Montag hasn't come to work, he makes a sick call to Montag's home.
Beatty gives Montag a pep talk, explaining to him that every fireman sooner or later goes through a period of intellectual curiosity and steals a book. Beatty seems to know, miraculously, that Montag stole a book — or books.
Beatty emphatically stresses that books contain nothing believable.Fahrenheit is set in an unspecified city (likely in the American Midwest) at an unspecified time in the future.
after the year The novel is divided into three parts: "The Hearth and the Salamander", "The Sieve and the Sand", and "Burning Bright". Provides tips, tricks, and skills to help young readers take control of their lives and make the journey to adulthood a fulfilling one. A summary of Themes in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Fahrenheit and what it means.
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