Fahrenheit 451


7. The old lady whose library is to be burned refuses to accompany the firemen. Instead, she turns on fire on her own along with all the books. Why do you think she chooses death? She quotes a man, Latimer, whom firefighter Beatty knows. Why does she choose to quote this man (page 68) do you think?

8. On page 69, Bradbury writes: "The hands were infected and soon it would be the turn of the armies. He felt how the poisoning spread over the wrists past the elbows up to the shoulders ... "This poisoning is a metaphor. What could it stand for?

9. How does Mildred react when Montag tells about the lady and the fire?

10. What does Mildred do all the days at home?

11. Fire Chief Beatty tells Montag what happened during the 20th century in society. One can assume that there is social criticism like the author Bradbury in this way. Provide examples of changes in society that are presented as negative. See pages 87f- 91.

12. The social changes mentioned in the book can be perceived as negative. They are reminiscent of changes even in our world during the 20th century and up to today. What do you think of these changes? What is positive about the development that has taken place?

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This is powerful moment in the story. Montag and some of his fellow firemen break down the door to a woman's house. The woman says, "Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out." Beatty later explains this to Montag. In 1555 a man named Latimer said this to his fellow Nicholas Ridley before they were burnt alive for heresy. Heresy was when the church interpreted pretty much anything they wanted, usually ideas not in line with strict church doctrine, as crimes against God. The connections are striking. Just like the two men were ready to burn for their beliefs, the woman is ready to burn for her books. She wants to be a living burning beacon to the travesty of destroying knowledge. This makes a profound impact on Montag. He "liberates" (steals) a few books and lays awake all night pondering the powerful horrific message that he has beheld.

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