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Fahrenheit 451 - English CPT
Transcript of Fahrenheit 451 - English CPT
English Culminating Performance Task
By: Jonathan Reyes, Matthew Rodrigopulle
Juan Soriano and Ashton Wilks
“Most of us can’t rush around, talk to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book.” (Bradbury 82)
Why did we read the works we read?
We read to learn about and experience the beauties and truths of the world when we do not have the resources to do so first-hand. When we read, we may laugh or cry but in both cases we, as a global community, can discuss and challenge what in this world should change, and what should remain the same.
Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois on August 22, 1920. An American writer, producer, and editor, Ray Bradbury is renowned for his science-fiction and fantasy short stories along with his works dealing with the topics of social reliance on technology and the dangers technology can come with.
At the age of twelve Ray Bradbury decided to become a writer. Due to financial issues, his formal education ended after graduating from a high school in Los Angeles in 1938. Persistent on his role of becoming a writer, Bradbury spent many nights during the years of 1938-1942 selling newspapers on L.A. street corners, spending his nights in the public library, and his time during the day on his typewriter. Later in 1943 he became a full-time writer creating short stories for periodicals before publishing a collection of them, entitled Dark Carnival, in 1947.
His famous works such as Sun and Shadow and Fahrenheit 451 have earned him distinguished awards such as the Benjamin Franklin Award (1953-1954) and the Gold Medal, Commonwealth Club of California (1954). In addition to his literary works, Ray Bradbury has also worked on television, theatre, and cinema works earning him a nomination for an Academy Award for his short film Icarus Montgolfier Wright (1963) and granting him an Emmy Award for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree (1993).
Well into his elderly life, Ray Bradbury continued to write having the same feelings he had of excitement and happiness, rushing to his typewriter every morning having been “full of a great sense of joy, and glad for the long life that has been allowed” Ray Bradbury died on June 5, 2012 in Los Angeles, California, but continues to shape and influence the lives of society and culture today.
Part One: The Hearth and the Salamander
Fahrenheit 451 opens up on protagonist Guy Montag, a fireman, who lives in a futuristic and dystopian society in the United States. Unlike the firefighters of today, Montag and his coworkers set fire to books: an item deemed as contraband. The first impression of Montag is a man passionate about his work, but this perception begins to change when Montag meets Clarisse McCellan, a peculiar seventeen year old, who encourages Montag to think about life more critically. Over several encounters, Montag feels even closer to Clarisse than he does to his wife, Mildred, just another woman who is one of society’s slaves to television. Thus, at one fire call to an old woman’s home, Montag’s newfound curiosity causes him to take a book home in secret. Made uneasy by this disgraceful action to his work, Montag calls in sick, and makes a vow to never return to work again. One night, Montag receives a fervent pounding on his door, and he knows that it must be Beatty, the captain of the fire department, ready to burn the contents of his home. Frightened, Montag does not open his door, and reveals to Mildred an extensive collection of books, which he says must be read before the night ends.
Part Two: The Sand and the Sieve
Montag, driven mad by his inability to understand the books, visits Faber: an old man who was previously an English professor. Faber is threatened by Montag to help him in a plot to print and plant books in all firemen’s homes so that they would be burned. Faber introduces Montag to an in-ear radio technology, which allows them to communicate in secret. Upon returning home, Montag finds his wife with her two friends and reads them a poem, which causes one friend to cry and the other to condemn the destruction caused by books. Faber convinces Montag to leave this scene at his home and head to the firehouse. Once there, Montag is met by Beatty who edges him on with quotations from books, explaining how wrong they can be. Moments later, the department gets a call, and they all head off. They arrive at Montag’s home.
Part Three: Burning Bright
Beatty tells Montag that it was his wife who reported him for having books, which means that he will be arrested, but not before Beatty forces Montag to burn down his own house. With the flamethrower in hand, Montag kills Beatty with it and flees the scene to Faber’s house. Faber’s last advice for Montag is to start a fugitive life. Therefore, Montag jumps into the river in order to escape authorities and follows it downstream. At the end of the line, Montag meets a group of like-minded men who make a country-wide society where books are memorized. Together, these men take cover from the war while the rest of the world does not even recognize what is going on around them. With the rest of the world destroyed, Montag and the others discuss the promise of the future—its rebirth—which can only be carried out through the realization of past mistakes.
Voice of Fire
Barnett Newman (1967)
Barnett Newman’s Voice of Fire (1967) effectively captures the plot of Fahrenheit 451 through the symbolism of its divisions of colour.
Its first blue bar can be interpreted as Fahrenheit 451 being introduction as a utopian society. Guy Montag claims to love his job, and seems generally happy with his life.
The red colour of the second bar signifies the transition into a dystopian and harmful society. Here (late in Part One and in Parts Two and Three) Montag finally becomes aware of the destructive nature of the world around him.
The final bar reverts to the blue of the first bar and represents the novel’s conclusion— the image of rebirth of Montag’s society for the better.
To act or behave in a good-natured and enthusiastic fashion.
A dramatic entertainment, mainly for children, which involves music, current jokes, and slapstick comedy and is based on a fairy tale or nursery story.
A machine with a rapidly rotating container that applies centrifugal force to its contents, typically to separate fluids of different densities or liquids from solids.
An embarrassing failure or mistake.
A short statement that expresses a general truth or principle.
A thing that someone believes to be real but that exists only in their imagination.
A modulation or inflection of the voice:
Excessively sweet or sentimental
. Of or having the powers of an ancient roman
A mute character in traditional pantomime, typically masked and dressed in a diamond-patterned costume.
Simple and unpretentious
Ornamental work of fine (typically gold or silver) wire formed into delicate tracery
A quantity of a liquid.
Wealthy and privileged.
Becoming thin and tattered with age; poor or shabby in appearance.
Excessively lengthy or technical speech or writing.
Feeling or expressing blissful happiness.
Worthless things; rubbish.
Language that is meaningless or made unintelligible by excessive use of technical terms.
The trunk of a tree.
A meeting place at which people attempt to make contact with the dead.
The aromatic seeds of the plants of the ginger family.
A prickly shrub of the rose family.
A heap of combustible material.
(In order of appearance)
An embarrassing failure or mistake.
Miley Cyrus' twerking was a major pratfall.
Wealthy and privileged.
Due to her work in the hit Disney Channel television show, Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus was gilded since a very young age.
Literary Terms Glossary
The series of events which make up the action of a story.
The beginning of a story, where the author gets the readers’ attention by establishing main characters, setting and conflict.
At the beginning of Fahrenheit 451 we are exposed to Guy Montag’s occupation being a firefighter dealing with flame instead of water. We are lead to see that books in this world are burned rather than read, people do not enjoy nature and no one thinks for themselves. Montag meets a girl by the name of Clarisse McClellan who opens Montag’s eyes to the disturbing normalities of the city. It is here where Montag becomes disappointed with his life and soon gains interest in books.
The incident that causes the protagonist to try to gain his/her objective.
The inciting force of Bradbury’s 1951 novel is during one of Guy Montag’s fire calls to the old woman’s house, at which point his curiosity gets the better of him, and he takes a book back to his home without the knowledge of his coworkers. This moment is a turning point for Montag, for when he returns home, he finally realizes his dislike and discomfort for his job.
The highest point of action in the story.
The climax of Fahrenheit 451 is located in Part Three, where Guy Montag is taken to his own house by Captain Beatty to burn his hidden books. Within the chaos and shock that results from the discovery of these books, Montag finds it within himself to burn and kill Beatty. He then attempts to escape from the society in which he is now a wanted criminal.
The progression towards the end of the story where problems are solved.
The falling action of Fahrenheit 451 occurs throughout Part Three: “Burning Bright”. In this denouement, Montag who is wanted by authorities accepts the fact that he must live a life on the run. After bidding goodbye to Faber, Montag takes the river downstream until he is met by a group of men that also find value in books.
The outcome of everything that has happened; the solution of the conflict.
Bradbury’s novel concludes on an city brought to ruins by an instantaneous war. With the rest of society dead, Montag and the other pro-book men discuss the re-establishment of their society—for the better—if everyone keeps in mind the errors of previous generations.
Narrative Point of View:
The angle from which the story is told.
The novel Fahrenheit 451 is told in a limited omniscient third-person perspective as the novel really only goes into depth when exposing the thoughts and mindset of protagonist Guy Montag.
The main character of the story; often the hero.
The protagonist in Fahrenheit 451 is Guy Montag, a fireman who burns books for a living. Montag soon gains interest in books and eventually comes to question his job and society. He often becomes frustrated because of this and goes about finding answers in a risky manner. He is unsure why he is trying to find the truth and it is shown that he acts subconsciously.
The where and when of a story. Setting also encompasses factors in the environment such as atmosphere and local colour.
Fahrenheit 451 is set in a dystopian American city. In this city of the distant future, typical is the rejection of books, while televisions are watched obsessively. In addition, those living in Guy Montag’s city live recklessly, to the point where individuals dismiss murder, and sometimes do it for recreation. Throughout the novel, Bradbury sustains an atmosphere of suspense as Montag struggles against the consequences of the law.
A struggle between the main character and some other force. Conflict is a problem which triggers action.
An example of conflict in Fahrenheit 451 is the Character vs. Character conflict between Guy Montag and Captain Beatty. Although Beatty is Montag’s captain, and he should obey him, the two share some differences regarding their opinion on books and society. Officer Beatty has knowledge about books, but is against the idea of using them. Montag decides to go against Beatty and hide books anyways.
The use of figurative language which appeals to the physical senses.
The image of destruction is used throughout the novel Fahrenheit 451. This is seen when the firemen use the fire to destroy books, houses and people. Furthermore, the Mechanical Hound is tasked to eliminate Guy Montag as he attempts to escape the city. Moreover, the ongoing threat of war foreshadows to the reader that destruction will soon come.
The author’s perspective on a certain subject.
One theme found in Fahrenheit 451 is the idea that censorship creates destructive characters. Throughout the novel, Bradbury suggests that when people cannot express themselves accurately (to a reasonable point), they will revolt against the society which put up impediments before them. Proof of this theme exists in Guy Montag who wants to express himself through literature, but was not able to, and so turns into a man who is prepared to kill and who wishes to escape from his society.
A contrast between appearance and reality.
Irony is located throughout Fahrenheit 451, but most evidently in book bashing though book educated ‘firefighter’, Beatty. After finding out about Guy Montag’s spark of interest in books, Beatty goes on to confront Montag saying how it corrupted his mind having Montag think he was “the Lord of all Creation” (111). However, Beatty himself is quite familiar with books going on to state that he himself “read a few [books] in my time [Beatty’s life] . . . “ (59) and has actually went as far as analysing the books.
A hinting at things to come.
One instance of foreshadowing in the novel is the first descriptions of the Mechanical Hound. Bradbury paints the Hound as lethal and frightening, and Montag can even tell that “It doesn’t like me” (24). Montag’s sensing that the Hound dislikes him is interesting because this starts even before Montag acts suspicious before his fire department, and by Part Three, the Hound wants Montag apprehended.
A statement that seems incorrect or silly, but actually holds some truth.
A paradox that is clear in the novel Fahrenheit 451 comes from Beatty when explaining to Guy Montag the reason behind why books are bad. Beatty goes on to explain that books are what have caused great controversy amongst the different peoples of the world. Beatty claims that books have “upset and stirred” (56) civilization adding that books have made us “step on the toes” (54) of other, upsetting ‘minorities’.
Ancient patterns of personality that are shared heritage of the human race.
A figure who aids or trains the protagonist, giving them knowledge, protection and other gifts.
An example of a mentor in Fahrenheit 451 is Faber. As an older and more experienced man, who knew life before the rejection of literature, Faber is able to give Montag insight on how to better understand the meaning of books. In addition, Faber is willing to risk his own life in order to protect Montag when he is wanted by authorities.
A character who often changes in appearance or mood, whose purpose is to mislead the protagonist and make them question the sincerity of their held beliefs.
The shapeshifter of Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is Clarisse McCellan because of her eccentric and unpredictable behaviour. Her untraditional experiences and views of life are even able to make Montag question his own existence—making him doubt whether he was truly happy or whether he truly knew his wife.
Key Course Themes
Isolation is the separation or seclusion from the rest of society by an individual, and this can be either self-inflicted or forced upon by society. A majority of the time, isolation leads to further issues for the individual such as depression, frustration, and rash-decision making. In Gravity, astronaut Ryan Stone is driven to an abysmal sadness when she concludes that her partner in space has been lost (and is probably dead) which means that she is isolated in space with a very slim chance of ever returning to earth.
Destructive characters are individuals who are ready to stir up chaos in their society especially when they do not get what they want. Destructive characters usually pose as a foil to the protagonist’s values and successes. Additionally, destructive characters may be willing to put themselves at risk to follow through with their plans. In Mean Girls, Regina George proves to be a destructive character who seeks revenge when she feel targeted or humiliated. Regina even goes out to frame another person in order to get this revenge.
Throughout literary and artistic works, there are characters and ideas which involve disguises, and irony. Deceiving appearances center around events turning out unexpectedly, as well as symbols changing meaning. In Mrs. Doubtfire, the Hillard children are shocked to discover that their babysitter, an old lady, was actually their father. Eventually, after the disguise is revealed, the Hillard children realize the benevolent intentions of their father for masking himself with a deceiving appearance.
Prejudice is the act of developing a preconceived idea about a person or group of people, often without much first-hand knowledge. Prejudice is often negative and is used to discriminate against and stereotype certain groups. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Draco Malfoy makes prejudiced remarks against Ron Weasley for his poorness (classism) and against Hermoine Granger for her family background (racism).
Justice is the upheaval of fairness in a society, where authority is administered to and chaos is ceased. Through justice, heroes often put their lives on the line in order to bring about the common good. Through this clip from Spiderman 2, Peter Parker “Spiderman” is seen concentrating all of his energy and strength into saving a speeding train from falling off a cliff. Clearly, Peter is risking his own life in order to save the lives of the dozens on board.
The novels Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and The Help by Kathryn Stockett share commonalities in prejudice. In The Help, numerous white characters are prejudiced towards black people due to their preconceived beliefs. Specifically, Ms. Hilly and her friends are discriminative towards the black maids, as they believe they are dirty people who have diseases. This causes them to be separated greatly from society, especially through the use of black and white toilets. In the novel Fahrenheit 451, prejudice is shown by the society, who shuns those who appreciate books. They believe that literature only has negative effects on people, and they must stop the curious mind from exploring books. Additionally, prejudice is shown when characters turn against even their loved ones due to a change in beliefs. This is shown in The Help through Ms. Hilly and Ms. Skeeter. Once Ms. Hilly found out about Ms. Skeeter’s support towards black people, she treated one of her best friends as an enemy. In Fahrenheit 451, this is shown when Captain Beatty discriminates against Guy Montag once he discovers that he has been trying to explore literature.
In The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Ms. Hilly is a destructive character, as she would like to separate black people from society as much as possible. She does whatever it takes to get her way, including even putting somebody in jail (249). Also, Ms. Hilly tries to warn Skeeter about caring for the help. However, when Skeeter does end up supporting black people openly, she tries to destroy Skeeter, one of her best friend’s reputations. Similar to Ms. Hilly, Beatty, in Fahrenheit 451, is a destructive character. Beatty wants to destroy the books in their society, for he is convinced that they are only followed by danger. This only goes against Montag’s beliefs in books. As well, Guy Montag is a destructive character in return, as he attempts to and ends up killing Beatty when he is attacked (113). Definitely, Stockett and Bradbury understand destructive characters as ones even willing to supress the people that they were once close with.
The theme of isolation is evident throughout The Help and Fahrenheit 451. In The Help, the black people of Jackson, Mississippi are obviously isolated due to segregation. They are believed to carry diseases, and even have to use different washrooms from white people (9). In Fahrenheit 451, those who find books to be helpful are either imprisoned or live a fugitive life because the rest of society believes that they are dangerous; menace to the common good. Also in The Help, Skeeter is isolated from her friends once they find out about her support for maids. Eventually, she realises that she must leave her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi in order to live more true to her beliefs. Similarly, in Fahrenheit 451, Montag is isolated by society after his curiosity for books is discovered. He is shunned from society, and later on, must run away to save his life (113).
Hypocrisy is evident in both, The Help, and Fahrenheit 451. In The Help by Kathryn Stockett, hypocrisy is shown through Ms. Hilly, who is quick to act unconditionally kind and caring towards her friends, however she easily shuns her friend Skeeter when she finds out about her book. Much like this, Beatty in Fahrenheit 451 is hypocritical because he has prior knowledge about books, however, he warns Guy Montag of the dangers that come with books. Once Montag keeps exploring books, he wants to destroy Montag and prevent him from reading books.
In Fahrenheit 451 the character Captain Beatty is seen as the antagonist throughout the novel because he is constantly influencing Guy Montag to burn the houses with books in them even though Montag does not want to; therefore he is destructive towards Montag (112). Beatty is trying to protect the order of the city but in doing this he is destroying the information contained in books. Montag can also be seen as destructive because he eventually kills Beatty then goes onto wanting to destroy their society for its peculiar practice (113). In Inherit the Wind Reverend Jeremiah Brown condemns his own daughter Rachel and anyone else who does not believe in their religious practices (66). Matthew Harrison Brady attempts to force his beliefs onto the people of Hillsboro. He feels as if religion should be primary in the lives of people and the practise of anything else is false (82). Clearly, in both literary pieces, the destructive characters are prepared to condemn, and possibly cause suffering (psychological or physical) unto those who do not think as they do.
In Fahrenheit 451 Guy Montag is seen as a lonely character when Clarisse McClellan asks him if he is happy (7). Montag begins to cry because he had not noticed until now how alone he actually felt throughout his life. Moreover, Montag is completely separated from the other firemen and knows that he must leave the city now that he has been alienated by everyone (113). In Inherit the Wind, Bertram Cates expresses how he has been struggling during his time of isolation and how everyone looks down on him because of his beliefs (50). In addition, the people in Hillsboro do not fail to isolate those who believe in or defend ideas that go against their own; therefore Henry Drummond is separated from society upon his arrival to Hillsboro.
In Fahrenheit 451 Guy Montag decides that he should kill Captain Beatty after being constantly pressured by him to burn the house when he knew that he should not do it (113). Meanwhile, justice is delivered to Matthew Harrison Brady of Inherit the Wind when he dies of a busted belly which represents justice being served to those who are ignorant (120). As evidenced by these two scenarios, a justice is achieved through the death of the antagonist. In both cases, these deaths signal a turning point for society where extremism will slowly dissipate. Moreover, justice was seen at the end of Fahrenheit 451 when the city was bombed for all of its problems so that it can be levelled out and rebuilt into a better place (148). In Inherit the Wind, Henry Drummond is found holding the Bible in one hand and Darwin in the other displaying how they are equal and that all justice must require a balance; not one side being better than the other (129).
In Fahrenheit 451 the firemen burn books to prevent people from reading books and discover what is held inside them. In doing this many people are hurt in order to maintain the practise of removing all books from the homes of those who hold them (36). In Inherit the Wind Bertram Cates taught his class Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and is sent to court for doing so (8). The people of this society are blinded by religion only and will not allow anyone to bring new ideas into the minds of others. Therefore, it was considered a crime for Cates to teach such a thing to his class. Surely, in both societies, authorities find the need to censor knowledge, and even the appreciation of knowledge because it is believed that knowing more only leads to destruction. Thus, in both works, little do societies realise that their habits of censorship are inherently discriminative and deny individuality.
In Fahrenheit 451 the task of the firemen was to burn books in order to maintain the status quo. Books contain knowledge and since they were being burnt, people grew ignorant to other ideas; like how the McClellan family was considered different for having outside knowledge (31). In Inherit the Wind, the people of Hillsboro are blinded by religion and will not allow anything else change their views. Therefore, Bertram Cates and Henry Drummond were discriminated for defending the theory of evolution (66). Definitely, Bradbury, Lawrence and Lee, all demonstrate that the first step towards getting a corrupt society to change is allowing the society’s citizens to realise that a change can be made.
The theme of deceiving appearances is present in both Fahrenheit 451 and To Kill a Mockingbird when characters must put on a façade or disguise in order to remain accepted in society, but still have a grasp of their true beliefs. By Part Two of Bradbury’s novel, Guy Montag is fully aware that he hates his job as a firefighter, but at the same time knows that he must go along with the department’s burning so that they would not be suspicious of his growing interest in books. On the other hand, in Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, protagonist Scout marvels when she discovers the double-life of her babysitter and surrogate mother, Calpurnia. When approached, Calpurnia admits that she understands that she must alter her behaviour from professional to casual, depending on whether she is around white people or her working family, and when she is surrounded by her real family or church community. Thus, Bradbury and Lee prove that there is a time and a place to be less genuine with oneself—perhaps by speaking or acting differently—in order to adhere to societal norms.
In both Fahrenheit 451 and To Kill a Mockingbird, the hero of each novel is isolated from the rest of society which causes them to develop killer instincts. In Bradbury’s science fiction novel, the agony of having to supress the thirst for knowledge is enough to make Guy Montag release his frustrations out on Captain Beatty, the man who condemns Montag’s interest in books. At the novel’s climax, Montag turns a flamethrower on Beatty, burning him to death. Likewise, Boo Radley of Lee’s great American novel was a recluse, and so had very few to speak to, and very few to learn right judgement from. As a result, when Boo sees Scout and Jem Finch being attacked, he rushes out of his house to stab the attacker, killing Bob Ewell. Certainly, these two scenarios help to reinforce the truth that if a society is unable to cater hospitality and assistance to all of its citizens, especially its isolated, harmful individuals may be engendered.
In both Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, a sort of justice is achieved through the murder of the respective story’s antagonist. After the events of the Tom Robinson trial, Bob Ewell of To Kill a Mockingbird posed a huge threat to the rest of Maycomb, promising death to Atticus, Jem and Scout Finch, and Helen Robinson. Meanwhile, in Fahrenheit 451 Captain Beatty stood as a man who would allow people to die without any change in emotion. Thus, the deaths of these characters signify a reinvigoration of safety into society, with one less individual who would let others die. What is just about their deaths is the idea of karma: those who wanted to hurt and kill others received death as their fate. At the same time, however, both Lee and Bradbury help to challenge view of the quality of justice, leaving readers to debate whether murder and other sinful actions can be used to bring about true justice.
To Kill a Mockingbird and Fahrenheit 451 are archetypally connected for both have a mentor character to their respective protagonists. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is the wise, old father, and fittingly, the mentor of protagonist Scout Finch. Slowly and surely, Atticus becomes a more important role model to Scout, and is able to teach her the true meaning of maturity, value and empathy. Surely, Atticus Finch parallels Faber of Fahrenheit 451, who is the ex-English professor and mentor to protagonist Guy Montag. As the novel progresses, with Faber’s assistance, Montag finally feels sympathized with and finally has someone who can help him to understand the meaning of books. Considering these two novels, it is clear the Lee and Bradbury agree that any successful protagonist requires an experienced instructor who will temper the protagonist into a mature and capable individual.
Fahrenheit 451 is similar to The Merchant of Venice as they both deal with the theme of deceiving appearances. Deceiving appearances are found in the antagonists of each literary piece: in Shylock and Beatty. In The Merchant of Venice, Shylock attempts to worship and praise a judge in order to get what he wants, when really, all along he was trying to 'woo' the judge into allowing him to basically take the life of Antonio. Similarly, in Fahrenheit 451, we find Captain Beatty to be a man who has a strong hate for books, when he himself has great knowledge about books-admitting that he himself has actually read a couple. Additionally, deceiving appearances are present in the dynamic characters of both works. Protagonist Guy Montag in Ray Bradbury's novel is introduced as a happy man, who likes his job. Yet, by the end of Part One, it is evident that his attitude towards books is far from that of a typical firefighter's. Likewise, in The Merchant of Venice, it is observable that Bassanio, Antonio's best friend, seems at first to be a golddigger and is quite selfish. However, as the story progresses, Bassanio reconstructed as a kind, thoughtful, and loyal man through his truthful desire to help his friend in need.
The Merchant of Venice is intrinsically connected to Fahrenheit 451 in the terms that both literary pieces contain the theme of prejudice throughout. Similar to the majority of society in Fahrenheit 451 who reject those with thirst for knowledge, a multitude of characters in The Merchant of Venice exhibit biased behaviour and segregation towards the Jewish community, more specifically towards Shylock. In Fahrenheit 451, people who involve themselves willingly to books are viewed as thinking themselves as “Lord[s] of Creation” (Bradbury 111), egoistic. Similarly, The Merchant of Venice portrays similar behaviour in the Christian community bashing Jewish man Shylock referring to him as a result of his religion, a “dog” (Shakespeare 19). Additionally, prejudice is also seen in both Fahrenheit 451 and The Merchant of Venice as those who demonstrate prejudice base their hate off of stereotypes and false information. The majority of the societies in Fahrenheit 451 believe that books are what have caused great controversy across the peoples of the world having “upset and stirred” (56) their minds. Connecting to The Merchant of Venice, there are also preconceived ideas and stereotypes related to the Jewish community, most evidently of them being involved in usury.
The Merchant of Venice is similar to Fahrenheit 451 as both novels contain a sort of justice. In Fahrenheit 451 and The Merchant of Venice, this theme is found underlying the resolutions to the respective works’ key conflicts. In Ray Bradbury's novel, justice is evident when main character, Guy Montag, is able to escape to a society which aids him in promoting bookings in a society where they are shunned. Like this, in The Merchant of Venice, the Christians have prevented one of their own merchants, Antonio, from being killed by a revenge-hungry Jew, Shylock. Furthermore, in both literary pieces, justice comes in the form of great responsibility for one's actions, with both protagonists facing their fate without revealing cowardice. In Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag bravely faces his oppressors and manages to get escape the torn society, while in The Merchant of Venice, Antonio is faithful to his bond, taking full responsibility of his debt and its consequences. Lastly, justice is revealed amongst people willing to work together to fight wrongful ideas. In Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag meets a society willing to help 're-spread' the knowledge and goodness of books, and in The Merchant of Venice, we see that Antonio's friends all work together to achieve the justice of Jewish man Shylock's wants. In both novels, we see that justice is a theme evident throughout the stories' courses.
Between Fahrenheit 451 and Works Studied in Class
Connections to Poetry
Bradbury versus Poe and Wordsworth
Prejudice, Deceiving Appearances, Justice, Isolation, Destructive Characters
by Edgar Allan Poe
"The Tables Turned"
by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth’s poem “The Tables Turned” shares similarities with Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451.
First of all, both literary works begin with
character that is skeptical and unwilling to challenge their boundaries
. In “The Tables Turned”, one character is introduced as a ‘book-worm’ who is reluctant to experience anything outside of literature. This connects to Fahrenheit 451’s Guy Montag who has no real interest in breaking out of his book hating self.
Most notably, however, both pieces center around
setting where books are rejected
for being too uninteresting. In Wordsworth’s poem, the speaker attempts to convince a “book-worm” into stepping away from literature in order to learn by experiencing nature around him. Meanwhile, in Bradbury’s novel, Guy Montag’s dystopian society is largely caught up with television, war, and the burning of books.
By the same token, with both works dealing with the rejection of books, both also
establish the potential dangers of being overly dynamic
. For instance, in “The Tables Turned” the speaker claims that murder is sometimes a part of learning, while in Fahrenheit 451, children in Montag’s city are notorious for killing neighbours for the sole purpose of amusement. Certainly, through separate works, Bradbury and Wordsworth help global audiences to realise the need for balance between books and activity, in order to prevent the creation of
Fahrenheit 451 is similar to Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “Alone”.
Both brilliant literary pieces relate in terms of the theme of
, as represented throughout the poem and in the beginning and middle of Fahrenheit 451. Made clear are the ‘dark’ days that the respective worlds have come to. Both works emphasize and criticize loneliness, with both protagonists feeling misunderstood; feeling that they have been born into a society which cannot empathize with their inner beliefs.
Additionally, it is clear that both the poem and novel have similar traits relating to their
tone towards their complex underlying themes
. It can be observed that there is a tense and robust form of writing located between the two. This class of writing is efficiently used to reinforce into the audience’s minds the fact that isolation and prejudice are both
serious and meaningful
themes, and require attention so that real-world issues regarding these themes can be changed.
Thus it is evident that both Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “Alone” effectively shed light on the negative effects of isolation on the human psyche, while sustaining a serious understanding of it.
An eccentric, energetic man who is prepared to go outside and enjoy the beauty of nature. This speaker exists alongside an introverted man who loves books and is somewhat oblivious to the beauty that the speaker knows so well.
“The Tables Turned” takes place outside on a clear, bright day. Through the course of the poem, the characters venture across mountains, fields and forest, all of which are beautiful. In addition, the poem seemingly takes place amidst the balmy spring or summertime.
In general, the tone of Wordsworth’s poem is lighthearted. The speaker seems to be quite elated to introduce his friend to nature’s beauty, almost pleasantly surprised that he did not know of it beforehand.
“The Tables Turned” starts off with the speaker inviting a booklover to put down his books and join him to experience the outdoors. Thus, the two journey across many gorgeous settings, and the speaker emphasizes to his friend that nature shall teach him far more than any other source.
True maturity means teaching yourself about how the world works through experience, and not through learning from others.
Go outside and obtain some first-hand experience!
Images of mountains, fields, woodlands, sunlight and music all help to establish feelings of refreshment and contentment in the atmosphere. This influences the reader to realize the beauty of their own world around them, and perhaps go outside, as the poem’s moral suggests.
“Up! Up! My friend…—“(1 and 3).
By repeat this line, Wordsworth emphasizes the physical action of standing up. While this helps to progress the events of the poem, this line also subliminally encourages the reader to join in with the poem’s booklover to follow through with the poem’s moral: rise and enjoy the world around you.
A man of considerable age—definitely not a child, and living the “autumn” of his life. This speaker is mature and has seen the realities of this world: he knows there are terrible things within it. He appears to be the only character of the poem.
“Alone” progresses through the seasons of the speaker’s life: a spring birth to a dissipating autumn. The first half of the poem suggests that the speaker’s entire life is drenched in rain, with the few sunny moments quickly flying by. Thus, the atmosphere of the poem is melancholy, with the speaker resigned with his weathered out and sorrowful life.
Poe achieves a solemn tone throughout “Alone” particularly by using long dashes both within lines and at the ends of the lines of the poem. This punctuation creates a feeling of the speech being dragged out and said hesitantly.
“Alone” starts off with the speaker who knows, even in his childhood, that he does not think or feel the same as anybody else. The speaker describes having gloomy life with time quickly passing by as he loved things alone.
Being misunderstood and unempathized with is the worst form of isolation.
People will not always agree with you; therefore, be prepared to experience loneliness if you wish to sustain your beliefs.
Images of downpour, winds, thunder and lightning all help to establish feelings of frustration and suspense in the atmosphere. This edges on the reader to anticipate the speaker releasing all of his emotion in a violent or dramatic outburst.
“The mystery which binds me still—“(12).
This line concretizes the image of the speaker being imprisoned; being tightly grasped by the hands of the unknown force which causes him to diverge in thought from the rest of society.
Connections to News Reports
Bradbury versus 21st Century Current Events
“Violent” Dr. Seuss book should be banned from library, patron says.
Monday, April 28, 2014
On the Toronto Public Library’s annual list of potential books to be banned, is Dr. Seuss’ 1963 children’s book: Hop on Pop. Patrons claim that the book is a bad influence to children for it encourages assault on fathers.
This attempt at
by the Toronto Public Library, is very closely related to the
present in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. In Bradbury’s novel,
“A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it” (56)
. In both instances, society feels as though they need to protect each other by removing books, which they are paranoid will cause violence among the rest of the community. While the real-life scenario is much less severe compared to Fahrenheit 451, it can be looked at as a step towards Guy Montag’s dystopian society of censorship. Thus, readers of Fahrenheit 451 can take this piece of news as a warning of society’s potential for absurdity.
Rob Ford caught on video in violent rant
Kevin Donovan, David Bruser and Jesse McLean
Thursday, November 7, 2013.
Throughout 2013 and 2014 Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto has been seen taking part in much tomfoolery, throughout the GTA. Some of the inappropriate acts that news reporters have claimed Mayor Ford doing include crack-cocaine smoking, firearm possession, and frequent, chaotic drunken episodes.
This reputation that Rob Ford has formed is disgraceful, and is far from the behaviour expected from someone of high authority. Thus, Ford easily displays the theme of
—the irony between one’s first expectations and the reality of the situation.
In many ways, Mayor Ford parallels
Reverend Jeremiah Brown
of Inherit the Wind since both are authorities which should be looked up to, yet both have personalities that are not beneficial to society. Mayor Ford allegedly uses drugs for recreation, while Reverend Brown condemns the society of Hillsboro for their infidelity towards the Bible. Additionally, both figures can be considered as
, who may corrupt society if changes are not made.
Fahrenheit 451 is thematically interconnected to novels, plays and poems of unique genres, and can be seen reflected in the current events of our world. More importantly, through this science-fiction novel, Bradbury challenges a world-wide audience to reconsider the importance and necessity of books in society.
"About Ray Bradbury." Ray Bradbury. Harper Collins Publishers, 2001. Web. 23 May 2014.
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2012. Print.
Bruser, David., Donovan, Kevin., and McLean, Jesse. “Rob Ford caught on video in violent rant.” Toronto Star. 7 Nov 2013. Toronto Star. Web. 3 Jun 2014.
Gallant, Jacques. “‘Violent ’Dr. Seuss book should be banned from library, patron says.” Toronto Star. 28 Apr 2014. Toronto Star. Web. 3 Jun 2014.
Lawrence, Jerome., and Lee, Robert E. Inherit the Wind. New York: Bantam Books, 1960. Print.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 1982. Print.
Poe, Edgar Allan. “Alone.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d, Web. 25 May 2014.
“Ray Bradbury.” Encyclopedia.com. HighBeam Research. 2004. Web. 23 May 2014.
Shakespeare, William. The Merchant of Venice. United States of America: Signet Classics, 1998. Print.
Stockett, Kathryn. The Help. Great Britain: Penguin Books, 2010. Print.
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Ray Bradbury (American Writer)."Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 May 2014.
Wordsworth, William. “The Tables Turned.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 25 May 2014.
A Prezi By:
Culminating Performance Task
5 June 2014