2018 Reading Challenge discussion

Fahrenheit 451
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ARCHIVE 2012 > Sep 2012 - Fahrenheit 451: End of Book Discussion (Contains Spoilers)

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message 1: by Kara, TBR Twins (last edited Sep 06, 2012 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kara (KaraAyako) | 3775 comments Congratulations on finishing the book! Discuss your end of book thoughts here.

message 2: by Kara, TBR Twins (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kara (KaraAyako) | 3775 comments Discussion questions courtesy of the National Endowment for the Arts.

1. Montag comes to learn that "firemen are rarely necessary" because "the public itself stopped reading of its own accord." Bradbury wrote his novel in 1953: To what extent has his prophecy come true today?

2. Clarisse describes a past that Montag has never known: one with front porches, gardens, and rocking chairs. What do these items have in common, and how might their removal have encouraged Montag's repressive society?

3. One of the most significant of the many literary allusions in Fahrenheit 451 occurs when Montag reads Matthew Arnold's poem "Dover Beach." What is the response of Mildred's friends, and why does Montag kick them out of his house?

4. It may surprise the reader to learn that Beatty is quite well read. How can Beatty's knowledge of and hatred for books be reconciled?

5. Are there any circumstances where censorship might play a beneficial role in society? Are there some books that should be banned?

6. If you had to memorize a single book or risk its extinction, which book would you choose?

message 3: by Lauren (last edited Sep 13, 2012 04:30PM) (new) - added it

Lauren (estrangeira) Really interesting questions, Kara. Ok, so here's what I think:

1. Bradbury displays a romanticized, nostalgic view of literature and its uses by the public. Literacy has been, throughout world history, the domain of the few, the political and economical elites. I'd say the "massification" that the author worries about is the very reason why the general public has been reading more. It is a different type of reading, different concepts and understanding of what being an author, reader and even a book mean. It's a fascinating topic and I recommend anything by french historian Roger Chartier, who writes mainly on the history of books.

2.Again, I read a LOT of nostalgia in Fahrenheit 451, a nostalgia for a slower, calmer and more introspective society I'm not sold was universal. It sounds like how it would be like before WWI for rich, white, well-educated people (I was going to add men but yeah, maybe women too?).

In my reading I understood Bradbury was claiming that without the quality time (to think) those items represented it was easier to manipulate the masses. Like I just said above, I'm not sure I agree.

3. As far as I remember, one of the friends cried and the other was infuriated, non? The poem arose real feelings in the women and none of them seemed eager to really feel anything. They wanted the safety of lies and Montag had made the decision for, hum, can I say "realness"?

4. Denial perhaps? Or hunger/addiction to the kind of power he had for knowing what only a few did?

5. Books that are too hard should never be banned, but I do think they should be widely discussed/debated.

6. aaaaahhh, such a difficult one. My pick would be The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. Gorgeous, sweet, insightful story.

message 4: by Kara, TBR Twins (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kara (KaraAyako) | 3775 comments 1. Super interesting thoughts, Lauren. It kind of makes me think of Oprah's book club. At first, I thought the idea was awful, but then I realized that ANYTHING that gets people to read more is good. Same thing with Harry Potter. Same thing with Hunger Games.

5. I've been thinking about this a lot recently with what's been going on in some parts of the world as a response to the YouTube trailer of that ridiculous movie. I guess how I feel about it is that even in this extreme case (where this video led to riots and deaths) censorship isn't the right answer.

I don't think there are any books that should be banned. This is NOT to say, however, that parents shouldn't control what their children read. They absolutely should be involved in what their kids are reading.

6. I think I would pick The Republic. This book changed my life (it got me into philosophy), and I can't imagine a world without it.

Nathan (nathlawless) I didn't read the book, so I'll only answer a couple questions. Very interesting thoughts from you two, though!

5. I like what you said about that movie, Kara. I agree, books shouldn't be banned. Let people choose what they want to read. Just because a book expresses a viewpoint which is unpopular or different, doesn't mean it must be banned. And all ideas/books are worth discussing/debating, like you said Lauren.
But, Kara has a point about parents having control and authority over their children's reading material. This is important, and can be done in a very nice and non-tyrannical way.

6. Wow that is a tough question - I want to say The Positronic Man, because it's my favorite book. But it doesn't seem that important, only to me!

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