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Fahrenheit 451
The temperature at which paper
A Preview…
• Think far into the future… after two
atomic wars
• A world where books are strictly
• A world where firefighters seek out
knowledge, and burn it to the ground…
• One person stands out…
• Would you be willing to die for books?
• Guy Montag – Protagonist; stands against
book burning
• Mildred Montag – Guy’s wife; lost in a world
of false reality
• Captain Beatty – Antagonist
• Professor Faber – forms an alliance with Guy
• Censorship
How far should one go to
protect another’s
innocence? Does this
yield ignorance?
• Knowledge vs.
Are we safer if we do not
have knowledge? Are
we truly happy or
merely conditioned?
• Hearth and the Salamander (Hearth is a
symbol for home & warmth – The salamander
is an official fireman symbol & and an animal
believed to be unaffected by fire)
• Sieve & the Sand (A sieve is a sort of sifter –
symbolic of knowledge (sand) not being
absorbed quickly enough – example: reading
a book as quickly as possible in a vain
attempt to keep all of the knowledge it
• The Phoenix: mythological bird that rises
from the ashes
• A futuristic, imagined universe in which
oppressive societal control and the
illusion of a perfect society are
maintained through corporate,
bureaucratic, technological, moral, or
totalitarian control. Dystopias, through
an exaggerated worst-case scenario,
make a criticism about a current trend,
societal norm, or political system.
• • Propaganda is used to control the citizens of society.
• • Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted.
• • A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the
• • Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.
• • Citizens have a fear of the outside world.
• • Citizens live in a dehumanized state.
• • The natural world is banished and distrusted.
• • Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individuality and
dissent are bad.
• • The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world.
Types of Dystopia
• • Corporate control: One or more large corporations control
society through products, advertising, and/or the media.
Examples include Minority Report and Running Man.
• • Bureaucratic control: Society is controlled by a mindless
bureaucracy through a tangle of red tape, relentless
regulations, and incompetent government officials. Examples
in film include Brazil.
• • Technological control: Society is controlled by technology—
through computers, robots, and/or scientific means. Examples
include The Matrix, The Terminator, and I, Robot.
• • Philosophical/religious control: Society is controlled by
philosophical or religious ideology often enforced through a
dictatorship or theocratic government.
The Dystopian Protagonist
• often feels trapped and is struggling to
• questions the existing social and political
• believes or feels that something is terribly
wrong with the society in which he or she
• helps the audience recognizes the negative
aspects of the dystopian world through his
or her perspective.
Section Two Notes
• Benjamin Franklin – 1st firefighter & creator of the fire brigade
• “Play the man, Master Ridley…” (36) – refers to a 16th century
Bishop that was burned alive because he rejected Catholic doctrine
• Tower of Babel – refers to Genesis in the bible where it is said that
God created diversity
• “People want fun…don’t we give them fun” –allusion to the pursuit of
happiness in the Declaration of Independence
• Little Black Sambo / Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Sambo is a character in
the book UTC, and the term has long been associated with racism
• FABER and MONTAG – names of a pencil manufacturer and a
paper company
• Book of Job – allusion to the bible story where Job must endure
great struggles but still remains faithful. There is irony in the fact that
Montag chooses this to memorize
• Cheshire Cat – grinning, mischevious character in Alice in
• Book of Ruth – another bible allusion, refers to people as sheep that
have gone astray