Thoughts, observations, comments, and concerns regarding our readings and classroom discussions.
posted by annes @ 8:50 AM
Let's get this party started... again.
What a great idea!
wow. cool pic
Me or ben?
Daniel- no stupid comments... again! p.s. What is that picture?
Let's get this FFFFFIIIISSSSHHHH BOWL started!!!!!
Guys we're gonna beat pd. 2 in comments again.
It looks like this is oing to be fast-paced again...I'll try to keep up...TRY...
Another scintillating conversation. Hurrah.
You know it!
No kidding, tomr.
It has begun!
So then... I was wondering. What is the significance of the salamander? Is there any point? I dunno, is it maybe a symbol or something? I just don't see how a salamander relates to the story.
Are we sure that she tried to commit suicide...
I don't think it overtly says that she tried to commit suicide, but it's implied, what with the overdose of pills and all that...
I am confused on the signifance of the pills. Did she overdose or did Guy overdose?
Hmm... I dunno. Maybe some friends gave her the pills or maybe she was stoned when she took them. Or drunk. 'Cause of the bubbly...
We arn't sure. What if it wasn't suicide. Would this have anything to do with the government? Why didn't she remember it?
As far as the emergency hospital incident goes, it was one of the most impressive scenes to me when I first read the book. I thought the way it exhibited the casaul opinion of death. How easily things will be taken for granted once they are common place.
I thought it was weird that his wife said that she didnt take the pills on purpose...did she mean to take that many pills? Was she really trying to commit suicide?
But seriously. Why is the symbol of his "firestation" a salamander. I don't get it.
She doesn't have any friends, because she spends all her time engulfed in her own little world, haha.
I am pretty sure that it was suicide. It is not really easy to have an overdose that large by accident. And the evidence made it look intentional.
I don't think that she tried to commit suicide becuase Montag said that later that she took the whole bottle of pills and she's like I would never do anything like that. Montag went on to say that she took her pills and then she forgot and then took two more, on and on until she gets really sick.
So Clarise..."are you happy"....Is there something about Montag that symbolizes that he may not be totally and completely happy in his life???It really is a good question...are we as people truly and perfectly happy??
But if it was sucide, why doesn't she remember it? And besides, it didn't work.
I thnik the signifance of the salamander lies in the color. Salamnders especailly in Harry Potter are colors of fire (orange, red, etc.) I think this relates to Guy's job.
I think Clarisse may know something after she asks Guy if he's happy. Maybe she wants to know if firemen are happy with what they do. I just want to know why this question made him a little paranoid in the following paragraphs.
It seems like she is described using the color white a lot. Does this represent purity? Purity of what?
I dont think we are really and truly happy. How can we be? We do not live in a utopia by any means. There are always problems.
Yes---I like the connection between the fastness of the cars, not being able to see what is passing them by, and life. Maybe life is getting taken for granted, and nobody is really stopping to look, understand, and even enjoy...
Erin, are we really supposed to just take her word for it? Would just admit, "Oh yeah, I tried to commit suicide"?
I just think that she can read people easily. She knows that he could have a "mask" apperance vs. reality.
In chinese culture, white is death, but I think that in almost all western literature such as this book white does represent purity. It is in direct opposition to the black soot of fire.
So Daniel...about the salamander...I believe that the salamander representst again appearance vs reality...fire fighters seeming nice, somewhat normal people, yet they are the terror of the town...
I think that Clarisse is more happy than Montag because she thinks freely and has happiness, because she can think about things and think them through. Clarisse might wonder why Montag isn't thinking things through like she does. There might be something about her in her life that causes her to want to take everything in and remember it.
I think she acts like she doesn't remeber he suicide attempt because she doesn't want Guy to know she wants to kill herself.
I don't understand how people could allow themselves to get to this point. If you think about it, this isn't a different society. It's our society, just further down the road.
I agree with tomr. No one wants to talk about suicide atempts if they go wrong. It is emotionally charged. A lot.
In a world like that, it probably wouldn't be too crazy to want to commit suicide. Maybe she is one of the people who believes there is more to life than what is there. Maybe not?
I think that where Guy is going with she took two pills and forgot I think he was trying cover up for his wife's suicide. He is making an excuse for the suicide.
Happiness... I dont really believe that anyone is happy. This world is so imperfect. I think people just say they're happy to cover up that they're really not. They do, say, and think happy things, but really aren't. At least in Fahrenheit they aren't. Except for Clarisse.
Clarisse is not normal in society, because, as several people have said, she enjoys nature and life around her, when everyone else is just content to live in their own little bubble.
The truth hurts a lot. That is why we try to make excuses.
Back to Clarise...she may be a symbol of those who still ask "now what" rather than today's general "so what"...
Tom,I wouldn't take her word for it, but she seems to forget alot. She doesn't remember events that have just occured, so it is possible that she could have just forgot the she had taken her pills and then went back to take them again.
Also, what is the significance of the number 451? Could it have some sort of a relation to the salamander. I can just sense that somehow this number and this animal are going to play a big role later in the book.
Daniel, I heard somewhere that the salamander was at one time believed to be able to live in fire without being harmed. I think that this has something to do with one of my questions that I came up with... Why have there been so many animals mentioned throughout this book already? In this futuristic story, animals apparently have fallen out of daily human life. Does the multiple references to animals symbolize the possibility, the SLIM possibility, that these people of the future have not totally lost the ability to remember their roots and their morals?
I think he took the pills because he was overwehlmed by the enormity of his discovery that he wasn't happy with his life. He wanted everything to go back to normal, and he wanted to escape from it. He felt sleep was the way to escape.
I agree with Ben's comment that we can't all be happy all the time. There's always going to be problems for someone, sometimes what makes one happy makes another one upset or angry.
I agree with Kari. How could a society goes this afr down to burning books. Why aren't there more Clarisse to stand in the way?
I think all the stuff on the parlor wall might have trained her to think in a certain way, which gives her a short attention span.
I think that people are happy if they base their feelings on the right things and things that are not just materialistic, but instead becomes happy with relationships and other things that are not physical.
Also to Daniel, 451 degrees is the temperature at which "paper burns."
One thing that I connected this section was, was how Clarisse reminded me of Piggy, representing wisdom
I am sure there were plenty of clarisses to stand in the way of book burning, however they mave have been over ruled or over powered.
Suicide is something that is on such a personal level. No one can judge someone who commits suicide without having endured every experience and felt every thought and emotion that they have. But that still doesn't mean that it is okay to end your own life.
Do you think that there might be something wrong with Mildred that causes her to be kind of in a daze? She talks in short, abrupt sentences. This makes me think that she has some mental problem that makes her do that.
Daniel brings up a good point about the characters of 451 deluding themselves into thinking they're happy. They have been so brainwashed into the norms of society.
Why does Clarisse question Guy about the history of firemen? I think Guy is a different type of person and Clarisse may be the only one who notices.
I think that Montag is different from other people in society. He may try to hide how he really thinks and feels under a mask, but he is unique compared to everyone else. When Clarrise asks Montag if he is happy, he first laughs at her question and reasures himself that he is indeed happy. However, when he is alone in his room except for his sleeping wife, he stops lying to himself and faces the reality that he is not happy with his life.
Off Clarisse being different, she is like Piggy. They may not always fit in but they are in way a persona of life.
Hmm... Ben just told me that 451 is the temp at which paper burns. Maybe it correlates to the salamander because the salamander represents evil or destruction or something. Also, the colors of salamanders are similar to fire, and 451 has a correlation to books and burning and whatnot. It's interesting how this all ties together.
Anna, I think the animals represent innocense. They are simple, and carefree. They don't wish ill on others and I think they symbolize what people wish they could be like.
I dont know what salamander animals have to do with it. They are slimy and love moisture. They are not fans of fire.
Happiness...it is a deceptive thing... it can be a mask or a thing that totally gives a person away...Is anyone truly and honestly happy?? Are you, my fellow bloggers? Think on it...
Does anyone think that our world could ever end up this way? Where everything seems backwards and machines take the place of humans.
I think that Montag is like a lot of people in society because they try to make other people believe they are completely fine and sometimes themselves too, but really inside they are so broken up inside.
As Macbeth did, Guy doubts if what he's doing is truly "right". Clarisse senses this about him--perhaps her being in tune with nature gives her a sort of connection to others that the rest of people lack.
I agree with Laura F. about hapiness with relationships and other things not physical. Sure, money will make you happy only for so long but if your lonely it doesn't matter.
Karib, I agree with the idea of sleep as an escape. We could very easily relate this back to Macbeth. Sleep in both stories seems to represent the thin line between good and evil. Sleep can be the most innocent of all innocents, but at other times it can symbolize death and murder. In this case, I agree that sleep was an escape from Montag's confusion.
Erin...I dont think our society would end up this way even if it could because everyone is so big on personal freedoms and i don't think society would really allow this kind of government to become this overpowerful.
Something I noticed in the book was that in the scene where the "medics" came, the "E" in "Eye" was capitalized. Is this significant. Why was the machine compared to an eye? This book brings up so many good questions.
If Clarisse's uncle was arrested for being a pedestrian, then why was it okay for her to be a pedestrian.Also...I think this book might be showing us what is going to happen to our world if we give up exercise (walking) and reading. Or in other words if our worst nightmare comes true and McDonald's prevails.
Off what Zach says I think that Clarisse has a sixth sense. She pays more attention than everyone else to feelings and emotions. While everyone else passes Guy by Clarisse trys to get to them.
Is Montag really a representation of the "law" or is he what Clarise said true...that he is actually "different"...
Michelle,I think that everyone has their own idea of what is happiness. I don't think that you could have a special scale that is used by everyone. I think that everyone is happy in their own way. I think that everyone is at the least a little happy about something.
I think the definition of "happy" changes, and is not a line of happy/ not happy. It's more kind of a grey area, and someone may be happy with life, but not happy at a preticular time.
What benh said about how salamanders have nothing to do with it because they love moisture. Yet the oppistite of fire is moisture and thAt may have something to do with it...
Another question I was on pg. 11... at the bottom of the page, the book suddenly switches to first person when Montag is talking to himself...what significance does this show?
I think that people try to maintain the thought that they are fine because they are so focused on other things they have no time to make themselves happy.
Hey I just noticed that the pedestrian in this book was arrested, and so was the one in the short story "The Pedestrian." I'm getting the idea that in futuristic sci-fi books, walking at night could be considered an abnormality. Why is that?
Maddyg, I was confused on how Clarisse and Montag were allowed to be pedestrians and Clarisse's uncle was not allowed to. Is it because it's so late at night? That wouldn't make much sense, though... Any thoughts?
I think that Montag does actually represent the law for Ray Bradbury. He is the representation of those who follow the law, the goody two shoes of the world.
about whether or not we are truly happy... I think that often people believe that they are happy, like Montag, but then stop to think about it and realize that they arent truly happy. I think that periodially this happens to everyone---there are just times in life where it is really hard to be optimistic...sometimes sittuations in life make it really hard to be happy. However, it is usually on a personal matter how happy we are---you can find things to be happy about; but then-again, you can also find things to be sad or upset about
Eein--You have a totally and completely good point. You are right here...everyone really is different and so different things make them happy...Thanks for correcting me.
I think that along with all of the other books that we have read, night is related to evil, and i think this is a theme all of the authors we have read books of write from
I think i spelled your name wrong...sorry
Where did the phenix come from?
Daniel, our society has very strict norms, and doing something just to do it is not generally accepted. If it doesn't have a purpose, it isn't important.
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Laura--you have a point...at what time do the fires that destroy books, home and peoples lives...
Why does he think he was happy then he realizes he's not? Why doesn't he change the way he's living?
Hey y'alls. I just changed my pic to a fire salamander. Interesting pic, eh? I wonder if the salamander in this book is somehow modeled after a real salamander in what it represents, or does.
This is kind of wierd, but in the Harry potter 4 game, their are these salamanders that are in flame and shoot fire.
dang hold on
Did it work?
Daniel, I think that the idea of walking at night is the most common metaphor in sci-fi books for past simplistic times, which, in these books, represents OUR current time. The authors of the stories keep on relating back to the walking to make the reader appreciate the little things of his life more.
Is this society that Montag lives in like Nazi Germany in more ways than just the book burning?
Maddyg, that's not weird at all! If we were annotating, that would be a Text to World!
Off birds representing freedom. I think that goes to a title of a book by Maya Angelou I know how the caged birds sings. That book talks quite a big about racism and not having freedom. And when they burn books in 451 they are burning freedom of expression and thought
Kari-But that's in the future, right now in our society it is accepted to do things for no point. i also think that this is not the right way to phrase that. I mean people in the short story are watching the tv's for no point. I think it would be better to say that it is not accepted to do things that don't have anything to do with technology.
I just noticed this, but birds were also a giamt symbol in Macbeth. Is it the same symbol, or is it different.
But do people really enjoy walking at night? I guess if they did, it would probably be because it gives them time to think. Maybe that's why Clarisse walks, although she doesn't say it. She could be confused or having an internal conflict.
So far it seems that the people are controlled by some sort of rules, but those rules are never said or explained. So far we don't know what the rules are. Also, about Lane's comment where Montag's room was dark and he couldn't breathe... This could be because he is a fireman. He feels at home in the warmth and light of the fires he starts. This also might say something about his home life. He might not be comfortable with it. There might be something cold or not quite right in his household that he doesn't like. After Montag goes to work, he takes his time coming home. He might be buying his time to go home. When Clarisse asks Montag if he loves someone, he insists he does, but he seems insecure. Maybe he doesn't fully love his wife. Maybe he sees her as a burden.
If salamanders run from fire then why would they be related to the firemen? Do they symbolize the power of the fire and the men who start them?
One thing I was just wondering throughout this book----why are these "firemen" assigned to this job of burning and therefore destroying things and books? Is the government or some other figure in power trying to conform the society into something specific???
Kari,I think that birdsare more of a symbol of nature in MAcbeth and freedom in 451.
I just noticed that on the book cover, a picture on the thing he is holding has a picture of a salamander on it... interesting.
By burning books the government is censoring the thoughts of people from going public.
Freedom of expression is the way we can birth new thoughts. The society in Harrision Bergeron was extremely counterproductive because everyone was of average intelligence, and there was no room for new thought. Maybe they thought their society was perfect, but, as Benjamin Franklin said, "The man who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither." (I paraphrased.)
Books allow you learn different ways of thinking...and different opinions...So that is how books symbolize freedom...HOWEVER, no one can control how any one person thinks. You can brainwash people, but there are those who can still think. And are the firemen all thoughtful? because they are spending their time setting fire to books rather than watch "the parlor walls"...
Also on the cover, many of the newspaper headlines say "fire", "smoke", "burn"...
Taking away a person's freedom is an interesting concept. At what point is a person completely deprived of freedom? Can we ever take away a person's right to think?
what does the salamander really stand for...or do we not know quite enouhgh about him yet?
Emily, but don't freedom and nature go together. The birds have the ability to fly, which, I think, makes people think of freedom. When out in nature, I feel free from the stresses of everyday life.
Do you all think that clarisse has something against firemen by the way she acted when she met Montag?
Support from the text that Guy is thoughtful and actually listens to Clarisse is in the last sentence when he tries tasting the rain.
MAdison,I think that the firemen where comissoned to burn books because the government wanted more control. Its was like Red China. They government doesn't want to go straight total control, becuase they people will rebel.
Emily...I don't know that she has something against firemen in general, but I think that she sees something different in him and can somehow tell that something is not completely "right" in his life.
TomYeah, all of the papers like combine to burn more books. Maybe like blood will have blood in Macbeth, the more that's burnt, the more that gets burned.
Hmm... I think book covers are interesting. It's fun to see how they tie into the actual story and reveal so much of it. In Farenheit, it's like the firemen are burning peoples' live buy burning their thoughts that are contained in books.
Hannah, I think thought can ever be completely taken away, but it can be severly inhibited. Of course, killing somebody is the ultimate act of taking away freedom.
yeah---I wonder what about the vent bothers Montag so much....hmmmm
Does the average person in our society think more than people in Guys' society?
I don't think that clarisse had anything against firefighters because she walked up to montag and started talking to him. I don't think that she agrees with what they do but she seems to like him as a person.
daniel I think that is a very good observation. I think that people do really enjoy walking at night if you aren't always infront of the T.V. but the society in the book makes it seem like that is not what people do it is considered wierd.
I think that book covers reveals something or hints at things in the story that the reader finds out how he/she goes along...ironic :)
Emily L., on that thought, the Chinese/Soviet governments did silence those who expressed their own thoughts. Do you think a society like this could ever come to fruition without brute force? Or would people rebel?
Yes, I agree completely Tom. This book, to me, seems as much of a warning as anything else. The other two stories showed a worst case scenario of what could happen in the future. I suppose one could go back to the fourth grade question of, "What is the moral of this story?" The moral of THESE stories has been that equality is good to a degree.
Does he feel guilty about what's behind the grate or does he feel curious. I think there is a book behind the grate.
We're gonna smash pd. 2 in comments. We're great thinkers. Great job guys. I'm so proud of you.
I have the same thought as Sarah Cheney
I think that once Clarisse talks to Guy he starts noticing little things such as when he looks at the vent. There could be something important there, like a book.
I have a question, though it may have a somewhat obvious answer (that I must have missed!) What exactly is the purpose of burning the books? What does it accomplish? Or is it the author's point to NOT have a defined reason for burning the books?
I wonder, if since the books are being burned everyday----is it now illegal to own/read books????
For Tomr,I think that it depends. If the society isn't well educated, mental manipualtion may be enough. If however the soceity is samrt well educated etc... Then brute force is neccessary to keep people in line.
Yes, I think that it's illegal now, madisonm.
And so...does F451...does it predict what might happen to our world and our life? People say that we will rebel before we let things get to the state of things in our book, however, we ARE having liberties taken away...just look at the laws concerning what we can and can't read, or what we can and can't sell (The Tattered Cover scandel a few years back). WE ARE HAVING OUR LIBERTIES RESTRICTED...WETHER WE KNOW IT, OR NOT...
We beat p.2!
Yet another long comment: ...Ahem... About the time frame in which the book was written, both LOF and 451 were written in the early 50s, several years after WW2...Prepare for a lecture... World War 2 sparked many people to realize how treacherous mankind is. The acts of the Nazis and others made people think how far mankind can go before it turns the corner into tyranny. I think that both these authors wanted to convey their feelings to others, to say something about mankind, after those significant events in history.
Annad: I think that in Fahrenheit, the government wants to keep the people brainwashed and so they burn the books. Books give information and show different ways of thinking than what the government wants you to think. By burning the books, the government is trying to keep the world under its control.
I think that this book was written in the future for when it was written but it was written a while ago and so its like they are writing about life today and so its interesting to hear what they say about how they think our lifes today would be... what does this do for the plot?
But, how would anyone know if someone owned a book and didn't have it burned?
thanks, anna :)
So, does it say what the firemen are burning?Government papers or old and worn papers outdated by technology. I mean, technology takes over so much, that all of these passages that we are reading are i guess, warnings of what the future will be.
Another question- What is significant about the men who start the fires being called "firemen." Does this also symbolize the loss of morality. I think that the loss of morality is a key idea of this book.
Emily L., then, since the government more or less controls education, would it be easy to poison people's minds?
Yeah----do we think that the people even know how to read now?
mphair I think that f451 stands for how many books he burns.
Ya, Riley, I think that this book is a warning. It makes sense with the time period that it was written in, too, in the Red Scare.
I think that technology is helping us and that it wont take over us if we don't let it.
Going off of what lauraf said... if this book was written a while ago then this book would be about us today. Why would they think we didnt believe in reading books?
f451 stands for the temperature at which paper burns.
My answer to Laura F's question is that if this book is placed in the future than it makes it a little more believable to the reader. It's thought provoking.
So---maybe since books are now illegal, or at least we infer that they are---maybe a book will come into play in the story, and maybe that will be a part of the challenging of the system in this story
A while back we established that Fahrenheit 451 was the temperature at which paper burns. Otherwise, I don't hink it would make much sense.
Shelby---You have a good point...451 is also the degrese farenheit that paper burns...
Well, as already said, its also the temp at which paper burns. But think about it. If he'd been a fireman for 10 years and burned so many houses that, chances are, had more than one book, he would have burned more than 451 books in his career.
anna---that is interesting that the temperature at which paper burns is 451....
They learn to read by using government controlled technology on a screen. So it's like people in the west in Afhganistan, i know i slaughtered the spelling. But the children in those places are taught what the government and teachers want them to think. Like America is a horrible place with bad people, or if you kill yourself but destroy infidels in the process you will go to a heaven with 70 virgins, or some other "reward"
About those comments pertaining to the burning of books. Clarisse asks if Montag ever reads the books he burns. Do you think that this will prompt Montag's curiousity to try to find a book to read? Challenging the system!
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