Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Is Bradbury accurate in his implication that 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the minimum temperature at which paper burns? Is it an implication
, or does he state it as fact in the story? Does this matter to you?
2. Do you find Bradbury’s epigraph
“If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.”—Juan Ramón Jiménez
Research Juan Ramón Jiménez. In your opinion, in what context is his quote being used?
3. Some stories can be set in any place at any time. How important is setting
to Fahrenheit 451
4. Montag is Bradbury’s protagonist
, of course. But which character do you find more intriguing, which more compelling, Montag or Beatty? Is there another character with similar power?
5. Is Beatty the story’s antagonist
? Are there other antagonistic forces?
6. Is Clarisse a credible character? In your opinion, does her character leave the story too abruptly? Should she have played a larger role in the novel?
7. Does Mildred actually forget that she took the pills, or is she pretending not to remember? Were the machines that treated her designed to erase the memory of a suicide attempt? What do you think led Mildred to attempt suicide?
8. Is it intelligence that saves us from surrender to the majority? Or another quality, or mix of qualities?