Futuria Fantasia




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Ray Bradbury, famous American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, and poet was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22, 1920. He comes from a long line of editors and publishers so it is only fitting that he immerse himself in the literary world. He discovered Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, and Tarzan comics. Bradbury admits that he lived in a “world of fantasy”. He even created his own magic shows. At the age of fifteen, Bradbury began to submit albeit unsuccessfully, short stories to magazines. In 1937, during his last year in high school in Los Angeles, he became a member of the Los Angeles Science Fiction League, and published his own science fiction magazine, Futuria Fantasia.

After graduating, Bradbury spent his days selling newspapers on Los Angeles street corners and his evenings writing at typewriters in public libraries. His perseverance paid off when his first story was published in 1940. By 1943, he had dedicated himself to writing full time.

To date, Bradbury has published over 500 literary works, and despite being an octogenarian, he has shown no signs of slowing down. He still finds joy in waking up and rushing to his typewriter to jot down new ideas.

Bradbury, however, is not only famous for his books and short stories. He has also written for television: Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone as well as his own television show, Ray Bradbury Theatre. Five of his novels have been made into major motion pictures, and Bradbury himself was nominated for an Academy Award for his animated film Icarus Montgolfier Wright. In addition, Bradbury helped design the Spaceship Earth ride at Disney World’s EPCOT Centre as well as the Orbitron space ride at Euro-Disney. He is the recipient of many awards, most recently the National Book Foundation’s 2000 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Bradbury married Maggie McClure in 1947, with whom he has four children and many grandchildren. Now widowed, he resides in Los Angeles where he still writes, lectures, and collects Mexican art.




Fun Facts



  • 451° Fahrenheit is the temperature at which paper burns




  • Montag is the name of a paper manufacturer




  • Faber is the name of a company that makes pencils



  • Ray Bradbury wrote this story on an old typewriter in the basement of the library at the University of California. He rented a typewriter for $0.20 and hour. The original version of the story took him approximately 9 days to complete and cost him $9.80. Bradbury thinks it is highly fitting that he wrote a novel about burning books in a library. (Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. 50th Anniversary Edition. New York: Random House Publishing, 1982.)




  • Bradbury’s mechanical hound is his robot prototype of the beast in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles.




  • In the movie based on this novel, two books that are burned are Bradbury’s own The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451. This isn’t surprising since Bradbury’s novels have often come under censorship for containing inappropriate language. Other famous books burned in the film are Othello, Alice in Wonderland, Robinson Crusoe, and Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography.




  • Bradbury was disappointed in the original movie version (1966) of his novel, but claims Mel Gibson will soon be producing a new version – which Bradbury looks forward to. (Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. 50th Anniversary Edition. New York: Random House Publishing, 1982.)




  • Bradbury continues to detest the idiot TV and the effects it has on society.





    1. Find and write down a definition for the word censorship.



    1. Describe three forms of censorship that exist today.




    1. What is the National Coalition Against Censorship in the United States?




    1. What is Freedom to Read Week in Canada?




    1. The following chart is a list of books that have been banned from schools:




Book Title:

Author:

Reason for Banning the Book:

Hamlet

Macbeth


William Shakespeare


profanity and violence

profanity and violence



Twelfth Night

William Shakespeare


promoting homosexuality

Little Red Riding Hood





For mentioning alcohol – Miss Hood brings grandmother some wine

Little House on the Prairie


Laura Ingalls Wilder

racially offensive

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


Mark Twain

racially offensive

To Kill a Mockingbird


Harper Lee

Open discussion of racism and profanity

A Catcher in the Rye


J. D. Salinger

profanity

Of Mice and Men


John Steinbeck

profanity

Harry Potter

J. K. Rawling

religious groups suggest the series promotes witchcraft




    1. Discuss: One person’s offense is another person’s creative expression.




    1. In your opinion, is there ever a case favoring censorship? Explain.





A science fiction novel has the following characteristics:


  1. It is set in the future on a real planet.

  2. The major events are plausible and the characters face real world problems.

  3. It takes a new technology and predicts the effects of that technology on human culture.

  4. The main characters encounter dangerous situations.

  5. There is a thematic concern for the future and the place of humanity in this future.

  6. The story addresses the social impact of science.




Set in the future






Events are plausible




Characters face real world problems




Technology affects humanity





Characters face dangerous situations





Concern for the future is shown






The Six Elements of Plot


Inciting Incident

Listed below are the elements of plot present in ay story. Identify where in The Chrysalids each of the elements is used and what information is provided.




  1. Exposition: provides the reader with information on the setting and the antecedent action (what happened before the story began).

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  1. Inciting Incident: is the first event that tells the audience the direction the plot will take. It hints at the action that will follow.

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  1. Rising Action: is a series of events that built to the climax. The conflict is introduced.

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  1. Climax: the main character confronts the forces that he faces.

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  1. Falling Action: The outcome of the story is made clear.

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  1. Conclusion: the final outcome of the story.

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The world depicted by Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451 is distinct from the world you live in today. Using the chart below, explain how this futuristic world is different from yours.




Question

Answer

How have relationships changed?




How have homes changed?





How does society value self-gratification?





How does the world become a world of conformity?






What is the futuristic view of happiness? Can this view become a reality? Explain.






How has the use of technology changed?




Describe the world as it exists without books.





Good stories have problems that the characters must solve. These problems are called conflicts. There are three types of conflict a character might face.




  1. Character vs. character: when there is tension between two characters.

  2. Character vs. himself: when the character struggles to make a decision.

  3. Character vs. nature: when a character suffers an illness or faces a force of nature.

  4. Character vs. society: when a character defies the laws, values, and traditions of his community.




Character vs. Character





Character vs. Himself






Character vs. Nature



Character vs. Society






During an interview with Ray Bradbury, conducted by a Del Rey publisher, Bradbury is asked to expound on the character of Captain Beatty. Bradbury states, “You have to understand how Beatty became a burner of books. He has a history. He was a book reader, but after various crises in his life – his mother died of cancer, his father committed suicide, his love affair fell apart – when he opened the books, they were empty. They couldn’t help him. So he turned on the books and burned them.” (Bradbury 187) Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. 50th Anniversary Edition. New York: Random House Publishing, 1991.


With this new insight into how Bradbury imagined Beatty’s earlier years, look back on how Beatty behaved in the novel. In a well-developed paragraph explained how you can now interpret the following actions:




  • The Captain asks Montag if he has a guilty conscience. (p. 27)

  • Beatty slaps the old lady who is defending her books (p. 36) and asks her if she has any common sense. (p. 38) His face later shows panic when she lights the match. (p. 39)

  • The Captain knows about authors Latimer and Ridley. (p. 40) He also states he is “full of bits and pieces” of literature. (p. 40, 61)

  • Beatty calls fireman “The Happiness Boys.” (p. 61)

  • Beatty doesn’t immediately arrest Montag when he suspects Montag has an illegally hidden book. (p. 62)

  • The Captain states, “What traitors books can be.” (p. 107)

  • Beatty provokes Montag (through insults and dares) to kill him. (p. 119)

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There are several characters in Fahrenheit 451 that are exact opposites and are thus considered foils for each other. A character foil is any character who, by his contrast to another character, better brings out the personality of the latter character.
Identify the character foil or foils for each of the listed characters below. Then, give THREE examples from the novel to support your choice.


Character

Foil

Examples

Mildred








Beatty










There are five types of identifiable characters in a story:


  1. Round Character: is a character the reader/audience knows a lot about.

  2. Flat Character: is a character the reader/audience knows very little about.

  3. Stock Character: a stereotyped character whose characteristics are immediately known because of common conceptions (or misconceptions) about certain people.

  4. Static Character: a character that does not change over the course of the story. His personality remains the same.

  5. Dynamic Character: a character that undergoes changeover the course of the novel.

Identify what type(s) of character the following individuals from Fahrenheit 451 could be classified as. Justify your answers.




Guy Montag



Mildred Montag


Clarisse McClellan



The “Operators”


Captain Beatty


Stoneman & Black


The Old Woman


Professor Faber


Mrs. Ann Bowels & Mrs. Cara Phelps


Granger




In a great novel, every character serves a purpose. For some, his/her purpose is obvious. However, some characters require more analysis to determine their purpose. That being said, be careful not to assume that there can only be one purpose per person/group. Consider all angles: to further the plot, to develop another character, to act as a character foil, to enforce the author’s message, etc.
Identify the character roles for each of the listed characters below. Then, give an example from the novel to support your choice.


Character

Examples

Clarisse McLellan





The old woman whose house is burned






Professor Faber





Mrs. Bowles & Mrs. Phelps





Granger




The oppressors of the stomach pump






Stoneman & Black






Fahrenheit 451 has several themes. They are pointed out in the list below. Your task is to choose one of the themes and, in an expository paragraph, explain the theme’s significance both in the novel and in today’s society. In your paragraph, cite examples showing how Ray Bradbury has developed this theme throughout the book.
A good expository paragraph has:

  1. A topic sentence that you will be talking about.

  2. A body that has at least five supporting sentences. Each sentence must be related to the topic so the paragraph has unity. Each sentence must be linked to the other sentences using transitional devices. (refer to your handout)

  3. A concluding sentence that sums everything up.




Themes from Fahrenheit 451:


  1. The mass media has made us a mindless society.



  1. Seeking happiness at any cost is not advisable.




  1. Learning and culture are more important than instant gratification.




  1. Technology can have harmful effects on society.




  1. Culture is a measure of man’s humanity.




  1. Man can endure and prevail.




  1. Equality is not utopia.




  1. Censorship violates human rights.




  1. Reading is at the centre of our lives.




Examples of censorship and oppression are plentiful in Fahrenheit 451. Find and list five examples from the novel. Record the page number, on which the example is found. Then explain the effects each example has had on the characters in the novel.

EXAMPLE

EFFECT
























An epigraph is a quotation set at the beginning of the literary work, or one of its divisions. The purpose is to suggest the theme of that work.
Find the epigraph that is included in Fahrenheit 451. In a well-written paragraph, explain the epigraph’s significance to the theme of the novel.


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Many of the passages in Fahrenheit 451 have significance to both to the novel and to our world today. Some examples of these quotes are given below. Your task is to explain:

  1. The quote’s significance to the novel

  2. The quote’s significance to life today





  1. Captain Beatty explaining a pattern of human behavior, “Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.” (p.55)



  1. Captain Beatty defending censorship, “Not everyone is born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone is made equal. Each man is the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cover, to judge themselves against.” (p.58)




  1. Montag talking to Millie about the state of society, “Why doesn’t someone want to talk about [the wars]? It is because we’re having so much fun at home we’ve forgotten the world? It is because we’re so rich and the rest of the world’s so poor and we don’t care if they are?...Maybe the books can get us half out of the cave. They just might keep us from making the same damn mistakes!” (p 73-4)




  1. Clarisse tells Montag, “I rarely watch the parlour walls or go to races or Fun Parks. So I’ve lots of time for crazy thoughts. Have you seen the two hundred-foot-long billboards in the country beyond town? Did you know that once billboards were only twenty feet long? But cars started rushing by so quickly they had to stretch the advertising out to make it last.” (p.9)




  1. Granger reflects, “We know all the silly damn things we’ve done for a thousand years and as long as we know that and always have it around, where we can see it, someday we’ll stop making the funeral pyres and jumping in the middle of them.” (p.163)




  1. Granger’s grandfather imparts his wisdom, “The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching. The lawn cutter might just as well have not been there at al; the gardener will be there a lifetime…” (p.157)




  1. Granger’s grandfather adds, “Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” (p.157)


The point of view of the story is the perspective of the person who is telling the story. There are four major types of view:




  1. Omniscient: (all-knowing) This is the most common point of view since it allows the author to know the thoughts and feelings of everyone in the novel. The story is told in the third person (using words like he, she, it, they, them) by an unseen observer who sees all, hears all, and knows all.

  2. Limited Omniscient: This story is told in the third person, but the view point of only 1-2 of the characters is known. It acquaints the world of the reader with the world through the mind and senses of only those characters.

  3. First Person: The story is told from the point of view of one character using personal pronouns: I, me, we, us.

  4. Objective: In this point of view, the author only reports what is seen and heard. He/she doesn’t comment on or enter a character’s mind. Like a camera, he only follows the characters and reports what he sees.

Sometimes a writer will use more than one point of view throughout a story.


Identify the point of view used in the novel Fahrenheit 451. Explain why this point of view is important in terms of the issues being addressed in the novel.

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Irony is a literary device often used in novels and plays. Irony can be defined as the intervention of fate at inopportune moments. There are three types of irony:




  1. (D) Dramatic Irony: occurs when the audience is aware of something that the characters are not aware of. For example, if everyone is invited to a party except you, you accidentally show up on the doorstep wile the party is going on. So, the audience

  2. (V) Verbal Irony: occurs when a character means the opposite of what he says. For example, “I love it when you criticize me” – sarcasm.

  3. (S) Situational Irony: is when the opposite of what is expected happens. For example, a swimmer who wins Olympic gold drowns in a bathtub.

Identify the type of irony in each of the following situations from Fahrenheit 451:


____ 1. Millie calls the old woman who defended her books “simple minded.” (p. 51)

____ 2. Clarisse is considered antisocial. (p. 29)

____ 3. Beatty explains the role of fireman to Montag, “We’re the Happiness Boys.” (p. 61)

____ 4. The minimum speed limit in this society is 55 mph. (p. 46)

____ 5. Millie tells Montag, “I went to Helen’s last night. It was nice visiting.” (p. 50)

____ 6. Beatty says all people in this society are happy because they are provided with entertainment they need.


____ 7. Mildred says, “Books aren’t people…My “family’ is people [on TV]. They tell me thing. I laugh, they laugh! And the colours!” (p. 73)
____ 8. Beatty states, “A book is a loaded gun in the house next door.” (p. 58)

____ 9. Mildred asks her visitors, “Did you see that Cara Dove five-minute romance last night in your wall?” (p. 95)


____ 10. “Children are ruinous,” states Mrs. Phelps. (p. 96)

____ 11. Montag enjoys burning up his bedroom (p. 116)


____ 12. The exiles look like vagabonds. (p. 153)

____ 13. The book burners are also book lovers. (p. 152)


____ 14. The atomic war lasts mere seconds. (p. 158)

____ 15. Beatty uses quotes from literature to confuse and manipulate Montag. (p. 105-7)



Authors like Ray Bradbury use figurative language to make their writing even more interesting. Read each of the sentences from Fahrenheit 451 listed below. Indicate whether the sentence is an example of (S) simile, (M) metaphor, (P) personification, (A) alliteration, (ON) onomatopoeia, (I) idiom, or an (OX) oxymoron. Note: some sentences contain more than one answer.


____ 1. “The train radio vomited upon Montag…a great ton of music made of tin, copper, silver, and brass.” (p.79)
____ 2. “Montag felt himself turning in a great circling roar ad buzz and hum.” (p.97)
____ 3. He walked out of the fire station and along the midnight street toward the subway where the silent air-propelled train slid soundlessly down its lubricated flue…onto the cream-tiled escalator rising to the suburb.” (p.4)
____ 4. “There was only the girl walking with him now, her face bright as snow in the moonlight…” (p.7)
____ 5. “…if you keep walking far enough and keep an eye peeled, they say there’s lots of old Harvard degrees on the tracks between here and Los Angeles.” (p.132)
____ 6. “With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python sitting its venomous kerosene upon the world…Montag flicked the igniter…” (p.3)
____ 7. “Montag lay watching the dead-alive thing [thrash its legs in] the air and die.” (p.120)
____ 8. The book leapt and danced like roasted birds, their wings ablaze with red and yellow feathers. (p.117)
____ 9. “’Well,” said Beatty, “the crisis is past and all is well, the sheep returns to the fold. We’re all sheep who have strayed at times.” (p.105)
____ 10. “The firehouse trembled as a great flight of jet planes whistled a single note across the black sky.” (p.32-3)
____ 11.Clarisse states, “’[The psychiatrist] says I’m a regular onion! I keep him busy peeling away the layers.” ‘(p.22)
____ 12. Montag says, “’She was as rational as you and I, more so perhaps, and we burnt her.” [Beatty replies,] ‘That’s water under the bridge.”’ (p.51)
____ 13. “After a moment, the bacon began to flutter and dance in the pan…” (p.163)
____ 14. “Montag’s hand closed like a mouth, crushed the book with wild devotion…” (p.37)
____ 15. “The Mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live…” (p.24)
____ 16. “As he stood there the sky over the house screamed.” (p.13)
____ 17. “’Montag, go home. Go to bed. Why waste your final hours racing about your cage denying you’re a squirrel.”’ (p.88)
____ 18. “There was a hiss like a great mouthful of spittle banging a red-hot stove…” (p.119)


____ 19. “The breath coming out of the nostrils was so faint it stirred only the farthest fringes of life, a small leaf, a black feather, a single fibre of hair.” (p.13)


____ 20. “The images drained away, as if the water had been let from a gigantic crystal bowl of hysterical fish.” (p.94)
____ 21.”[The machine] slid down into your stomach like a clack cobra down an echoing well looking for all the old water…” (p.14)
____ 22. “The brass pole shivered.” (p.35)
____ 23. “[Montag] could see the helicopters falling, falling, like the first flakes of snow in the long winter to come.” (p.129)


Symbolism occurs when an object or concept is used to represent something abstract such as feelings, beliefs, or values. For example, a cross is typically used to symbolize Christian religion. Below are some objects/concepts that Ray Bradbury has used as symbols in his novel. Your task is to determine what each of these items represents.




Object /Concept

What it Symbolizes

The hearth




The salamander

(on the firemen’s uniform)





The sieve and the sand




The mechanical hound




The phoenix

(on the firemen’s uniform)






Clarisse’s dandelion




The snake stomach pump and snake kerosene hose




The Television Walls




Candles (light)




Darkness




Montag’s cold parlor




Books




Fire




451 on the fireman’s helmet




The river and the rain




The operators







An allusion is a reference to something or someone familiar. Many allusions refer to historical or mythological figures/locations. For examples, “She’s as ugly as Medusa” is an allusion to the mythical creature with snakes for hair; she was so ugly, she turned anyone that looked at her into stone.
Use your own knowledge, the dictionary, or the internet to explain why Ray Bradbury used the following allusions in Fahrenheit 451.


  1. Faber asks Montag is he knows the legend of Hercules and Anteaus. (p. 83)

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  1. Beatty compares Montag to Icarus. (p. 113)

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  1. Granger speaks about the Phoenix. (p. 163)

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  1. The old lady quotes a man named Hugh Latimer who says to his colleague, Nicholas Ridley, ”Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace in England, as I trust shall never be put out.” (p. 36)

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  1. As Montag walked to his and Millie’s house, Faber began reading aloud to him from the Book of Jobe. (p. 93)

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  1. Bradbury ends his novel with a quote from the Book of Revelations. (p. 165)

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Satire is a form of writing in which the writer indirectly criticizes or ridicules something. This criticism can be directed towards society, institutions, politics, religion, etcetera. Although Mr. Bradbury does not come right out and say negative things, his opinion is made clear through actions and speech of his characters.

In a well developed essay, discuss the satire in Fahrenheit 451. Include a discussion of education, the government, the media, war, technology, and leisure activities. Explain what Ray Bradbury has to say about these institutions and how he uses his novel to express these opinions.


Ensure you complete an outline prior to writing your essay.



Part 1: The Hearth and the Salamander


  1. What is the significance of Montag seeing his reflection in Clarisse’s eyes?



  1. Clarisse causes Montag to recall a childhood memory in which a wish was embedded. What was the significance of the memory and the wish?




  1. What two observations does Clarisse make about Montag’s conversational mannerisms?




  1. What things do the McClellans do which cause them to be classified as peculiar?




  1. What final question does Clarisse ask Montag on the night of their first encounter? Why is the question important to the plot?




  1. When Montag enters his home, he stares at the blank wall, but in memory sees Clarisse. What extended simile describes how he sees her? What is significant about the comparison?




  1. Find two further similes Montag uses to describe Clarisse. Do the similes serve any purpose other than to characterize Clarisse?




  1. Describe the bedroom which Montag enters. Whom does the setting characterize?




  1. At this point of realization, what happens to the smile on Montag’s face, and what is his answer to Clarisse’s question?




  1. What event occurs that night which provides Montag with an impression of the state of society? What is that impression?




  1. In contrast, what does Montag next hear and long for?




  1. What test of love does Clarisse give Montag, and how does he respond to it?




  1. Describe Clarisse’s personality.




  1. What observations does Clarisse make about how Montag differs from other fireman?




  1. Describe the mechanical hound.




  1. What does “antisocial” mean? What does t mean in the society of Fahrenheit 451? To whom is the term applied?




  1. What does Clarisse say people talk about? Find some examples of representative conversations throughout the book.




  1. During the card game at the fire station, what question does Montag ask? What does it contribute to the plot?




  1. What is the significance of the refrain repeated by the woman whose house was burned? What did it mean? What is the effect on Montag?






  1. What does Montag think his feelings would be if his wife were to die?




  1. What are Montag’s comments about the people in the walls?




  1. What does Montag think about the old people in the walls?




  1. Summarize Beatty’s explanation of how the need for firemen arose.


Part 2: The Sieve and the Sand


  1. What is the meaning of the title of Part Two?



  1. What is the importance of the dentifrice commercial?




  1. Why does the Montag go to see Faber?




  1. What does Faber tell Montag about books?




  1. What are the three which Faber says are missing from society? Tell how each is indeed missing from the society of Fahrenheit 451.




  1. Describe the parlor women, their views, their conversational concerns.




  1. Why does Montag read “Dover Beach” aloud to the ladies?




  1. How do the women react?


Part 3: Burning Bright


  1. What is Mildred’s main concern as she runs out of the house?




  1. What feelings does Montag have about burning his house?




  1. While Montag was in flight from the scene of Beatty’s murder, what thought occurred to him about Beatty?




  1. What is the explanation which Montag and Faber arrived at for how so how much could have happened within a week?




  1. What are Montag’s impressions of the land across the river?




  1. When Montag complained about being unable to remember Mildred, what explanation did Granger give?




  1. What was Granger’s philosophy of life, taught to him by his grandfather, and handed on to Montag?




  1. Describe the effects of the war as Montag imagined them.




  1. What is the promise at the end of the novel?








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