The English Teacher

Fahrenheit 451

Below are plans for teaching Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. These plans were used for a 9th grade college prep. class. These are general plans. There are writing assignments and tests associated with them.

                       FAHRENHEIT 451


     Guy Montag coming home from a satisfying day of burning
houses and books, meets Clarisse McClellan. [p.6]  After talking,
she asks him, "Are you happy? [p.10] [Pivotal Question]  He
realizes that he is not happy. [p.12]  His wife, Mildred,
overdosing on sleeping pills as jets going overhead, 'cut Montag
in half. [p.13-14]  He calls for help; two men show up- pump her
stomach, change her blood, nine to ten cases a night.. All his
old life is collapsing. [p.18] and Mildred wakes up without
remembering anything.  Mildred 'lost' in wall TV's scripts.
[p.20]  Clarisse's dandelion shows that Montag is not in love.

          Have students write three questions they have about the 
     book up to this point and hand them in. Discuss as a class.

     ##Student comment: society's weird- changed things.

     Read to p. 45.  Read out loud.(--  This depends on the

     The Mechanical Hound with eight legs and four inch 
needle to kill victim.  Montag thinks that it doesn't like him. 
[p.24-28] Clarisse tells him she's different from other youth 
[considered antisocial] and doesn't like the violence youths 
do to each other. [p.28-31]  Clarisse gone- when gets off his 
shift the next time. [p.32] Montag having doubts but the 
history of Firemen of America states that Benjamin Franklin
was the first Fireman- to burn books. [p.34-35]  They go to burn
an old woman's house,  and Montag steals a book. [p.35-40] 
But the old lady lights a  match and burns up everything, 
including herself.

     Quiz #1  3 Sentences 
     3 sentences into one..  [Describe the Hound??]
     [Dictionary definition of Hound from 'their' time.]

     Montag comes home upset and shook up and asks Millie
when and where they met. [[p.42]  He realizes the empty life he 
and Mildred especially, have, and she tells him that Clarisse is
dead. [p.42-47]  

          Read to p. 55   Read / Notes: discuss hints of the time 

     Montag 'sick,' can't forget the old woman- father and
grandfather were firemen. [p.51]  Beatty visits [p.52+] and
explains 'history' of thoughts going to mass media- avoid
offending or disturbing minorities or society. [p. 52-62]  

            4 sentences

     1. What does Beatty say is the purpose for the books being   
        destroyed and how did the practice evolve or come about?
     2. What problems does Beatty say that books cause? [What is
          he also saying, 'really' saying?     

     Read to p.75

     Beatty leaves and Montag decides never to go again to work
and shows Mildred his hidden books and begins to read to her. 
p. 62-68]


     Montag and Millie read- and Montag starts thinking about
what his society is really like. *Perhaps the Hound is at the
door.  He thinks he needs a teacher and remembers Faber.  
 Montag goes on the subway, blaring ads, to Faber's
apartment. -Faber calls Montag a 'hopeless romantic.' 
They consider planting books in firemen's houses.

to 85    
     10 things Montag realizes about himself and his

      What Montag realizes-  [by now]

     1. The bombers are going over.
     2. The stomach pumpers are anonymous.
     3. Mildred tries to kill herself.
     4. The parlor wall programs have no content.
     5. He is not happy.
     6. Clarisse is not sick but a misfit in a sick society.
     7. No one walks anymore.
     8. No one talks anymore.
     9. Firemen once put out fires.
     10. He was insulated from the death of those whose houses
           he burned.
     11. They in their society are unaware of nature.

          PUT HERE:??
    Orally- with class, ask for two questions and two answers.

     Montag rips Bible, forces Faber to help, and Faber gives
Montag a radio device for his ear so he can tell Montag what to
say to Beatty.  [p.90]
     Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles visit Mildred- [we learn about
'war conditions' and dysfunctional attitudes towards children. 
[p. 93+]  Montag begins reading poetry to them.  [p.98]

     to 95    10 things student realizes about his/her society.

     How different is our society from theirs?
     How is it similar?
     Going along with society without even questioning.
     Montag afraid to change, afraid not to change.

          Don't judge other cultures entirely from our standards. 
     Notice that every society has 'strong' and 'weak' points as
     we view [judge] them. 

     Beatty [p.106] is trying to overwhelm Montag with his
superior  mental learning.  An alarm is called in to the
firehouse and Beatty drives  this time and they all arrive at
Montag's house.  [p.108-110]

     to 105   

     1. What kind of help does Montag want from Faber?
     2. What kind of help does he get?
     3. What various places could you go for help if you needed


     to 115   2 questions and 2 things learned

     Beatty had 'hinted' with the Hound.  [p.113]  Mildred had
turned in the alarm.  Montag goes into shock about her
betrayal and the destruction of his house. [Dumbly innocent.]  
Beatty makes him destroy his own house with the flame 
thrower.  [p. 116] 

     to 137   T-sheet, compare Odysseus and Montag.

          Make a t-sheet  Odysseus on the left, Montag on the     
     right.  Compare them in a variety of areas.. to prepare for  
     a paper to follow.

Add in alternate paper- (FahrPap1.Cp1)

     Beatty finds Faber's little radio, and Montag burns Beatty
up, knocks out the other two firemen, and 'flames' the Hound
nearby.  [p.119-120]
     Montag realizes that Beatty wanted to die. [p.122]  As
Montag is fleeing, war is declared. [p.126]  He's almost run over
by a 'beetle' as he's crossing a highway. [p. 127-128]  He
'plants' books in Mrs. Black's kitchen.  [p. 129-130] 
     Montag [p. 131] ...'the things I've done in a single week.' 
Faber 'You did what you had to do... It was coming on for a long
time.'  Montag 'Yes, I believe that, if there's nothing else I
believe.  It saved itself up to happen.'
     Faber to deodorize the house.  Montag runs for the river and
the railroad tracks from the second Mechanical Hound.  
[NOTE: the war is to begin in an hour.]  He takes some of Faber's 
old clothes with him.  The Hound with a tv camera mounted 
follows him.  All citizens are supposed to look.  
     He makes it to the river.  The Hound turns away and he
drifts down the river.  He comes out, 'imagining' a farmhouse. 
The land overwhelms him and he sees a deer, thinking that it is
the Hound.  In the dark he is very aware of smells.  He finds a
railroad track and feels certain that Clarisse had been there. 
He finds a fire with men around, a fire that is warming, not
burning.  The men welcome him by name and give him a chemical
that changes his odor. They watch the chase on a portable tv as
the Mechanical Hound kills an innocent man as a 'scapegoat.'  

     to 147   Preview three part paper, with support..relating to 
     the t-sheet that they have been keeping.

     The men accept him and explain that they all have books in
their heads- which can be recalled.  Montag has the Book of
Ecclesiastes. [p. 139-152]  
     Their plan is to wait [with their knowledge] until society
falls apart and to help in the building, rebuilding of a new
society.  An important cause, to remember books and knowledge.

     to 157  Questions and discussion

     to 167  5 multiple choice and 3 t/f questions

     Granger tells about his grandfather [p.155-158] 'touching'
things, living life without guarantees. [a THEME?]
     The Bomb hits Montag's city from jets flying 5000 miles per
hour.  Montag sees in his 'mind's eye' the city rise up, and fall
down to dust.. with Millie and others he knows.
     Granger remembers the phoenix which rises from the ashes. 
His philosophy is to remember enough from the past to keep 
war from happening again.  He remembers a Bible passage [*not 
from Ecclesiastes] which says 'And on either side of the river 
was there a tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and
yielded her fruit every month; And the leaves of the tree were
for the healing of the nations.'
     **That is the point that Montag was to share!

     to 179  Test on Fahrenheit 451

     He wrote the novel in a basement typing room at the UCLA
library.  He wrote a play which varies from the book.  Beatty's
role is expanded and Clarisse lives.  Montag was named after
paper, and Faber after a pencil.

     Ray Bradbury tells how condensing books is similar to
burning them, that his books have been censored, and that
minority/special interest groups protested various books for
various reasons.  He says 'leave my books alone; write ones 
you like but don't alter mine.'

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