Discussion Questions 2

Content Questions. (Numbers indicate the chapter you should refer to.)

What do the numerals "451" represent?(Part I)  

After working on Mildred, the machine operator tells Montag that "we get these cases nine or ten a night." What does this reveal about the emotional stability of the populace? What other forms of violence are rampant? Why do you think this society has become so violent?(Part I) 

How did the government of this society gain control over the people? Explain using evidence from the story.(Part I) . .

Why is Faber so critical of himself and pessimistic about the world when he is first introduced? Why is he then willing to become Montag's mentor?(Part II) . .

Why are the characters on the television screen called "The Family"? What purpose are they supposed to serve in this society? What is the role played by the "White Clowns" seen on television?(Part II) . .

Why do you think Mrs. Phelps cried in response to Montag's reading of the poem "Dover Beach?"(Part II) . .

How does Montag feel as he burns his own house? Why do you think he feels this way?(Part III) . .

What revelation does Montag have about Beatty after he kills him? How does Beatty's ability to quote from literature actually foreshadow this understanding of his character?(Part III) . .

Why was Montag's capture depicted on television even though he had escaped?(Part III).  .

Do you think the author wants the reader to believe that Montag will be happy with the book people? Give reasons to support your answer. In general, would you say that this novel ends on an optimistic or pessimistic note?