You are on page 1of 5

9th Literature Summer Reading Assignments for 2016

All students are to read Ray Bradburys Fahrenheit 451

(If for some reason this selection is objectionable, please contact Nancy Wells at for an alternate choice.)

Each student enrolled in on-level 9th Literature/Composition is expected to have

Fahrenheit 451 read before the first week of school. Each student will be expected to
participate in classroom discussions and activities as we examine additional pieces of
dystopian literature during the first six weeks of the semester. At the end of the unit,
students will complete a writing assignment exemplifying the characteristics of dystopian
literature. A brief description of the book and a list of characters are included to help
prepare you for the reading.
Brief Description
Guy Montag is a fireman who burns books in a futuristic
world. He begins to doubt himself, his job, and his society
and becomes a book reader in a secret world. When his
supervisor discovers his hidden life, Montag must flee
Bradburys novel speaks against the dumbing down of
society, specifically on how Hollywood pop culture slush
and TV entertainment can create an entire nation of people
who are not only incapable of fighting for their rights, but
who dont even realize the importance of doing so.

Connection to the Curriculum

Fahrenheit 451 allows students to examine a dystopian novel in a science fiction genre.
Students will learn to recognize satire and see the role an author has in criticizing society
and/or government. The novel also provides students with the opportunity to see how an
author uses a variety of literary and plot devices, such as figurative language, diction and
syntax, irony, tone, mood, symbolism, characterization, and conflict.
Before you begin reading, view the YouTube video below. Ray Bradburys comments on
Fahrenheit 451 are quite interesting:

As you read Fahrenheit 451, keep in mind the reading guide questions below as you
determine Ray Bradburys overall purpose for writing the book. Answer each question
with specific and thorough details. When necessary, use text-based answers that draw
attention to specific parts of the text. Your responses to the questions will not be
collected for a grade, but certainly your ability to appropriately respond to these questions
will be evident through classroom discussions, activities, and a final writing assessment.
Hopefully, at the end of the analysis of the text, you will be able to answer these essential
questions: Why is it important to be able to read and write in society? Why are books
important? Why read? What truth can we learn from fiction?

List of Characters
Guy Montag
supposed to

A third-generation fireman who suddenly realizes the emptiness of

his life and starts to search for meaning in the books he is
be burning

Mildred Montag

Montags brittle, sickly looking wife

Captain Beatty

The captain of Montags fire department

Professor Faber

A retired English professor whom Montag encountered a year before

the book opens

Clarisse McClellan A beautiful seventeen-year-old who introduces Montag to the worlds

potential for beauty and meaning with her gentle innocence and

The leader of the Book People, the group of hobo intellectuals

Montag finds in the country

Mrs. Phelps

One of Mildreds vapid friends

Mrs. Bowles

One of Mildreds friends

Stoneman and

Two firemen who work with Montag

Reading Guide Questions for Fahrenheit 451

Part One: The Hearth and the Salamander
1. Montag sees his reflection in Clarisses eyes. Why is this important?
2. Clarisse causes Montag to recall a childhood memory that contains a wish. What is
the significance of the memory and the wish?

3. What two observations does Clarisse make about the way Montag converses?
4. Why are the McClellans classified as peculiar?
5. What final question does Clarisse ask Montag on the night of their first encounter?
6. Why is this question important to the plot?
7. When Montag enters his home, he stares at the blank wall but sees Clarisse in his
memory. What extended simile describes how he sees her?
8. What is significant about this comparison?
9. Find two other similes Montag uses to describe Clarisse. What purpose do the similes
serve other than to characterize Clarisse?
10. Describe the bedroom which Montag enters. Whom does the setting characterize?
11. At this realization, what happens to the smile on Montags face, and what is his
answer to Clarisses question?
12. What event occurs that night which provides Montag with an impression of the state
of society?
13. What is that impression?
14. In contrast, what does Montag next hear and long for?
15. What test of love does Clarisse give Montag, and how does he respond to this test?
16. Describe Clarisses personality.
17. Clarisse observes that Montag differs from other firemen. How?
18. Describe the mechanical hound.
19. What does antisocial mean?
20. What does this word mean in the society of this book? To whom is the term applied?
21. What does Clarisse say people talk about? Find some examples of typical
conversations throughout the book.
22. During the card game at the fire station, what question does Montag ask?
23. What does this question contribute to the plot?

24. What is the significance of the refrain repeated by the woman whose house is
burned? What does the refrain mean?
25. What is the effect on Montag?
26. What does Montag think his feelings would be if his wife were to die?
27. What are Montags comments about the people in the walls?
28. What does Montag think about the old woman and all the books he has destroyed?
29. Summarize Beattys explanation of how the need for firemen arose.
Part Two: The Sieve and the Sand
30. What is the meaning of the title of Part Two?
31. What is the importance of the dentifrice commercial?
32. Why does Montag go to see Faber?
33. What does Faber tell Montag about books?
34. Faber says three things are missing from society. How is each thing indeed missing
from the society of the book?
35. Describe the parlor women, their views, and their conversational concerns.
36. Why does Montag read Dover Beach aloud to the ladies?
37. How do the women react?
Part Three: Burning Bright
38. What is Mildreds main concern as she runs out of the house?
39. What feelings does Montag have about burning his house?
40. While Montag is in flight from the scene of Beattys murder, what thought about
Beatty occurs to him?
41. How do Montag and Faber explain how so much could happen within a week?
42. What are Montags impressions of the land across the river?

43. When Montag complains about being unable to remember Mildred, what explanation
does Granger give?
44. What is Grangers philosophy of life, taught to him by his grandfather, and handed
on to Montag?
45. Describe the effects of the war as Montag imagines them.
46. What is the promise at the end of the novel?

Related Interests