Fahrenheit 451, Week 4

Welcome to the fourth and final Online Book Club discussion of Fahrenheit 451.

How did you feel after reading the ending? Did you enjoy the book, or did you wish that the story had gone in another direction? 

The third section begins with Montag realizing that Mildred turned him in for the books. When she runs from the house, she expresses sadness over losing her "family" and her big television screens, but she shows no remorse over losing her husband. Were you surprised that she didn't even acknowledge Montag? Do you think all marriages in this society were like Mildred's and Guy's? From what we saw about Mildred's friends and their relationships, it seems like all human connection was superficial. 

Montag burns everything in his house, and then, after much needling from Beatty, he turns the flamethrower on Beatty and kills him. He then attacks the other firemen on the scene. I was really surprised that Montag took that extreme course of action. I expected Beatty to finally going to be kind and would help Montag in the end. I was confused by Beatty. I thought he knew too much about books and reading to not secretly be a reader himself. Later in the section, Montag thinks that Beatty wanted him to kill him. Do you agree with that assessment? 

I thought the first Hound was going to be harder to defeat than it was. Montag seemed to be able to burn it easily, even though he was injured. The second Hound was pretty terrifying, though. I can't imagine thinking that something that creepy and powerful was just set out on the streets. I was sure that the second Hound would smell Montag regardless of all the things he and Faber did to throw it off Montag's scent. 

The whole chase scene was pretty intense. The part that I thought was the most creepy was when the announcer instructs everyone to open a door or look from the windows in the same moment. That is just such a wild idea. The idea that Montag was the only one moving is just wild. That whole scene made me think of the television show, Person of Interest. Check out the trailer above to see how this show used government surveillance to track citizens. Can you see the connections between this show and Fahrenheit 451? What else about that scene stuck out to you? 

I was glad that Faber survived the Hound hunting, but are we to assume that he died during that big bomb explosion? Were you surprised that Bradbury threw in that war and bombing in the last few pages? 

What do you think will end up happening with the people in the woods that Montag found? Did you expect for him to find any people outside of the city? Do you think there are more spread out across the country? Do you think books will be able to make a comeback in their society? 

Throughout the book, Bradbury described technologies that were futuristic at the time, but many of those predictions have come true. Check out this list from the Washington Post to see some of the things Bradbury wrote about that have come to pass. How do you think he was able to write about future technology so accurately? 

If you enjoyed reading Fahrenheit 451 along with us this month, make sure to check out this list I created that features similar titles. Let me know if you end up checking out something from the list! And, make sure to leave a comment to let me know if you thought I missed anything important in this last section. 

Next month, we're switching directions and reading something a little more romantic. We're reading The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks—I hope you'll join us!