Reader-Resources-Fahrenheit451.pdf - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray...

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
NEA Big Read The National Endowment for the Arts 2 About the Book .................................................... 3 About the Author ................................................. 4 Historical and Literary Context .............................. 6 Other Works/Adaptations ..................................... 8 Discussion Questions .......................................... 10 Additional Resources .......................................... 11 Credits .............................................................. 12 Preface When did science fiction first cross over from genre writing to the mainstream of American literature? Almost certainly it happened on October 19, 1953, when a young Californian named Ray Bradbury published a novel with the odd title of Fahrenheit 451. In a gripping story at once disturbing and poetic, Bradbury takes the materials of pulp fiction and transforms them into a visionary parable of a society gone awry, in which firemen burn books and the state suppresses learning. Meanwhile, the citizenry sits by in a drug-induced and media-saturated indifference. More relevant than ever a half-century later, Fahrenheit 451 has achieved the rare distinction of being both a literary classic and a perennial bestseller. What is the NEA Big Read? A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Managed by Arts Midwest, this initiative offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book. A great book combines enrichment with enchantment. It awakens our imagination and enlarges our humanity. It can offer harrowing insights that somehow console and comfort us. Whether you re a regular reader already or making up for lost time, thank you for joining the NEA Big Read. Table of Contents Fahrenheit 451 “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
NEA Big Read The National Endowment for the Arts 3 Introduction to the Book The three main sections of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 all end in fire. The novel focuses on Guy Montag, a fireman. In the first section, we discover that Montag is a professional book burner, expected to start fires instead of putting them out. For years he has done his job obediently and well. Then one day, he is called upon to burn the books of a Mrs. Hudson, who prefers to die rather than leave her library. Furtively, Montag pockets some of her books, haunted by the idea that a life without books might not be worth living after all. As Montag begins to read deeply for the first time in his life, Fahrenheit 451 's second section traces his growing dissatisfaction with the society he is paid to defend. He seeks out the counsel of an old man named Faber, whom he once let off easy on a reading charge. Together they agree to copy a salvaged Bible, in case anything should happen to the original. Montag's boss at the firehouse, Beatty, senses his disenchantment and interrogates him until their confrontation is interrupted by a fire call. Responding to the address, Montag is expected to start a conflagration considerably closer to home.

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