Why would society make
"being a pedestrian" a crime?
(Clarisse tells Montag that her uncle was
once arrested for this.)
2. One suicide and one near-suicide
occur in this book. One woman, who shuns
books but loves TV and driving fast in her
car, anesthetizes herself. "We get
these cases nine or ten a night," says
the medical technician. Another woman, who
cherishes her books, sets herself on fire
with them. "These fanatics always try
suicide," says the fire captain. Why
would two people who seem to be so
different from each other try to take their
own lives? Why does suicide happen so
frequently in Montag's society?
3. Captain Beatty quotes history,
scripture, poetry, philosophy. He is
obviously a well-read man. Why hasn't he
been punished? And, why does he view the
books he has read with such contempt?
4. Beatty tells Montag that firemen
are "custodians of peace of mind"
and that they stand against "those who
want to make everyone unhappy with
conflicting theory and thought." How
well are the firemen accomplishing these
objectives? Are conflicting ideas the only
source of unhappiness in their society?
What other sources might there be? Can
conflicting ideas exist even without books
that have been destroyed and outlawed?
5. Why do you think the firemen's
rulebook credited Benjamin
Franklin—writer, publisher, political
leader, inventor, ambassador—as being the
6. Why does Beatty program the Hound
to track Montag even before Montag stole
the book? Do you believe Beatty had seen
him steal books before? Or, is it that
Beatty had detected a change in Montag's
attitude or behavior?
7. Montag turns to books to rescue
him; instead, they help demolish his
life—he loses his wife, job and home; he
kills a man and is forced to be a nomad.
Does he gain any benefits from books? If
so, what are they?
8. Do you believe, as Montag did,
that Beatty wanted to die? If so, why do
you think so?
9. Since the government is so
opposed to readers, thinkers, walkers, and
slow drivers, why does it allow the
procession of men along the railroad tracks
10. Once Montag becomes a violent
revolutionary, why does the government
purposely capture an innocent man in his
place instead of tracking down the real
Montag? Might the government believe that
Montag is no longer a threat?