Riassunto esame letteratura inglese, Prof. Casella, libro consigliato Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury
Analysis of Part II
The Sieve and the Sand — The title comes from a childhood memory of Montag.
When he was a boy one of his elder relatives suggested him to sieve the sand, let
the sand go through a sieve (un setaccio) in order to keep something, but it was
impossible because the sand passed through. This image is a metaphor, Guy tries
to apply yo the books, he’s aware of his utter ignorance, but he hopes that reading
books will keep something, unlike the sand. From reading a book something must
remain. He needs help, cuz nobody has taught him to read books.
2 fundamental meetings in his development with Old Professor Faber. He’s an old
retired Professor who used to love books to read to study and to teach in his
youth, he has retired from society because his points of view are completely
diﬀerent from the ones in fashion in this perdio. The symbolical meaning of Faber,
Quisque faber fortunae suae
in latin faber means smith\blacksmith. - everyone is
responsable and an active actor in shaping his own destiny. Faber is the active
agent in shaping Montag’s choices and destiny.
P. 33 — Montag begins reading books with Mildred, but she is completely
uninterested and careless about their content. She thinks that books are unreal,
and that characters and events are unreal. The only real thing is the family, and
what is broadcasted every night on the Parlour walls. This antithesis indicates,
what is more real? Those created on the books, or thos projected by the walls?
Guy starts to realize that his relationship with Clarisse was a friendship, and he
remembers Clarisse’s selflessness, she reflected other people’s soul and still about
the old woman sacrifice on behalf of her books and belief in culture. He discusses
about the injustices in the world, and the war cause by this injustices. A real topic
in the ‘50 when the Novel was published.
Unlike Montag’s meditation, Milly still beliefs in the opportunity in meeting her
friends, watching the parlour walls. She invites 2 of her friends for a special tv
program called the white clown that was on that evening. Montag feels he needs a
teacher to better understand books, thinks of Prof Faber, calls him and asks to be
received in his home. Mildred is arranging the night meeting.
P. 34 — Husband and wife are talking diﬀerent languages. Guy about social
injustices and the reason for books, Mildred about her meeting with her friends.
Where to find help? Thinks about professor Faber.
Analysis of III part.
P. 35 — Guy calls him and asks about books, Mr. Faber is sacred to answer, thinks
Guy wants to compromise him.
P. 36 — Mildred is scared that they will be ruined. Montag is visualizing the act of
burning books and using metaphors to describe the beautiful act of doing so.
“Millie? ...” - Husband challenges her by asking if the Clown is something real, if
the Clown loves her, and if it is useful. She is unable to reply. Slammes the door
and leave the house.
P. 36-37 — “Once as a child...” - He remembers the title of this part “The sieve and
the sand”. Idea of never forgetting the books, if you read them fast they can’t
escape perhaps. During his journey to the professor he carries the book, creating a
great scandal for the other travelers. The copy he carries is a copy of the Bible and
he is silently reading a passage from the Gospel. He reads it while they are being
bombarded by marketing elements. Dentifrice vs the Gospel, something
meaningless to something meaningful.
Pagina 7 di 12
P. 38 — Arrives at Faber’s home, Faber is scared to open the door. They recognize
each other, little little he understands that Montag has no bad intentions, because
he’s carrying a book. Faber sees the Bible, and comments on how the parlours
have changed the idea of Religion. “I want you to teach me to understand...” Guy
wants to become a pupil of him, in order to understand books and the real
meaning of books. This is also the real meaning of the metaphor the sieve and the
sand, to keep something from reading the book, to keep something fundamental
after reading the book.
Faber confesses that he is a coward, when several decades earlier he was unable
to defend the books, the culture, when there was a particular decision from the
government to eliminate them from human experience.
P. 39 — “We have everything...” - beginning of Montag’s conversion, no more
burning books but reading books. Faber explains that Montag is looking for what
was in the books, friendship, love, nature etc. The final truth is within ourselves.
“Three things...” - Counter lesson in comparison to the one Beatty gave him (read
the hole discussion). Faber recognizes in Montag a kind of ideal pupil, an ideal
continuator of his own mission. He may have failed, but someone will go own in
this battle for books, culture, the true real human values.
P. 41 — “Patience, Montag. Let the war...” - They have a discussion together,
about how to go own in their mission to save books, culture, to spread books and
culture. Montag oﬀers his money to have e printing press established, a secret and
of course unlawful, to publish books and to spread them among people. Montag is
too much naive and this idea is undoable.
P. 43 — “He picked up...” - They reach an agreement, Faber oﬀers Montag a
device invented by him, a kind of air phones (seashells radio) which can keep the
contact between the two of them when they are far away from each other, to keep
close contact, in order to guide Montag in his enterprises and following mission in
the next days, weeks and months. Faber is happy to help Montag to avoid him
saying something stupid to his boss.
P. 44 — “He was eating a light...” - Once he is home, there is the famous party
between his wife, Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles to watch the television program.
They have superficial conversations about the show, when all of a sudden Montag
turns oﬀ the TV. and begins asking his wife and friends very immediate and direct
questions about their life, husbands, children, the incoming war, how they brought
up and educated their children, about contemporary society politics and a recent
episode about the general elections. About the elections we are informed that the
candidate that won the elections was the most telegenic of the two.
Continuous interplay between the three woman, Guy and Faber in his ear.
P 47 — All of sudden Montag performs a book of poetry and begins reading a few
stanzas of a poem called Dover Beach:
Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Pagina 8 di 12
To one another! For the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night"
P. 48 — “Mrs. Phelps was crying. The others...” - Their reaction is diﬀerent, the two
ladies are shocked whilst Mrs. Phelps was crying, uncontrollably, because she has
recognized something meaningful in the lines. The little meeting dissolves, the two
return home, one shocked and the other in a crisis, and Montag returns thinking
about Faber and Clarisse, the two fundamental people in his life.
P. 50 — It’s time to return to his work, and Montag goes to the fire station and here
he has a complex and critical dialogue with his boss, he challenges him by quoting
lines of poetry, from diﬀerent authors (Sir Philip Sidney, Alexander Pope, Paul
Valery). Of course Beatty is overwhelming Montag, because he has read the books
and knows the meaning, whilst Montag is only at the beginning of his self
education. The conversation concludes with a victory of Beatty on Montag, he
recognizes he had been beaten.
P. 52 — The alarm goes oﬀ and all the fireman have to go for an emergency
intervention, with their Salamander (lorry) they stop in front of a particular house,
Montag’s house. Someone has denounced him, and so they have to burn down his
Analysis of Part III
Burning Bright - The title is extremely meaningful. We can find these words
(burning bright) in William Blake’s poem From a literary point of view,
Burning Bright refers Montag getting rid of Beatty by burning him; he sets him on
fire and so doing he gets rid of his boss. From a symbolical point of view it has to
do with the reawakening of the Tiger inside of Montag. The reawakening is
connected to his rediscovery of reality, the world outside of the “family”, so the
world outside of fiction is the real world.
The third part is characterized by allusions to myths and symbolical rituals. When
Montag escapes from his burning house, he takes a few books that he had hidden
behind a fence and goes to Faber’s house. Faber advises him to escape to the
countryside, and to get here you have to cross the river.
Crossing of the river: symbolical meaning, because he has to immerse himself in it
and comes out a changed and purified man (the same thing happened in Dante
and Manzoni per example).
Change of clothes: to avoid being recognized by the sniﬃng hound, Montag gets
rid of his old clothes and wears some of Faber’s old clothes. But in this sense,
Faber's clothes are new clothes for Montag.
“Shower” with whiskey: Faber has given him a bottle of whiskey and Montag pours
it on himself in order to hide his scent (like a sort of baptism, SORT OF).
Pagina 9 di 12
For the first time he is confronted by the wilderness, the forest that lies across from
the river, the real world of nature. Faber suggests him to look for the old railway
that had been built and abandoned, so he has to look for the tracks.
Railway tracks: finding them recalls another myth, finding something that brings
you to the right direction (like what happened with Ariane’s the thread, don’t say it
during the exam).
When he meets and is accepted by the group of outlaws that are gathered around
the fire, he recognizes for the first time that this fire is completely diﬀerent from the
fire he had known up to this moment. He also looks up to the sky and sees the
moon and the stars, and realizes that these used to be presences for which he
never cared for in the past. He realizes there is an intern universe around him and
beyond him, so a sort of spiritual renewal for him.
In the final parts of the novel he is asked by the leader, Granger, to drink a bitter
potion that serves to concealing his own physical odor in order to mislead the
Bitter potion: typical ritual, it occurs during the holy scriptures and in the book of
Montag is united with this group and they decide to march towards the city, that
has been destroyed (during the march he repeats some passages from the
Genesis and from Revelation). This passage refers to the reconstruction of the holy
construction of the celestial city on earth as in the book of Revelation.
So the final part is extremely dense and concentrated as regards to allusion to
myths, from classical to biblical, and ritual and symbolical actions.
Montag has been betrayed by his wife and her friends, and he is obliged by his
boss to burn his own house and books. Beatty has read several books, so he can
show oﬀ his literary culture even if he refuses them, so he teases and humiliates
Montag on Clarisse and her juvenile dreams. In the mean time his wife leaves the
house with a suitcase and complains that she has lost the “family”. Beatty praises
this fire as an instrument for cleaning, sterilizing, and purifying everything.
Montag begins burning his own house and Beatty declares him under arrest
because he is considered a trait and dangerous for society. He also still has the
earphone in connection with Faber but Beatty finds out and destroys it. All of a
sudden Montag revels against this situation, and turns the fire towards his boss
and burns him alive (this represents a reawakening moment).
After defeating his boss and the others, he is attacked by the hound: he is almost
killed from it but he succeeds in burning the hound and being only partially stung.
He is aware he has to escape so there is this dramatic description of his flight in
the middle of the night, his leg hurting him, until he is able to reach Faber’s house,
get help and arranging a future meeting somewhere else in the USA.
At the same time, while at Faber’s, Montag watches a little tv device in which he is
being broadcast everywhere. A kind of tv news broadcasting in real time, this is
how the police hopes to capture Montag.
After leaving Faber, Montag crosses the river and finds himself in a completely new
world, with other human beings, real presences, odors, trees, flowers. The right of
passage has to begin in a condition of darkness in order to reach the light the next
morning. He reaches the other side and finds himself surrounded by real nature, he
Pagina 10 di 12
doesn’t understand why all the animals are innocuous and then he sees a natural
fire burning in a part of the forest and people around it. These people memorize
books in order to keep culture alive. Meanwhile, the chase continuos, the outlaws
also have a tv and have been following Montag’s chase. We see the conclusion of
the case by the police with helicopters and the hound. They capture an innocent
man and declare that he is Montag (lie, fake news). Granger explains how the
police works, it is all for propaganda and they couldn’t just have lost Montag, he
had to be found somehow.
An enormous fleet of bombers flies over their heads and they are informed from
the tv that there will be an attack on the city and will destroy it completely. This is
paradoxical because after a nuclear attack everything should be killed, not just
citizens but also the outlaws in the woods (probably left alive to recreate culture
Common meal: another ritual, the group has breakfast together after the bombing
and symbolically it represents a common meal typical of the initiations.
After this they begin marching peacefully towards the city in order to see if anyone
has survived and to help the people and to re-found civilization.
The book finishes with an uncertain open ending, but also a happy ending. Those
who survive will have the task of creating new life and re-bringing culture into the
P. 52 — “Lights flicked..” - The destruction of the house is compared to a carnival.
“Old Montag…” - Connection with another myth, Dedalus and Icarus, Montag
dared too much, wanted to fly too high.
P. 54 — “It was pretty silly, quoting poetry...” - Poetry and literature can be
dangerous. “Give a man a few…” - Like Jesus Christ walking on the waters.... It’s
easy for Beatty to humiliate Montag, because he has read books and can use
knowledge and culture in the wrong and evil way.
P. 55 — “Montag you idiot!” - Faber is talking with the earpiece.
P. 57 — “He saw Beatty, a torch...” - Decides to burn Beatty and escapes toward
Faber. “Police Alert…” - Police sent a warning out to the city broadcast of a terrible
real fiction on all the TV sets.
P. 58 — “He washed his hands...” - First step of the purification ritual, he finds a
gas station open in the night and washes himself. Not the complete ritual but a first
stage. Then he has to cross on foot the boulevard, and also that crossing has a
ritual echo, anticipates the crossing of the river.
P. 60 — Here he meets Faber
P. 61 — “I’ve been a fool..” - he feels dumb about what he has done, and Faber
reassures him it was the right action to do. “I feel alive...” - Montag’s awakening is
contagious and mirrors itself also on old Faber. Faber finally returns to an active
life. “You’d better...” - This is the task, cross the river, go into the wilderness and
find the railway lines.
P. 62 — “Thanks and God bless you” - Don’t know which God, doesn’t matter.
“Montag, the tv set said…” - The network broadcasts the chase of Montag with a
new hound (Montag had burned the previous one).
P. 63 — “A suitcase…” - Montag gets new clothes and wets them with whiskey to
hide his smell later on. Pagina 11 di 12
5 mesi fa
I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher giorgiaaka1997 di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Letteratura inglese e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione - Iulm o del prof Casella Stefano.
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