27 January 2009

Today you will continue working in the lab on your proposals.

I’m going to give you some materials to help with reading Fahrenheit 451.  Many of you are almost halfway through, and some of you have already finished.  I’m going to offer you a reader’s guide that includes a short essay on the structure of the novel, some information about Bradbury’s own experiences with censorship as well as an interview with him regarding his writing process and several questions for discussion, comprehension and analysis.

I’ll also give you a short handout discussing the 1950’s (Bradbury’s context for writing) and the Book of Ecclesiastes (Montag’s “book” of memory).

[I’ll upload links for all of these later today]

All of these are reference materials for you as you read, to help you make sense of the novel in a meaningful way, to help you pay attention to Nabokovian “detail.”  If you’ve read for plot or character, you likely need to go back and re-read the first half before we begin our discussion on THURSDAY January 29.

Lastly, in terms of journal prompts: Because this novel is part of our “Literature for Social Change” unit, I want you to write about the various kinds of social change the novel advocates, the various social critiques that Bradbury is offering.  Many of the things that Bradbury imagined technologically and culturally have come to be our defining realities. What did he have to say about these things–long before they came to be?  On the practical side, I suggest that you collect quotes or passages that crtique or advocate for change and analyze them specifically rather than attempting to do some generic or globalized writing.

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