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In Fahrenheit 451, Montag recites several lines to himself as they walk along. What is...

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kayla1996 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted September 16, 2011 at 8:40 AM via web

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In Fahrenheit 451, Montag recites several lines to himself as they walk along. What is he quoting and what is the importance of the message?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 16, 2011 at 6:45 PM (Answer #1)

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Which particular section of the novel are you talking about? Do you mean towards the beginning when Clarisse and Montag walk together for the first time? One of the quotes that Montag actually says during this conversation is the official slogan of the firefighters, that, as you can guess, refers to their job in this dystopian world:

Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then burn the ashes. That's our official slogan.

There is a slight irony in this slogan, as really they obviously don't burn the authors themselves, but their books, and their is a slight jaunty tone added to the slogan in the way that the days of the week share the first letter of the author whose works are burnt on that day. However, what is important to note is the way that the total destruction of these books is referred to, so that even the ashes themselves are burnt again once the books have been converted into ashes. We are presented with a society whose desire it is to completely eradicate the presence of any books at all, and the slogan of the firefighters only serves to confirm this.

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