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In Fahrenheit 451, when Montag reads a poem to Mildred's friends, how does the original...

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funny88 | Student | (Level 1) Honors

Posted August 23, 2011 at 3:57 AM via web

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In Fahrenheit 451, when Montag reads a poem to Mildred's friends, how does the original copyright date in 1953 have a connection to the women's comments?

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

Posted August 23, 2011 at 8:03 PM (Answer #1)

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Well, I have to say that I don't think the original copyright date indicating the year of publication of this book doesn't have any direct correlation with the comments that Mildred's friends make after hearing the poem that Montag reads to them, as I think that the poem relates to all people of all times and contexts. However, if you want a specific relation to the year of 1953, consider what the USA and the world had recently emerged from in the form of World War II. It is hard to overestimate the importance of this event. Even though the USA was only involved in this war in the later years, vast numbers of soldiers were killed and died fighting in this war, and the social, economic and psychological impact of this vital historical event, much like aftershocks of an earthquake, continued to be felt for many years afterwards. Now, let us relate this scenario to the final lines of the poem, "Dover Beach," by Matthew Arnold:

And we are here as on a darkling plain

Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,

Where ignorant armies clash by night.

This is an excellent choice of poem by Bradbury because it exposes the real state of humanity, and also would have echoed the experience of war for so many people who either were involved first hand or were sat at home dreading the arrival of a telegram that would announce the death of a son.

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