What does the quote 'I hate a Roman named Status Quo!' mean in Fahrenheit 451?

Asked on by jdawgz2012

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This quote is advice that Granger gives to Montag as the city is burning.  It means that you should avoid the ordinary.

After Montag escapes from the city, he meets a man named Granger.  Granger is one of the book people.  The Book People memorize books using the oral tradition so they are not lost.  As the city is being bombed to smithereens, Montag and the Book People hide in the wild, perfectly safe.

Granger does not always make much sense, since he tends to talk in metaphors and allusions.  Granger tells Montag what his grandfather told him.  The “Roman” named “Status Quo” is really just the idea that you should avoid the ordinary.  He hates when things stay the same.  He says “Roman” because “Status Quo” is Latin.  The grandfather went on to explain.

'Stuff your eyes with wonder,' he said, 'live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.  (Part III)

This is a reminder of one of the book’s themes.  You should not let others make decisions for you.  Don’t just go along with the way things are.  Don’t do what others do.  Be an individual, and you will live a much better life.

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gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

As was mentioned in the previous post, Granger is sharing with Montag how his grandfather influenced him shortly after Montag joins the group of traveling intellectuals. Granger tells Montag that his grandfather once told him, "I hate a Roman named Status Quo" (73). This quote employs a double-entendre because "Status Quo" has two meanings. It is not only the name of the Roman, but it is also a Latin phrase meaning the existing state of affairs, particularly in regards to social issues. Granger's grandfather was encouraging his grandson to stand out from society and create his own path in life. Granger, a hobo intellectual, refuses to conform to society and lives his life as free man who memorizes books. He is not considered the "status quo" because he does not live the typical life of most citizens in Bradbury's dystopian society. In order to find happiness, one must be true to oneself and not conform to society's expectations. 

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