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

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

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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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