What are some songs that meaningfuly connect with the elements found in Fahrenheit 451?How do the lyrics or melody connect with characterization,themes,and atmosphere?Where would you place this...

What are some songs that meaningfuly connect with the elements found in Fahrenheit 451?

How do the lyrics or melody connect with characterization,themes,and atmosphere?Where would you place this song in the story?

Basicaly I have to pretend that im directing Fahrenheit 451 and I need some good songs that can relate to the story

Expert Answers
ktmagalia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As you know, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is a novel filled with symbolic interpretations and thematic discovery.  Your assignment to connect lyrics with its universal themes is an intriguing one.

The basic themes of the novel are shared with more detail on enotes, but they include the following: alienation, dissatisfaction with conformity, apathy versus passiveness of characters, the value and importance of books, change and transformation.

Visit an on-line lyric site, such as getlyrics.com, and search your "theme" by artist, album, or song titles.  You can also find references to themes within lyrics.  This will provide you with choices of songs with which you are familiar, and with which you can make unique, personal connections with alienation, conformity, and the like.

For example, at the end of the novel, Bradbury writes

A time to break down, and a time to build up. Yes. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak," Montag thinks as the book people move up the river at the end of the story.

I immediately think about the universal theme of "change and transformation" and a possible connection with David Bowie's "Changes" in which he sings

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes
But stil the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through

One can make a rich comparison between the book people and "never leav[ing] the stream".  These are the people that are "spit on as they try to change [the] world" and these are people that face change head on.

teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A perfect song for a movie version of Fahrenheit 451 would be one by the Talking Heads: "Burning Down the House." The song could be used to accompany images of Montag and the firefighters burning down the houses of people who own books, incinerating these books with blow torches, walking, or even going wild among the flames and blackened ashes of books swirling through the air. They would be dressed in their flameproof suits emblazoned with salamanders, impervious to the destruction all around them.

The pounding energy of the song expresses the excitement and sense of power Montag initially feels as firefighter. The song's pounding rhythms also block out thought, which is exactly what the firefighters aim to do with their destruction of literature. The lyrics even match:

Watch out, you might get what you're after
Cool babies, strange but not a stranger
I'm an ordinary guy
Burning down the house

Montag is strange but not a stranger, just an ordinary guy, burning down the house: not just individual houses, but the house of knowledge on which civilization is built.

As time goes on, too, the irony inherent in the lyrics (watching TV is hardly fighting fire with fire), lyrics which seem to match the novel could be highlighted to show Montag's disaffection with the work. I imagine scenes of Mildred glassily watching her view screens as the firefighting images become less glorious:

I don't know what you expect staring into the TV set
Fightin' fire with fire, huah

Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out" could accompany the malevolent Mechanical Hound and his hypodermic needle, raising the question underlying the novel: who let this happen?

Who let the dogs out?

Who Who Who Who Who?

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can't read Fahrenheit 451 without thinking of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire."  It is a chronology of the major political and newsworth events of the 20th century - more specifically - 1949-1989.  If you consider the book to have a political/social agenda outside of its obvious literary quality these lyrics would be a natural parallel as they include several other people, events, and trends that made huge historical impacts on our society.

In addition, you could look at the main refrain "We didn't start the fire... no we didn't light it but we tried to fight it," could be looked at in comparison to the novel in a number of ways.  These lyrics could mean that "we" weren't necessarily revolutionary - and therefore fought major change by doing nothing.  In the same way, Montag does his job without much thought as to why.

I encourage you to look at the links posted below - I'm sure they will give you even more insight into the many facets you could look at with these lyrics.

Read the study guide:
Fahrenheit 451

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