Reading Schedule for Classes:
  • Reading Assignment #1: Beginning of Part One to "But it was late and the arrival of his train put a stop to his plan."
  • Reading Assignment #2: From "The flutter of cards, motion of hands, of eyelids, the drone of the time-voice in the firehouse ceiling. . ." to the end of Part One
  • Reading Assignment #3: All of Part Two
  • Reading Assignment #4: All of Part Three

Specific Elements of 451 to Annotate:
Diction - be aware of the author's use of specific words and their impact on tone/mood, characterization, use of imagery, use of allusions
Characterization- the development of Montag over the course of the story
Thematic Areas of Focus-
  1. Mass Media: Mass media obscures real life experiences and interferes with the characters’ ability to think
    deeply about their own lives.
  2. Censorship: By making widespread censorship a phenomenon that emerges from the culture itself—and not
    one that is simply imposed from the government—Bradbury is expressing a concern that the power of mass
    media can ultimately suppress free speech as thoroughly as any totalitarian regime, like Hitler’s.
  3. Conformity vs. Individuality: In the society of Fahrenheit 451, most people conform to a pleasure-seeking
    lifestyle whereby thinking and self-expression are considered dangerous to the norm. Therefore, anyone who
    professes his or her individuality is seen as a threat to society.
  4. Distraction vs. Happiness: The people of F451 equate pleasure-seeking and distraction with happiness;
    however, the novel makes the case that one when one pursues engaging with difficult or uncomfortable thoughts can people achieve a real and meaningful relationship with the world and with each other. These real relationships lead to true happiness.
  5. Action vs. Inaction: F451 was published in 1953, just a few years after WWII—a time of great danger and intolerance—ended. The novel is concerned with the idea of taking action versus standing by while society falters. Some characters act while others passively allow the world to happen to them.

Annotations for Close Reading
As with any major work, you are expected to annotate the text.
Summaries can be completed by using bulleted sentences. If you need extra space for summaries, combine several smaller sheets of paper, cut and tape to be able to fold up inside the book in the appropriate place. The two mnemonic devices below are to help you remember what to pay attention to while annotating:

D.I.D.L.S. – A mnemonic for literary analysis
Diction: the denotative and connotative meanings of words
• different words for the same thing often suggest different attitudes (e.g., happy vs. content)
• denotative vs. connotative (e.g., dead vs. passed away)
• concrete vs. abstract (e.g., able to perceive with 5 senses, tangible, vs. an idea or concept that exists in one’s mind, intangible)
• cacophonous vs. euphonious (e.g., harsh sounding, e.g., raucous, croak or pleasant sounding, e.g. languid, murmur)
Images: Vivid appeals to understanding through the five senses
Details: Facts that are included or those that are omitted
Language: The overall use of language such as formal, clinical, informal, slang, syntactical structure
Sentence Structure: How the author’s use of sentence structure affects the reader

S.O.L.L.I.D.D.D. - Analyzing rhetorical elements and author’s style
Syntax: Sentence structure
Organization: The structure of sections within a passage and as a whole
Literary Devices: Metaphor, simile, personification, irony (situational, verbal and dramatic), hyperbole, allusion, alliteration, etc.
Levels of Discourse: Cultural levels of language act, with attendant traits (does the narrator’s voice represent a particular social, political, or cultural
viewpoint or perspective?)
Imagery: Deliberate appeal to the audience’s five senses
Diction: Word choice and its denotative and connotative significance
Detail: Descriptive items selected for inclusion
Dialogue: Spoken exchange selected for inclusion