This post is challenging, but hopefully it will get you thinking in the more philosophical, thematic way we need in order to take your writing to the next level. Your assignment is to pose a philosophical question based on Fahrenheit 451, and give an example of where in the text Bradbury might be addressing the issues it raises (you must use a quote). Then, you have to briefly respond to two classmates' questions with your own opinion. (Note you do NOT need a quote in your responses, but you DO need to do two of them.)
How should you get started on this tricky assignment?
The first step is to formulate a good question. That's also the first step in writing a good essay now that you have the freedom, and thus the responsibility, to choose your own topics. We'll be discussing question generation at this week's workshops, but here are some characteristics of a good question:
-It's open ended, allowing for many different answers instead of having a "right" one
-It requires critical thinking to answer, which means it is open to interpretation
-It address something that really matters in human life - our nature, right and wrong, death, etc.
-It makes people re-examine their biases or assumptions so that they can think new thoughts
Start your post with your question, in bold, then follow it up with some further questions or commentary that integrates evidence from the text. For example: "What is the role of faith in sustaining human existence? Bradbury has Montag read the poem 'Dover Beach,' which is about a loss of faith, to Mildred and her friends, one of whom breaks into tears. What is Bradbury suggesting they have lost faith in? Is this religious faith, or something different?" From there, I'd probably quote from book guy Granger's speech at the end of the novel where he talks about being faithful to the past. Then I would leave my readers with a restatement of the question: "In your response, please give your opinion on what Bradbury is saying, and/or share your own perspective on the positive or negative aspects of faith in human life."
Mr. Justin Biggs