This interactive CD-ROM contains a full-version study guide .pdf file. Pages can be printed off as needed or students can enter answers directly on the computer and save their work-in-progress; parents can also grade work on the computer, leaving comments and notes within the file. Answers are not automatically graded, as most answers are in essay-form. This CD-ROM includes the study guide .pdf, answer key .pdf, and and ReadMe file; the booklet is not included. Work must be printed out, and cannot be completed on the computer. Middle & High School guides take approximately from 8 to 10 weeks to complete.
Guy Montag, a fireman of the future, is responsible for starting fires, not stopping them. In his society, books have been banned - all books, save the firemen's own rule books, which contain the ominous order: "Burn everything." Montag finds pleasure in enforcing the status quo - which is that pleasure in the ultimate good, and intellectual pursuits are bad because they breed dissatisfaction and superiority. At least, he finds pleasure in his job until one autumn evening when a teenage neighbor, Clarisse McClellan, asks him a simple, haunting question: "Are you happy?"
The question takes on greater urgency when Montag discovers that his wife Mildred has overdosed on pills in a suicide attempt. After she is perfunctorily and mechanically revived by technicians, she has no memory of her actions and resumes her distraction-filled days as though nothing has happened. She continues to insist she is happy, spending her time in the ironically named "living room" with her televised, life-sized "family" entertaining her from three wall-sized screens.
The final shock to Montag's complacency occurs when he and his fellow firemen respond to an alarm at 11 North Elm Street, where a woman possesses a contraband library. Rather than passively submit to the firemen's kerosene, she lights the match that ignites the books and herself. As a result of this self-immolation, Montag clearly sees a new truth: "There must be something in books, things we can't imagine..." and perhaps, he thinks, that something can heal not only his life and his marriage, but also his happiness-hunting society.
And so Montag begins to read forbidden books that he has hidden in his home, putting his career and life in danger. With the help of Faber, a former professor of literature, Montag seeks a way to help - or force - his society to remember what it has forgotten. With Fire Captain Beatty, the firemen, and their lethal Mechanical Hound in pursuit of him, Montag races against time to save a society unaware that it is heading toward self-destruction.
Grade Level: 10-12
Setting: Futuristic United States