Fighting the External World, Even the Mundane: Analyzing Montag's Character

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SWBAT analyze how complex characters develop over the course of a text by working to identify with Montag's frustration and fear in order to see his change.

Big Idea

Multi-tasking. Not as easy as we think it is.

Reviewing Homework

30 minutes

At the beginning of class today, everyone will share their homework (SL.9-10.1a). Students were asked to pick one quote in their reading that stands out to them (reveals character, beautifully written, outside connection can be made, etc) and write a paragraph explaining their choice (W.9-10.10). I'm really interested to know which quotes they chose and where there is overlap.


I like to give students freedom with they pick their quotes. I want them to ask themselves what they like about the text, something that many students wouldn't think about otherwise.


Take a look at two responses: Montag is a Pawn of the government and Mildred loves TV too much.

Read: Denham's Dentrifice

20 minutes

pages 77-80

Before we read these pages, we will discuss the title of the second section: "The Sieve and the Sand." First, I will ask what a sieve is (L.9-10.4). Then we will make assumptions about what the title might mean (RL.9-10.4). We actually learn the origin of the title in the next three pages, so our brief discussion beforehand will help us connect to Montag's memory about trying to fill a sieve when he was a child and feeling frustrated and humiliated.


Before reading, I will also set them up to understand what's happening in this scene because it can be confusing. Montag is on the subway trying desperately to memorize a section of the Bible, but a jingle is playing loudly and he can't concentrate. I will ask them to name the most annoying jingle they can think of. Then I will ask what they would do if, while they were taking a test, I played that jingle in their ear. This is how Montag feels. The stakes are high; he feels responsible for this Bible, thinking that it might be the last Bible in the world and he has to incinerate it. He wants to learn it, but he can't do it because an annoying jingle for Denham's Dentrifice is blasting through the speakers. Plus, he's trying to memorize the Bible, which is no small feat. The book is the sand and his brain is the sieve. Sometimes our greatest struggles are not the ones we expect (RL.9-10.4).


As we read, we will pause when we discover the origin of the title and understand Montag's frustration (RL.9-10.3). At the end, we will discuss the passage he is trying to memorize.

Wrapping Up

10 minutes

In the last few minutes of class, we will discuss the passage that Montag reads on the subway: "The Lilies of the Field." I will briefly explain how the books of the Bible work. Then I will explain their homework.