Reflection: Debate Analyzing Montag's Actions and Realizations in order to Determine Theme - Section 4: Read: Beatty wanted to die


Before reading this section, about half the class did not think that Beatty wanted to die. They argued that it was a preposterous idea, after all, Beatty was the captain and enforced the law, so why would he enforce something he didn't agree with? Certainly a valid opinion. Many of the students who made this argument understood Montag's perspective and made concessions in their original argument. Some did not.


Maintaining an original argument can be important and respectable, but sometimes it's just plain stubbornness. In this case, I think it's a case of pride and stubbornness. There is so much information to support the idea that Beatty wanted to die, beginning early on in the text, and very little to support the opposite opinion. But it's hard to have an open discussion with students who hate to be wrong. In order to maintain a meaningful conversation, I insisted that students use specific details from the text in their argument. At this point in the year, they are certainly prepared to do this and it helps to push the conversation from mere opinion to opinion based in fact. And the practice prepares students to react to their peers who cling to their original thoughts, but can't argue them.

  Do we pity the villain?
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Analyzing Montag's Actions and Realizations in order to Determine Theme

Unit 11: Fahrenheit 451: Burning Bright
Lesson 1 of 5

Objective: SWBAT analyze how characters develop over the course of a text and help to develop a theme by tracing how Montag has changed and what he realizes throughout the course of Fahrenheit 451.

Big Idea: Montag thinks that Beatty wanted to die. Is he right?

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