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Language Arts: Mrs. Garcia
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F451 Dialectical Journal Samples
Below are two samples of how to write your dialectical journal response. The first one was written by Mrs. Garcia, and the second one was written by a student.

Starting on p. 3 with

“It was a pleasure to burn.”


and ending on p. 4 with

“…turned dark with burning.

This passage shows the perverse pleasure Montag gets out of burning things. It is clear things are not normal when we see a fireman who loves to burn. In the first sentence we see how he loves to destroy because he likes to see things “eaten” and “blackened.” These words usually are horrifying for people, but they bring pleasure for Montag. Also usually horrifying is the image of a python spitting out its venom, but in the metaphor comparing a dangerous python to the fire hose spitting out kerosene, we see the sense of power and enjoyment Montag gets out of yielding the hose.

            Further on, Montag likens his job to that of a conductor playing a symphony. He clearly thinks the act of setting something on fire is like a piece of art or performing an art.

            One final image that shows Montag’s pleasure at the horrific act of burning is the metaphor of “pigeon-winged” books dying on the porch and lawn. Sadly, while the books try to liberate themselves like a bird, they only die a pathetic death. Montag feels no pity and only thinks of humorously roasting a marshmallow in the flames.


Sample 2__________________________________________________________


Starting on p. 79 with “Shut up, shut up, shut up!”

and ending on p. 79 with “…shaft in the earth.”


This passage demonstrates the growing conflict between Montag and his society. Montag is trying to understand a past when books were used to solve problems. As he reads, the repetitive ad seems to try to hinder him. In frustration, he stands up and yells, “Shut up, shut up…”

“Insane,” “gorged face,” gibbering, dry mouth” make him seem mad with anger and confusion.

I think the ad represents Montag’s society; It wants to stop everyone from learning or even thinking. It uses technology as a supplement. This is shown by “chromium, tin, copper, silver, and brass.” The other people on the train appear to be “followers” as they “[tap] their feet to the rhythym of Denham’s Dentrifice.”

The personification of “the train vomiting upon Montag in retaliation” accentuates the altercation between Guy and his world. The train is protesting Guy’s action.



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