Fahrenheit 451


This book is a classic book that I had never read in high school and so I decided that I should read it now (well technically this past summer). I am glad I did because I really enjoyed it. I think Ray Bradbury was really ahead of his time in writing this, it's a little scary to see some of the similarities between characters in the story and people in our society today. Censorship and ignorance are two major themes in the book. He observes that people become too distracted by pleasure and entertainment to focus on what's important and too lazy or prideful to change. The main character's wife always has her "seashell" in her ear which is like a small radio. This reminds of people today and their ipods - everywhere people go they seem to have their earbuds in while they tune out the rest of the world.

The main character, Guy Montag, talks about his deceased grandpa and says that he misses what he contributed to the world. I thought that was an interesting way to view someone who has passed away, not just missing them, but what the contributed.

Summary: "Guy Montag is a fireman who lives in a society in which books are illegal. His job is not to extinguish fires, but to light them. He burns books, and all the firemen wear the number "451" on their uniforms because that is the temperature at which books burn. Guy never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then Guy met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. And Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do..."

A few quotes I liked, which play devil's advocate.

"Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely 'brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving. And they'll be happy, because facts of that sort don't change. Don't give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy."

"We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against."

This is an excellent book and I highly recommend reading it. I probably should have read it in high school (I was a master at Cliff's notes), but at the same time I'm glad I read it at a time when I truly wanted to because I know I got a lot more out of it.

2 Response to Fahrenheit 451

February 4, 2011 at 5:14 PM

If you haven't already read "1984", read it! Very similar themes to F. 451, but explored much more in depth.

June 29, 2011 at 2:40 AM

I'm really glad you liked this book! I read it in 8th grade and "Something Wicked This Way Comes" in 9th grade. He is a fantastic author. Did I ever tell you that Mom and I got to meet him and I have his autograph in my "Something Wicked This Way Comes" book?

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