Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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Book Information  
AuthorRay Bradbury
TitleFahrenheit 451
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Emmet Scanlan 
(Mar 09, 2009)

The protagonist, Guy Montag, is a fireman of the future whose job it is to start fires instead of put them out. Burning Books is his job. The government’s ideology is that books make people think, and people who think, think differently to each other. Arguments start, and in the end governments and institutions fall and change hands. So the books are burnt and the people kept in the dark letting the government think for them. Montag burns. That is all he knows. His father burnt before him and his father before that. Montag’s morals and ethics are challenged when he meets young girl Clarisse McClellan. Clarisse is radical by the day’s standards. Taking walks in the rain and even daring to look at the stars. She was kicked out of school for being different. Not listening to the government’s propaganda, the media. Montag starts thinking about his work, what is in the books that the government doesn’t want them to see? This question burns at Montag like the fire he uses to burn the books.This book is an example of a dystopia, social anarchy covered up by a corrupt government. The world is in chaos but only few people know it. Montag’s journey like Clarisse’s life is a lament of the past and a warning about the future. Thing’s change if you can be sure of one thing it is that.Fahrenheit 451 is written very hectically. With only three parts to the book and no chapters the words fly past you at an incredible speed and comprehending everything you read is a near impossible task. It is written with great care and precision daring you to think beyond what you normally would. Ray Bradbury showed a great understanding of what the future could be like considering it was first published in the mid fifties.however brilliant, exciting and thought provoking this book is it is also understandably not a book for everyone. It will appeal to mature readers, People with a good understanding of language. lets hope that the this book does not turn into a reality in the future. A truly remarkable read.

Submitted by Anonymous 
(May 15, 2006)

My advanced English teacher told us at the beginning of the year that we would have to write a critical analysis on a book that was considered to be of literary merit every quarter. When she gave us the list of acceptable books, I was disappointed to find out that none of my favorite books were on the list. I chose Fahrenheit 451 at random and started reading it. As I read the book, I fell in love with its unique style. Bradbury's use of figurative language created vivid images of this society in my mind. His book showed me that not all books that have literary merit are boring. It inspired me to read and enjoy other books on the list.

Submitted by Mike Montgomery 
(Jan 30, 2006)

One morning during my free period at college I was sat in the library and noticed they had three copies of Farenheit 451. I'd heard that it was hailed as a great dystopia (some even ranked it alongside Brave New World and 1984) and so decided to begin reading. The thing which immediately struck me was that it wasn't a hard piece of literature and very enjoyable, even peaceful, to read. By 10 pm that night I had finished it all.

The story is about a future society in which books are illegal. Anyone found in possession of one is either sent to jail or burnt alive with them. All houses are 100% fire-proof and so the Firemen come along with their hoses which pump kerosine rather than water and soak the whole inside of the house (the books are normally tossed in one big pile in the centre). Guy Montag is one such firemen, but after meeting a very strange girl which changes the direction of his life and the way he views things, undergoes a revelation that results in him trying to save some of the few remaining books. In many ways the society described is similar to that in 1984, though isn't quite as radical or extreme.

Many unexpected twists occur and Montag finds himself running from the law after commiting some serious crimes. He just can't relate to the people around him and their ignorant little minds which have been moulded into what the government wants; they're trapped in an artificial world where "Everyone's happy". But, as with all dystopias, we know they're all really dying inside (Freud would have probably put it down to serious repression).

As well as undergoing an immense physical journey through this society, Montag also experiences a profound personal one which lead to some amazing insights into the nature of man. Could you imagine a world without books? Well, Montag learns that it's not really the books that are all-important, it's what they mean and say. So, it's no doubt that him and others like him come up with a way of passing the information through generations without the physical need of books. There's hope for Plato, Aristotle, Russell, Einstein, Shakespeare, and Ghandi yet.... not to mention the rest of them.

Fahrenheit 451 is a books with rare talent which can be ploughed through in a few days and will no doubt remain vividly in your imagination for years to come. I recommend it to people of all ages - not only the school kids, but adults alike. In fact, if anything, being a little bit older adds to the experience (16 onwards and you're on a winner). Enjoy!

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