Fahrenheit 451

This is an interesting novel written by Ray Bradbury where he tells the story of a visionary world. A very different world from our own, which doesn’t have a space for books or education. The only thing that matters in this modern world is disregarding reality by embracing technology and entertainment. The television replaces the books, family time, friends hang out and any sort of real conversation between groups of people. The technology is represented as a means of oppression which the government use to prevent people from individual thinking or group conversation. The television has turned people into a living robot who doesn’t have a control of their mind.

People are fooled into believing that books are bad and useless. Therefore, It’s better to stay away from them in order to avoid trouble from the government. Our main character, Montag,  is a loyal firemen who works for the government and his captain is Beatte. Montag loves his job or so far he did. The job is an odd one for a fireman that’s because he would lit the fire rather than extinguishing it. The books are perceived as evil by the authority. When their spies finds information about houses that has books, Montag and his crew drives over to burn the house along with the books and arrest the wrongdoer. Some people even gets burnt along with their houses if they refused to come along.

There’s also an invention of the modern science called mechanical hound which is instructed to  find people that has the sensors set. It can also recognize different scents and follow them over. The society is oppressed and people are influenced under the notion of being happy means no reading or free thinking. Montag, is a dedicated worker until Clarisse comes along. She is a seventeen year old teenager who lives with her parents and uncle near Montag’s house. They both meet in the street for the first time and speak to each other. At one point in their conversation, Clarisse asks if he is happy.

Later, Montag discovers, he doesn’t know what happiness is at all. He observes his wife, Mildred, who is preoccupied with the devices such as television walls and seashell radios, that she doesn’t realizes what happiness is. All of these devices are provided by the government to withdraw people from reality. Mildred has attempted suicide number of times because she needed to escape. Montag examines that this isn’t happiness at all. He realizes technology can entertain but cannot provide happiness in life. Montag is drawn to Clarisse because of her curiosity and the way she perceives the society which Montag doesn’t quite understand. She loves observing people, watching the moon and isn’t interested in technologies. Though, at the same time, he is annoyed with her because she’s able to comprehend his life perfectly, clearly more than he does. Late night conversations between Montag and Clarisse bring out a huge change in Montag’s life. Clarisse leads him to the direction to self-consciousness and later they become friends.

Eventually, he comes to a realization that his life is a big empty hole that doesn’t contain love or happiness. He then starts to feel guilty of burning books. Afterwards, he can’t find Clarisse anywhere and later finds out that she is dead. A speeding car ran over her. Her death symbolizes that the society does not tolerate those who thinks differently. Then comes an old woman who’s a victim of the government. Montag and Captain Beatte goes to burn her house. But she was so courageous: she didn’t give up her books. Instead, she demands to stay in the house while it is ablaze. Montag feels inspired by her courage and passion, therefore, hides a book from her house which he later reads at home.

His wife Millie is shocked to find out about the books and afraid of getting caught by the firemen or the mechanical hound. Later, his wife reports him to the firemen and leaves. Captain Beatte and others burns his home down and gets into a fight with Montag when he refuses to surrender. At last, Montag kills Beatte and the hound with the flamethrower. He is then chased by a second mechanical hound sent by the government to track him down. With the help of Professor Faber, who’s an intellectual directs Montag to swim down the river that floats down the path to a camp of rebellious people like him. There, he meets a group of writers, bankers and clergymen. At last, the city is destroyed with bombs and the men hopes to start a new society where books and individual thinking won’t be illegal rather cherished.

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