Having used Fahrenheit 451 for my Bachelor’s thesis on Dystopian fiction, I spent a lot of time analyzing the book. It’s one of my favorite books- probably my favorite of Ray Bradbury’s, beating out even the magical Dandelion wine. Summary and review after the jump.
Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which book paper burns. Fahrenheit 451 is a short novel set in the (perhaps near) future when `firemen` burn books forbidden by the totalitarian `brave new world` regime. The hero, according to Mr. Bradbury, is `a book burner who suddenly discovers that books are flesh and blood ideas and cry out silently when put to the torch.` Today, when libraries and schools are still `burning` certain books, Fahrenheit 451 is a work of even greater impact and timeliness.
The idea that firemen start fires rather than put them out is absolutely scary to me. The novel is not an easy read. For those who have never read Bradbury, I suggest you keep this one on the shelf in lieu of some of his more lighter- haha get it?- works; once you’re used to the style, the novel reads beautifully. You feel disgust and compassion for the characters who do not know any better though, if they read books instead of burning them they might. Guy is struggling in the futuristic society and his split conscience is represented on the one hand by his wife, who is emotionless and a shell of a human being, and on the other hand by Clarisse, a neighbor who convinces Guy there’s more to the life he is living. Fahrenheit 451 is a warning to the future generation of what might happen. You might think that we as a society will never come this close to such a Dystopian-like civilization, to those I implore you to google book burnings. One may have taken place near your home, and maybe very recently. Bradbury describes things in such scary detail, things you may realized are very similar to scenes today. More than fifty years after first being published, the novel is just as relevant, perhaps even more now than then.
You can buy Fahrenheit 451, and I truly recommend you do- here