Analysis Of The Book ‘Fahrenheit 45’ By Ray Bradbury
The dystopian novel, Fahrenheit 451, is the tale of what happens when books are considered illegal and people are forced to enjoy the books in secret. Fahrenheit 451 was written Ray Bradbury in 1953 and has been considered his best work. Bradbury was born August 22, 1920 and wrote Fahrenheit 451 at the age of 33. In 2004, Bradbury won the Pulitzer award for his literature. During his young years, he wanted to be a writer. His first official writing payment was towards a show, the Burns & Allen Show starring George Burns. After high school, he did not attend college due to his lack of money, so he resorted to going to the local libraries. For ten years, he would go to the library three days a week, Bradbury then told A&E that “Libraries raised me.” To earn some cash and support himself, he would go and sell newspapers, published short stories in magazines and even got his first four issues of Futuria Fantasia published in his own fan magazine. His first professional piece was the Pendulum which he published in 1941 and later that year he met the woman he would soon marry, Marguerite McClure. McClure would spend days as a Breadwinner, or someone who earns money to support the family. She used the money to support Bradbury in his work. This led to the writing of Fahrenheit 451. It became a classic instantly because of its themes, censorship and conformity.
Fahrenheit 451 takes place in America but it is never confirmed where in America it takes place. There were a few complications in this story, including an overdose, Guy Montag questioning why he burns books and basically murders people, and Montag taking books and hiding them in his house. The first complication was the overdose. Guy came home to find his wife, Millie had overdosed on sleeping pills. She was almost dead but the “medics” came to his house and saved her, making insensitive jokes. Montag hated them for making those jokes but had to be okay with it because they saved his wife. After that happened, Montag was at work and they were called to a house where they found a woman who had books. She refused to leave the house, even though Montag begged for her to come out of the house. He was forced to burn the books and the woman inside the house. This left Montag traumatized and confused, it made him question why he was in his line of work. This event also has him bring home a book. He hid it under his pillow and claimed to feel sick the next day. Millie was aware of the book and when his boss came to check on him she almost turned him in but he did manage to get away with it. He explained what happened with the book and then showed her the stache of books he had hidden. Montag and his wife decide they want to try and read the books Montag had found. Montag wanted to keep reading the books but Millie did not. She preferred the TV and the characters of the TV show she was watching. Montag was not going to give up so easily so he went on a search for someone he could talk about his findings with. Montag told Faber that wanted to hide books in the homes of the other firemen so they will become suspects. Faber does not agree at first, so Montag goes into a rage. After the rage Faber finally says he would help. Later, Montag returns home to discuss his plan with Millie but he is not able to. She had friends over and all they seemed to be doing was talking so Montag decided to read a poem. The women were moved but they were not able to tell Montag what part of the poem moved them. Faber uses his new invention, a two-way radio, to talk to Montag and tell him to tell the woman that he really did not mean anything and then burn the book. Montag refused and was telling the women that they had “empty” and “meaningless” lives.
At the end of the book, Montag has been told to set fire to his home by Beatty but Montag wants to. He wants everything in that house gone. Beatty also threatens to go after Faber after he spots the two way radio in his ear. Finally, Montag attacks Beatty with liquid fire and he collapses. The police, firemen, and the mechanical hound are now after him. He returns to Faber and finds out that war had been declared in his town. On his way to Faber, he stops at his house to collect books that Millie did not burn. Closer to Faber’s home, he has to cross a road, a very dangerous road. People travel at high speeds and hit people crossing the roads without a second spot. On top of it being dangerous because of the drivers lack of worry for human life, Montag was crippled in his leg. He knows if he does not pass, he will certainly die, so he goes across. He is almost hit but he gets across unharmed. He stops at a house, a fireman’s house. He leaves the books in the kitchen and calls in a fire alarm to frame him. He leaves knowing the fireman’s home will be burned. Montag finally gets to Faber and they discuss an escape plan. This is when he learns that the firemen unleashed a new mechanical hound for the manhunt on Montag. Montag is instructed to cross the river then go down the railroad tracks while Faber goes on a bus. Montag escapes the hound so the police uses an innocent man as “Montag’s Murderer” since no one has ever seen Montag. Montag meets an outcast named Granger. Granger is the leader of this group of outcasts. Granger tells him about the ways of avoiding the authorities. By reading and memorizing a book and then burning them. Each person memorizes parts of them and that person is that part of the book. Soon, they are forced to move camps because of the oncoming war. They find out after they move that the city was destroyed. They are all quite shocked and feel like they need to help the city so they all return, including Montag, to help with what they can.
The major theme in Fahrenheit 451 was censorship. The whole reason the government got rid of books was to have some sort of censorship. They did not want to have people to be able to have that fantasy mindset. They wanted them to only be able to watch and see people act out things on television and not be able to imagine things. Imagination was the last thing the government wanted people to have. They were censoring the world from the imagination that books can give people. Another theme that this book had was conformity. The government forced everyone to conform and have everyone be the same. Clarisse was different and everyone did not like her. Everyone believed she and her family was someone who had books even though when they looked they never found anything. Conforming to standards was important to the government and if you were different it was like you were cast out of society and no one would like you or want to be around you. Clarisse was different, she did not conform to and she was cast out. She came up to Montag and told him that most people pushed her away because she is different and does not conform to society’s standards but she was happy that he did not.
The main character in Fahrenheit 451 was Guy Montag. He was a fireman that had to burn books, houses, and sometimes people when they had a fire alarm. He was one man who questioned his job and really did not want to work there after he witnessed the death of a woman who had been caught with books and did not want to leave her house. Guy was someone who did not want to go through that kind of trauma anymore, so he did not. He did not go to work that next day, he said he was sick and refused to go in. Montag seemed to be someone who was very impressionable. Clarisse made a very big impression on him and he only saw her a few times for a few blocks to and from work. The woman in the house made a massive impression on him and he did not even know her personally. She seemed to be the reason that he became the “rebellious” outcast at the end of the book.
The book had a very good impact on me. I think that it did not really have much to do with biblical issues, the bible does not have much to do with conformity or censoring things. The book did impact me in a good way, it made me think about the way our world could turn. We are going farther and farther away from reading books and people do not like reading books as much as they used to. This is an issue that should be fixed or helped because I do not want our world to turn into the world that Guy Montag lives in. The type of world Guy lives in is a world that is a world that no one should have to live in. Imagination is something I could not live without, and the world Montag lives in lacks imagination. I do think that my peers should read this book. I hope that they think the somewhat of the same idea as I do because I do think that the lack of reading is an issue and it is something that needs to be addressed.
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