Fahrenheit 451


“We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the constitution says, but everyone made equal . . . A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind.”-Fahrenheit 451


In the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, he introduces us as the reader into a dark futuristic world where books, individual ideas, and even walking alone or with someone at night is outlawed, by the government. This is a world where society thrives on tranquillity and bliss; with out these simple thoughts and feelings the society will cease to be.


We begin our journey into this book by placing ourselves into the mind of Guy Montag, a fireman who enjoys and finds personal satisfaction in his job that was given to him by the government; to burn every book that they discover. That is until, Montag meets a unique young woman named Clarisse, who forces him to question everything that he has known up until that moment.


At this time Montag begins to disregard the very laws that he was employed to enforce, by secretly stealing books before they are burned (Montag at this point is going through an individual enlightenment). When his wife learns of his actions, she becomes hysterical, and an informant to the government about her husbands deceptions.


Later on towards the end of Montag’s journey, we meet an old retired English professor named Faber, who educates Montag, and speaks to him of religion, and how the world used to be. At this point Montag wants to escape his false reality. He wants to think, and feel for him self. Montag believes that he can find something that is missing from society in books.


At the end of the book, Montag Murders Captain Beatty from the fire department, because he discovered Montag’s stolen books. This is where Montag retreats from his known society, to escape death for murdering his captain. In addition, during his escape out into the desolate countryside his comes across a man named Granger, who also teaches Montag about philosophy, and religion. It is here where Montag is re-born, into a new life, and new world where he is free to think and feel on his own.


When reading this book, we were forced to wonder how a society could survive with out words, and own personal thoughts and emotions. We also wonder why the government would outlaw the written word? Is it that the government officials believe that people who read and think for them selves are threatening to the nation? Are the television parlors being used to pacify the citizens, to keep them from being independent?


By reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 we got a chance to see inside his thoughts. We saw that at the time Ray Bradbury was writing this book he was very concerned with the world and its future. We saw that he was very concerned with society’s loss of individuality. Fahrenheit 451 dealt with the very differences between individuality and conformity, as well as fear and persecution. For example, the people of this futuristic society walked along as if they were programmed robots all very identical to each other; being told what to think no attempts to think other wise for fear of punishment. Ray Bradbury might have also written Fahrenheit 451 to get people to understand what could or might happen to the world if they begin to stray off towards conformity, and lose their individuality and ability to speak their opinions.