Fahrenheit 451...The Temperature at Which Books Bu
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Fahrenheit 451...The Temperature at Which Books Burn
Fahrenheit 451 is a classic example of novels written in the science fiction genre of the early fifties. Its author, Ray Bradbury, attempts to describe a possible future that would be worse than the concurrent one. It is a future with the world coming down upon its inhabitants. Despite this alarming possibility, it is still a very interesting novel to read. It has a very unique story line with rich detail describing what life is like in their world. Here then is a short summary of the readerís journey to a land of strange horrors and mysteries, a land in another dimension, the land of Fahrenheit 451.
Imagine being ordered to burn books, and to burn the houses that held them. This describes the life of Guy Montag, the novelís main character. He was a fireman. Firemen were paid to burn books because people believed that the words written inside were nonsense and irrelevant babble. One day on his way back from work he met a girl, Clarisse, a new neighbour, who told him about a time in the past when books were legal and popular. The next day at work, the alarm sent the firemen to an old house where an old woman lived. When the firemen where about to burn the house, the old lady insisted that she be burned with the books because she preferred not to be persecuted by the world. The event prompted Guy to begin to collect books, taking one at subsequent exterminations. He did this secretively without even telling his wife. Several days later he woke up sick in bed. Suspecting Montag was not really sick, his boss, the fire chief came to visit him. When the chief arrived he told Montag about the origin of the firemen. On another day when Guy came home from work, he found friends of his wife gathered in the house. When the women say him holding a book, Guy read it out loud them. The women were horrified. The next day at work when the alarm rang, the firemen went to his house. He was told that his wifeís friends had tipped them off. Guy was ordered to burn his house with a flame-thrower. Guy complies with this order but at the end he turns on the fire chief and torches him. The scene described is quite vivid and gruesome. (p.119) He did this out of rage as the chief had been taunting him all his life. Terrified, Guy flees the scene on foot. He is being chased by a mechanical robot (dog-like) but successfully eludes it at the riverís edge. He floats down the river until he feels far enough from the city. Climbing out of the river he begins to walk in the direction of the countryside where he has heard that other fugitives of his society live. Leaving a forested area, he comes upon some old rail tracks where the rumoured homeless "Havardians" with their knowledge of books are said to have gathered. After travelling for a while down the tracks he comes to a group of these people. They are watching news of Montag and his capture. The people tell him that whenever the authorities lose track of a person, they find a suitable odd ball and use him as a replacement but blur the image enough as not to tell. Within minutes they discuss how they live and about the new war which is beginning. Before long, there is a screech of jets above their heads heading for the city. When they arrive, bombs are dropped destroying the city. Montag joins the wanderers heading off to make a new life with them.
In my opinion I think Fahrenheit 451 is an excellent science fiction book. It captures the reality of life for the characters and portrays them using an understandable method. I believe that this was a story of the fight for individual freedom and to be content with oneself. For example throughout this book Montag, the main character is always seeking knowledge and the truth from which members of society were deprived of. The author, Ray Bradbury has just not written a story for pleasure but with a moral. He once stated "I donít
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Fahrenheit 451, Social science fiction, Guy Montag, Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit, Guy, Book:Fahrenheit 451
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