Fahrenheit 451 Essay

1578 words - 6 pages

Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451The dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury depicts a tarnished future of the American society. A normality such as owning animals for pets or having balconies are prohibited, although printed books became the most illicit. Guy Montag is a fireman whose job is to extinguish all books and the houses in which they were in.451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature in which books burn. During the time Fahrenheit 451 was being written, there were several indicators that as society further advances in technology, there is more likelihood that books would become obsolete. "'If this goes on…' thought Ray Bradbury, 'nobody will read books anymore,'" (xiii). The title itself is a warning, and represents the consequences if books are no longer a priority in the world. "It was about how we as humans begin by burning books and end by burning people." (xv). The significance of the title Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature of which books burn.Bradbury's life began in 1922 in Illinois. During his lifetime, he got to experience major events that took a toll on Fahrenheit 451. The burning, banning of books, and censorship occurred during the time of publication of the book. Ray believes the increase of interest in television, the golden era of television, drives the interest from television. An abrupt interest in televisions occurred from the late 1940's to early 1960's. Televisions were selling by the millions. In the story Mildred Montag, Guy's wife, enjoys watching television and despises the thought of putting effort into conversations with her husband. "…It'll be more fun when we can afford to have the fourth wall installed. How long you figure before we save up and get the fourth wall torn out and a fourth wall TV-put in? "(35). His personal experiences of these events influenced his writing style and topics.Fahrenheit 451 takes place in an unidentified city in a future America. Throughout the book, there is ambiance of illusory happiness. Events happen in Faber's house, the Fire House, the boulevard with Clarisse, his neighbor, and the river. The setting changes to the woods later on. The time frame is not clear, though it suggests it is far into the future since two atomic wars have occurred since 1990. The society doesn't read books, spend time alone, or interact with others. Instead, they drive immensely fast, watch television on wall size sets, religiously listen to the radio, don't question why things are the way they are, and live in their pre-planned out world. It is an inhuman way of life.Fahrenheit 451 centers around Guy Montag, the dynamic character, who starts off close-minded and lived his life without question. After hearing of an ancient world where people lived unafraid, he changed his life. Clarise McClellan, a foil character, plays his 17 year old neighbor who influenced his views of life and his actions throughout the book. Mildred Montag, a minor character, is Guy's wife, who enjoys watching...

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