It is actually quite common that an idea accrues its greatest significance in a different time period in which it was conceived. Both Galileo and Poe were rejected during their time period for the ideas that they presented to society. They were simply too ahead of their time to be fully appreciated for the brilliance that they possessed, and it was not until later that they were uncovered for the intellectuals they truly were. Neither of them were extremely rare cases, however. In fact, this dilemma of “delayed discovery” is actually much more common than one would think. Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, was certainly one of these cases.
Although Fahrenheit 451 held some significance during the time period in which it was written, it warrants much more significance when applied to today’s contemporary society. Indeed, the “present” in which we are living may in fact be the “future” in which Bradbury envisioned in the novel. As the world becomes evermore connected in the “digital age” by mediums such as social media, and as society continues to be increasing its dependency on simply “what’s online,” perhaps our tendency now of quick, short, habitual intakes of information has destroyed our ability to reflect in our truest expression of actual thought. Our obsession of “quick consumerism” to have more physical stuff has, in turn, incapacitated our mental mouth—depriving it of the intellectual stuff that is just as needed. This is what Ray Bradbury argues. This is why he wrote Fahrenheit 451, and this is why the novel still holds incredible significance today.
Life and Background:
Little Baby Ray
Ray Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. Bradbury’s love for reading started at a very young age. He indulged in a variety of stories during his childhood, with his list of favorite characters including Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and even some of the cynical characters in stories by Poe (Umland 5). And based off of the genres of the work he created during his career, it is pretty safe to assume that “all of these stories with their fantastic characters and settings were dramatic influences on Bradbury’s later life” (Umland 5). As a child, he was absolutely fascinated by the idea of literature and the knowledge that was stowed away in books. Claiming even to have received the largest portion of his own education from his experiences at the public library, Ray Bradbury is known for articulating in his stories—and specifically in Fahrenheit 451—the significance of literariness and the high value that should be placed on reading (Evershed 1).
Making the Creation
The process that led to the creation of Fahrenheit 451 is actually quite an interesting story. In the early 1950s, Ray Bradbury searched Los Angeles for the perfect, peaceful place in which he could work and focus his great ideas into writing, claiming to have quite the “large [and distracting] family at home” (Kellogg). At last he found that place; it was in...