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Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 Essay

1715 words - 7 pages


Fahrenheit 451 is a literary work of art. It is a novel about censorship and one mans fight against it. The story was written in the fifties, but is set in the future. Ray Bradbury’s prediction of what the future will be like is precise in some aspects, but completely outrageous in others. He pictures the future as a somewhat a dictatorship government. The government controlled everything in their lives. People don’t think either. Technology is made it so that people are given all their information through a television sort of a device that imitates a family. Books are obsolete, so they are burned. Our hero of this story is a “fireman';. Only, these futuristic firemen don’t fight fires, they burn books. They burn them so people don’t think, and so everyone is of equal intelligence. They don’t want anyone to rise up and be higher than the next person. This fireman’s name is Guy Montag. He lives in a condominium with his wife Mildred. The story sets off as Guy is walking home from work.
The Hearth and the Salamander
     As he walks home, he meets a 17-year old girl named Clarisse McClellan. She talks to him about his job and they talk for a while. He finds out that this girl lives upstairs from him. He returns to his home after talking to Clarisse, and finds his wife lying on the bed with an empty bottle of sleeping pills next to her. He calls the emergency hospital and an ambulance comes, pumps her stomach, and replaces her blood with clean blood. The next day Mildred remembers nothing about overdosing on the sleeping pills. After breakfast, Montag goes to work at the fire station. Over the next seven days, Montag talks to Clarisse more and more. On the eighth day, Montag doesn’t see Clarisse. He goes to work that day, and the alarm sound for them to go to a decayed old house. Montag finds hundreds of books in the old lady’s attic, and one falls onto his hand. He unthinkingly hides the book under his coat and begins to spray kerosene over the house. The old woman that owns the books refuses to leave the house. Beatty begins to light the fire, but Montag stops him. Then, suddenly, the woman strikes a match and lights the house. The spectators watch in horror as the old woman burns up along side her books. Montag goes home and hides his stolen book under his pillow. He asks Mildred if he has seen Clarisse and she tells him that her family moved away and Clarisse was hit by a car and killed. Montag stays home from work the next day and Captain Beatty came by to check on Montag. He started talking to Montag about the history of the fireman. He says that mass media led to the condensing of books so much that all thought was lost altogether. Mildred finds the book under Montag’s pillow and begins to say something. Montag stops her and Beatty continues talking to him. Beatty says that all books were diluted until only comic...

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