Essay PreviewMore ↓
Imagine a culture where books are prohibited, where the basic rights illustrated in the First Amendment hold no weight and society is merely a brainwashed, mechanical population. According to Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451, this depiction is actually an exaggerated forecast for the American future – and in effect is happening around us every day. Simply reading his words can excite theories and arguments pertaining not only to the banning of books but to our government structure itself. Age-old debates about Communism and equality are stirred by the trials of characters in Bradbury’s unique world. By studying the protagonist, Guy Montag, and his personal challenges we can, in a sense, evaluate our own lives to see that we don’t make similar mistakes.
While the book is definitely a critique of society and of the government, readers are given many dominant themes to follow, and to find all of them requires several readings.
The main plot, following Montag, illustrates the importance of making mistakes in order to grow. For example, at the very end of the book Granger (an outspoken rebel to the book-banning laws) compares mankind to a phoenix that burns itself up and then rises out of its ashes over and over again. Man's advantage is his ability to recognize when he has made an error, so that eventually he will learn not to make that mistake anymore. Remembering the faults of the past is the task Granger and his group have set for themselves. They believe that individuals are not as important as the collective mass of culture and history. The symbol of the phoenix's rebirth refers not only to the cyclical nature of history and the collective rebirth of humankind but also to Montag's own spiritual resurrection.
Appropriately named, Guy is just a regular person who started out as a drone, following the dictations of his superficial leaders (his last name, Montag, is also ironic in that it is the name of a paper-manufacturing company). Eventually, however, he begins to realize that while reflecting the morals of equality in that no one was above the law, his society also takes away the power of an individual to make a difference. He starts out rash, inarticulate, self-obsessed, and too easily swayed. At times he is not even aware of why he does things, feeling that his hands are acting by themselves. These subconscious actions can be quite horrific, such as when he finds himself setting his supervisor on fire, but they also represent his deepest desires to rebel against the status quo and find a meaningful way to live.
How to Cite this Page
"Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Aug 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Symbolism is a major literary device that helps people see a book through symbols that often have a deeper meaning. A symbol is used to explain something in a different way, using images, objects, etc. instead of just saying it in words. As you search for a deeper meaning in a work of art or literature it can help you understand the authors intentions and the deeper significance of a work. In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, symbols help reinforce the major themes of the book. Fire and flames have been used as symbols by many authors.... [tags: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451]
749 words (2.1 pages)
- Fahrenheit 451 Imagine a society where books are prohibited, where the basic rights made clear in the First Amendment hold no weight and society is merely a brainwashed, mechanical population. According to Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451, this depiction is actually an exaggerated forecast for the American future, and in effect is happening around us every day. Simply reading his words can incite arguments pertaining not only to the banning of books but to our government structure itself.... [tags: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451]
889 words (2.5 pages)
- In the 1950 novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury presents the now familiar images of mind controlled worlds. People now live in a world where they are blinded from the truth of the present and the past. The novel is set in the, perhaps near, future where the world is in war, and firemen set fires instead of putting them out. Books and written knowledge is banned from the people, and it is the firemen’s job to burn books. Firemen are now the policemen of this time. Some people have rebelled by hiding books, but have not been very successful.... [tags: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451]
1121 words (3.2 pages)
- Fahrenheit 4511 In the futuristic novel Fahrenheit 451, the author, Ray Bradbury, expresses several problems that influence the story. Many of these problems have to do with the behavior of the people in the twenty- fourth century society. One major problem is that firemen have been given the job of burning books in order to stop the spreading of ideas, and to cause all of society to reform and therefore be happy. Many people do not agree with this and they try hard to keep books alive, even though they may be killed for it.... [tags: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451]
694 words (2 pages)
- Shortage of Books ”I’ve always said poetry and tears, poetry and suicide and crying and awful feelings, poetry and sickness; all that mush!” exclaimed Mrs. Bowles to Montag in Ray Bradbury’s book Fahrenheit 451 (103). Mrs. Bowles thinks written words can make an individual really gloomy and disconsolate. Because the goal of this society is to always be satisfied, and to stay satisfied people watch TV, made up stories, which never makes them think or wonder, that is why Mrs. Bowles is convinced that poems are nasty.... [tags: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451]
849 words (2.4 pages)
- Fahrenheit 451 In the book Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, the main character, Guy Montag meets a girl, Clarisse McClellan, who will tell him something that will change his life forever. Guy is a fireman, who ignites fires instead of putting them out. He burns house where books have been found. The reason that these houses along with the books are burned is because the government of this society does not want its people to read books. He then talks to a girl named Clarisse, who tells him of a past where people were not punished for reading books, but instead encouraged to do so.... [tags: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451]
331 words (0.9 pages)
- "Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years and he had never questioned the joy of the midnight runs, nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames…never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then he met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think…and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do. (Ray Bradbury-Fahrenheit 451)". Was Guy Montag the same person at both the beginning and end of Fahrenheit 451.... [tags: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451]
1139 words (3.3 pages)
- Ray Bradbury’s satire, Fahrenheit 451, is a novel full of symbols criticizing the modern world. Among those symbols appears The Hound. The Hound’s actions and even its shape are reflections of the society Bradbury has predicted to come. Montag’s world continues on without thought; without any real reason. There is no learning, no growth, and no purpose. “The Mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live in its gently humming, gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel back in the dark corner of the firehouse'; (24), wrote Bradbury to describe this hound.... [tags: Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury]
602 words (1.7 pages)
- Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury Guy Montag is a fireman in the future in charge of burning books. On his way home from work one evening, he meets his new neighbor, an inquisitive 17-year-old girl named Clarisse McClellan. She asks him about his job and tells him she comes from a strange family that does such peculiar things as talk to each other and walk places (being a pedestrian is, like reading, against the law). She asks him if he is happy and then disappears into her house.... [tags: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451]
3133 words (9 pages)
- Fahrenheit 451 Fahrenheit 451 is a sign of warning to today's society to look upon the problems for a realistic solution. It was about a society that frowned on curiosity and outlawed books. The story was mainly about Guy Montag who burned books for a living. The mood of this story is set with Montag and his wife, Mildred’s, mixed relationship. They don’t agree on anything and never communicate. They are entirely different from one another because of the influence of society. Montag was having what he thought to be great life, until he met Clarisse McClellan.... [tags: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451]
507 words (1.4 pages)
In a brief summary of Bradbury’s piece it must be noted exactly how this unyielding civilization developed as it did. Guy Montag’s boss, Captain Beatty, describes the problem by explaining that long ago, special-interest groups and other "minorities" began to object to books and literary works that offended them. This led to a sudden monotony in new stories, as writers tried to avoid slighting anybody and were afraid to voice strong opinions. The eerie fact about Bradbury’s work is that it hits a little too close to home: Schools worldwide are banning more and more books from their libraries and limiting the information that children are subjected to. This is a very evident form of brainwashing in that students only learn what teachers feel is suitable, a truth that is leaving growing amounts of people unprepared for their own futures and unable to cope with life when it hits them. Fahrenheit 451 shows one possible place for this prohibition to lead: eventual disregard for the written word and submission to the standards of an uneducated society.
Bradbury’s solid pace and good description paint vivid images in the reader’s mind and tell a daring story of change and self-discovery. Whether looking for a quick read or a thought-provoker, this book is a perfect demonstration of our right to read it (Fahrenheit 451 itself is a banned book). By asserting our literary freedom we all become a part of the greater good that is learning, and hopefully we will teach our children the same.