Fahrenheit 451

From ArticleWorld


Fahrenheit 451 is a science fiction novel written by American author Ray Bradbury; published in 1953. It surrounds a world of censorship and totalitarian government rule. Fire fighters start fires, books are burned, oppression is rampant and nuclear war is imminent.

Plot overview

The novel is set in America in the near future. A totalitarian government has taken over and censorship has become the norm. Books have been banned and destroyed as well as unnecessary. The average attention span has dwindled to almost nothing therefore “reading” has become needless especially since all schools and universities have been shut down. The protagonist, Guy Montag (a fireman), has decided to go against the system after meeting an intelligent 17-year old girl named Clarisse McClellan. She feeds him lost knowledge that he begins to crave. Guy begins looking for books to read instead of burn. His actions must be kept secret because reading books is illegal in this dystopian society. Because he knows the books he reads will eventually be destroyed, he begins memorizing parts of the Bible so he can one day pass it on. The world he lives in is enthralled by “reality television.” Viewers are glued to the television as they watch everyday occurrence play out in their living rooms. This is exactly what happens when Guy runs from the authorities that are trying to punish him for the knowledge he has illegally obtained. When Montag runs to the river, the police are unable to find him and, instead, use an insomniac in Montag’s place so the viewers can watch the capture and kill of the “criminal.” Soon after the spectacle, the city is destroyed by an atomic bomb. Montag and some new friends must rebuild the city and pass on the knowledge they have been memorizing and keeping safe.

Accurate visions

Many aspects of the novel have come to fruition, though the novel is fictitious. Currently the media is able to broadcast live feed from any event, such as when Montag was fleeing authorities. In 1953, when the novel was published, this was impossible. “Sea shell radios”, the earpieces used by the characters in the novel were the inspiration for the first Walkman. Reality television has become the mainstream as more and more viewers tune in, just like the novel. Montag’s wife, Mildred, takes anti-depressants, which were not at all common in the 1950’s but are quite usual in today’s society. Finally, America is being attacked and despised by other countries. In the novel Montag’s reasoning is such that American’s are disproportionately wealthy in comparison to the rest of the world.