Book Review: Fahrenheit 451

Rating: 5 out of 5

“Fahrenheit 451,” a novel by Ray Bradbury, celebrated its 66th anniversary this year. The literary classic describes a world where censorship is in its extreme. The book follows a firefighter named Guy Montag who,  in this futuristic world, creates fires and burns books (hence the title “Fahrenheit 451”- the temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns). The government does not desire the average person to possess a sufficient degree of education in order to question the way the government controls their world. 

Montag meets a girl named Clarisse McClellan. An odd character to Montag, Clarisse knows a great amount about the new and old world. “I heard once that a long time ago houses used to burn by accident and they needed firemen to stop the flames,” she claims. Montag laughs, thinking this is ridiculous. “There’s dew on the grass in the morning,” she tells Montag. Montag never stopped to think about this fact. She then asks the fundamental question: “Are you happy?” From that point, Montag starts to question everything he knows. Is it wrong to burn these books? What information, captured in these books, is the government withholding from us? Is ignorance truly bliss? 

Through creative word choice and beautiful imagery, Ray Bradbury is able to paint a future possibility for the world we know. Technology controls the average person’s life in this book, such as Montag’s wife using Seashell earbuds and watching three screen, totally and constantly engrossed in the story playing in front of her. Ray Bradbury not only warns about the entrapment technology could have in the future but the methods the government will use for total control. I love this book dearly. When I read it when I was younger, I did not fully understand the strong metaphors and similes Bradbury used. Reading it now, the story cascades like a waterfall, pouring a story onto the pages that seems to come to life. “Fahrenheit 451” is a classic book that everyone must read.