Originally published in 1953, “Fahrenheit 451” is a highly controversial dystopian novel written by Ray Bradbury. This novel is an adaptation of Bradbury’s short story called “The Fireman”. Bradbury is a highly celebrated American novelist and screenwriter. “Fahrenheit 451” is his most notable and popular work, but also his most controversial. For several years after it was first published, in many places in the US, the book was banned, heavily censored, or even redacted for public school use because of perceived “obscene language” or vulgarity as well as its depiction of society. The book has since been reinstated to its former glory and has won many awards.
In “Fahrenheit 451”, Bradbury points out how the government wants to control people and their thinking by not allowing them to read books. Bradbury paints a picture of a terrifying future where knowledge is not wanted and free thought is unheard of. His predictions are a warning that our society could follow the same path as the characters in his book. The story talks about a city where people who do dare to think or break the mold disappear without notice. Although many who read this book think that his prognosis of a docile, carefully controlled, brainwashed world is far-flung and unlikely, Bradbury is trying to show readers that if society continues on the track that it’s on, it may very well end up in a world of burning books and television families.
The image of burning books gave Bradbury the idea for the title of his book. He named his book based on insight from the local fire department that 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which book paper burns.
“Fahrenheit 451” describes a version of society where books are banned, and people spend most of their free time watching television. The novel follows the story of Guy Montag, a firefighter in a futuristic world where firefighters are asked to burn books instead of putting out fires. At first, Montag follows the Captain’s orders without hesitation and believes in the righteousness of the government. But after talking to Clarisse, a young freethinker who shared her unique view of the world with him, Montag starts to question his beliefs and the government’s intentions.
Will Montag, once an obedient servant to the totalitarian regime, break free and dissent? Or will the fear of consequences stop him from seeking the answers? Bradbury knows how to keep a reader in suspense till the last page of the book.