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Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451 - review

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In Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451, the author utilizes the luxuries of life in America today, in addition to various occupations and technological advances, to show what life could be like if the future takes a drastic turn for the worse. In this futuristic look at man and his role in society, he turns man's best friend, the dog, against man, changes the role of public servants and changes the value of a person. Society has evolved to such an extreme that all literature is illegal to possess. The intellectual thinking that arises from reading books can often be dangerous, and the government doesn't want to put up with this danger (Novel). The layout of Fahrenheit 451 is critical to the reader, guiding them to perceive themes and issues, from a specific angle. The novel is told through the point of view of Guy Montag and a narrator, and creates a unique perspective for the reader, allowing them to view the world through someone with first hand experience of this totalitarian society and then through the eyes of a stranger looking in. Through Montag the reader feels and understands his unhappiness and like him yearns for fulfillment through knowledge and truth. The narrator then allows the reader to see Montag's transition, from an ignorant but curious fireman, to a knowledgeable human, increasing our understanding of him, while exploring the totalitarian nature of Montag's society. ...read more.


Immersing herself in the unreality of her television and soap opera 'family', and her seashell radio, to escape the pain and dissatisfaction that she feels from her unfulfilling life. She also represents the entrapment of her society, even when she tries to commit suicide the government has machines and systems to revive her and keep her alive. Clarisse on the other hand is content and happy with her life; she appreciates the world around her and recognizes the beauty of the simple things like nature, which her society as a whole has forgotten. She thrives on her curiosity, questioning the people she is surrounded by, and the social structure that governs it, ironically it is Clarisse that is considered the outsider in this most controlling society. Through the extremes of these two characters, we can see how fulfillment in ones life is so important and that Clarisse who stretches the rules and boundaries in search of truth is the only truly happy one. At the beginning of the novel, Montag represents the middle ground between these extremes. He knows that the "utopia' he protects isn't as perfect as it is made out to be, however he lacks the questioning mind and courage to explore this. When Montag encounters Clarisse we see it lighting the match inside him, she forces him to open his eyes to the world around him, Clarisse has recognized his potential for individual thought. ...read more.


In the closing stages of the novel, when, Granger and the other book followers are situated around the fire, Montag sees fire in a different light, "... a strange fire because it meant a different thing to him. It was not burning it was warming." In this section, fire symbolizes warmth, sharing, and companionship. This change of representation also symbolizes the change of Montag, fire has changed with Montag, from being a destructive force and eradicating knowledge to a constructive force which now preserve knowledge. Fahrenheit 451 is a novel that was written as far more than entertainment. It speaks out against the repression of individuality within a totalitarian government, illustrating to the reader the damage that is caused through the loss of individual, the rights of freedom of thought and expression. Ray Bradbury's argument forces the reader to look at their own society and its social structure. The use of narrative structure, characterization, motifs, and symbols, reinforces and makes his argument even more powerful. Whether we agree with Bradbury's argument or not, one thing is for sure we must always attempt to better ourselves with knowledge and form our own ideas. If we do this, I think we have understood Bradbury's underlying message. I have included a quote that I liked, and that relates to this book. ' There is no knowledge that is not power... and all our lives we must search for power, and in that search, we gain knowledge. ...read more.

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