Fahrenheit 451 Essay: Example and Tips
Fahrenheit 451 summary
The events of the novel “Fahrenheit 451” take place in the near future (or in the present, because Ray Bradbury wrote a novel in the 1950s). In the book, the atomic war has just finished, but patrolling bombers continue flying over the city. The government has decided that people must be curtailed: they do not have to think a lot, but only work and have fun. People gradually turn into zombies, they do not talk to each other, do not walk along the streets, hate their children. Watching TV comes into the fashion (so-called “living room”, where all the walls are huge TVs) and riding in the city on jet machines at a great speed.
The country prohibits any books as propaganda of free-thinking, and firefighters re-qualify and their main concern is to come to the offender’s home and burn books together with the house. The protagonist Guy Montag is a firefighter and burns books all over the country. Once Montag returns home from work and meets his queer neighbor Clarisse on the street. She told wonderful things about the beauty of the stars, the rustle of leaves, and so on. But in the end Montag liked her and he began to listen to her, he began to look at things differently.
After a couple of days, Montag learned that Clarisse died in a car accident and her family moved. At the same time, a detachment of firefighters was called for the burning of books in one house, in which the mistress refused to go out into the street. As a result, the house was burned with a woman who quoted books before her death. Montag secretly grabbed a book from her house.
After these cases Guy thought about his work, the book. He told his wife Mildred to call to his work and say that her husband was ill. But unexpectedly, the boss of Montage Beatty came to visit them. He suspected Guy to keep books and began to tell that nothing was interesting in the books, they only hurt. After the departure of Chief, Montag showed his wife all his books (and he kept not one book). Mildred began to panic and ask him to get rid of them. Then Montag took the Bible and left home. He went to the old Faber, whom he once caught in the park when reading, but did not pass it on to the fire brigade. Faber then left his address and now Montag, not knowing where to go and talk with, came to see him. Faber listened to Montag and persuaded him to save books and act on the side of the rebels. Also, Faber gave Montag a small receiver that Guy placed in his ear – with the help of which the old man could hear what was happening around the firefighter and talk to him. Montag returned home.
At that time friends came to his wife. They watched the walls in the living room, but Guy switched them off and said, “Let’s talk!”. From the stupidity of the girlfriends of his wife, Montag got angry. As a result, he snatched a book with verses from the hiding place and began to read them. Faber asked him not to do this, but Guy did not stop. Mildred tried to explain her friends that it was a joke of the firefighters, but they all went home and called the police. Montag, without suspecting anything bad, went to work. He brought one of the books of Beatty and said that stole it and that he was sorry. Beatty praised him, saying that everybody did it at some point. The fire station got a call and everyone sat in the fire truck. It turned out that the firemen arrived at Montag’s house.
Mildred left by taxi. Beatty gave Montag a flamethrower and said that he himself would burn his books. Montag turned to Beatty and burned him, hit two of his colleagues. Then he burnt a mechanical dog that was tuned to Montag’s smell. Guy decided to escape from the city. On the road, he nearly fell down the car, all the “channels” of the country showed a chase after him, but he safely left the city and rushed to the river. Montag swam for a long time and, finally landing on the shore, saw a bonfire. Near the camp there were vagabonds calling on Montag and turning on a small TV. There they showed how the pursuit of Montag is coming to an end – the police mistook a young man walking in the street for Montag, he was destroyed by a mechanical dog.
Old people told that they were uprising, and also decided to protect the books. Each of the elderly preserves some famous book or some of its chapters in the head to reproduce it once. Montag learned that the war began again. In the morning, travelers walked away from the city. But they did not have time to go far away – the city was fired by bombers and destroyed. Travelers survived, all in the dust and blood, they again went on the path, carrying in their heads some books and wanting to change the world for the better.
Review on Fahrenheit 451
This title – Fahrenheit 451 – has a certain aura of mystery, which is why so many people are so attracted by this book. 451 degrees Fahrenheit is “the temperature at which paper burns.” Before reading the story of this book, associate and compare it with another mysterious and numeric name, “1984.” Both novels are about a despotic society driven by fear and censorship, where heroes leave the last traces of hope and freedom.
Let’s do a brief analysis of “Fahrenheit 451.” The author of the novel is Ray Bradbury. From the first page, a hit by the Spanish Nobel Prize winner Juan Ramon Jiménez is striking: “Si os dan papel pautado, escribid por el otro lado” (“If you get a lined paper, write over”). The author as if at once trying to show this quote with his attitude to public pressure, norms, oppression and any other type of violation of our freedom, and to encourage us to resist this.
The main character of Fahrenheit 451 is Guy Montag, a thirty-year-old firefighter in the twenty-fourth century (the novel was written in the early 1950s). As a fireman, Guy Montag is responsible for the destruction of not only the books he finds but also the houses in which he finds them. Books in this century are not read; they must be destroyed without questions. By analyzing “Fahrenheit 451”, let’s dwell a little bit on this person.
Guy Montag lives in a world where the past has been destroyed by kerosene hoses and government methods of brainwashing. In a few short days, this person turns from a limited and prejudiced conformist into a dynamic person, devoted to social change and life, saving books, and not destroying them.
The author of “Fahrenheit 451” is Ray Bradbury. And the book was written to show an evil censorship. Ray Bradbury wrote it, since he could not stand the censorship around, he wanted to speak out against it in his own way. Books have become illegal because they allow people to think and form their own opinions. And if this happens, the state will lose control of the people. Books are just one of many other things that contain ideas and nourish our brain, give us an extra push to think. Books store knowledge, and Bradbury proves that knowledge is power. Citizens did not have books, there is no knowledge, therefore, there is no power. A person without knowledge is nothing.
Description and literary analysis of the novel “Fahrenheit 451”
Fahrenheit 451 is the novel by Ray Bradbury. The novel was preceded by a small story “The Fireman”, written in 1951. And in 1953 the book itself, which brought the writer along with the “Martian Chronicles” world-wide popularity, was published. It is characteristic that both works can not be attributed to science fiction in a “pure” form – in each of them, ethical problems are so important that they become actually story-forming, defining and poetic principles.
For the structure of the novel “Fahrenheit 451”, Bradbury uses a system of opposition that penetrates the whole story:
- light and darkness;
- noise and silence;
- vanity and calmness.
Partly this was reflected in the title and composition of the chapters: two of the three built exactly in this way. In the first – “Fire and the salamander” – the key role belongs to the ambivalence of the image of the flame, which is revealed through these symbols. Salamander – the animal that lives in the fire – is an emblem of firefighters who do not save books from the flames, but burn them. It, as the embodiment of the destructive power opposite home hearth – a symbol of spiritual warmth, comfort and tranquility.
It is no accident that in this section, the protagonist of the novel, Guy Montag, meets Clarissa. Her distinct face and sincerity contrast with the frozen features of Montag’s wife Mildred, and the warm house, where the Clarissa’s family speaks, is lit up with the darkness and cold of his own bedroom.
The image of the hearth is closely connected with the image of the candle, which is also not subject to unambiguous interpretation.
- First, the candle as a natural light source is opposed to the artificial light of electric lights of advertising and television walls.
- Secondly, the flame of a candle is associated in the mind of the hero with a love fire (Clarissa’s face seems to Montag illuminated with a candle). Finally, the flame of a candle is likened to faith and loyalty to its principles. A woman who, as Montag understands, could be his friend, Latimer says before burning in a fire, appealing to Nicolas Ridley: “By God’s grace, we have today illuminated a candle in England that I believe never to extinguish them.”
Another important image-symbol is the mask as an inalienable feature of civilization, where aggressive mediocrity prevails. Bradbury describes this type of society, the main feature of which J. Hazing in his book “Homo Ludens” (“The Man Playing”) called purerism – survived by the syndrome of adolescent dejectivism and selfishness. So, Montag constantly feels a convulsive smile of a fireman in his face as a sign of his profession, and only a meeting with Clarissa, which seems like a hero older than the entire civilization of “teenagers”, melts this icy heart. Characteristically, the face of his wife is also a mask, and her soul, like the souls of many of their acquaintances, is constantly associated by Guy with a void.
The second section is called “Sand and Sieve,” which is an indication of the futility of all efforts to fill life with content in this city. A vivid example of this is the episode when Montag rides in the underground train with the Bible in his hands, but can not understand a single line, because it crashes awesome music.
Finally, the third section – “Burning bright”, whose name is a hidden quote from the poem by U. Blake “Tiger”. Here comes the final placement of accents, and Guy Montag makes his only possible choice, turning towards a bright, not a dark flame. It is symbolic that it is he who heads the chain of people walking in the morning races in the final, whose memory preserves the wisdom and knowledge of books.