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Fahrenheit 451

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Fahrenheit 451

451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which paper, more specifically books,

burns. As a fireman living in a futuristic city, it is Guy Montag's job to see that that is

exactly what happens. Ray Bradbury predicts in his novel Fahrenheit 451, that the future is

without literature -- everything from newspapers to novels to the Bible. Anyone caught

with books hidden in their home is forced out of it while the firemen force their way in.

Then, the firemen turn the house into an inferno. With pride, montag carries out just that.

Until one day he meets a young girl of seventeen who changes his mind about

everything. Clarisse McClellan knows many things that Montag has never considered. For

instance, she recites poetry, the ideas of great philosophers, and most importantly, facts

about the world's history. When she first speaks to Montag of these illicit things, he is

taken aback and begins to question all that he has been told. Not trusting his current

knowledge and cursed with a burning curiosity, Montag begins collecting books from the

fires. One by one he reads the books, but they make no sense to him and he looks to

others for help. Unfortunately, Clarisse mysteriously disappeared and is later reported

dead. But, Montag did not give up.

He soon remembers an old retired English professor, Faber, He met one year

earlier. Faber jumps at the chance to help Montag and together they venture into the

unwelcoming world to try to show others the impportance of knowing their past. In light

of these facts, one theme of this story, it is not necessarily the eldest who is the wisest, can

be found in the relationship between Clarisse and Montag. The relationship that they have

is somewhat difficult to figure out completely; they are so far apart in age, yet they seem

as if they are in love with each other, or at least with what the other has to offer. For

example, Montag is astounded by the information and opinions that Clarisse has to offer

while Clarisse is interested in Montag's experiences as a firman. Another theme could be

Anne Bradstreet's quote "If we had not sometimes the taste of adversity, prosperity would

not be so welcome", meaning that unless one has bad experiences, the good ones can be

taken for granted. This quote proves to be true in Fahrenheit 451 because Montag's

knowledge of the past is lacking and what he does know is inaccurate.

When he encounters the truth, it is like an entirely different world being opened up

to him. Obviously, this newfound knowledge would not be as awesome if he had known it

all along. This, along with other aspects of the book, made this novel truly enjoyable. For

instance, the plot was incredibly original and ironic. To create a story in which the setting

does not permit such a book is pure genius on Bradburys behalf. The novel is thought

provoking and one begins to question? one's own knowledge and freedoms. Something

else to think about was the symbolism behind the names of the characters. For example,

Montag is the name, of a paper company while Faber is the name of a pencil company.

The setting, a large metropolis area, also added to the novel by emphasizing the isolation

of its citizens from the rest of the world, both physically and in their concerns. This was

symbolized by the way the city limits immediately turned into unoccupied forests.

The only thing that I felt needed improvement in Fahrenheit 451 was the role of

Clarisse. She deserved a longer role in the book instead of disappearing in the beginning.

Other than that, I thought the novel and its plot were intriguing and well laid out. Based

on these reasons, I would recommend this book to anyone who does not like to read. It

makes the reader realize the importance of books and all the information, experiences and

advice they have on their pages. I would also recommend Fahrenheit 451 to anyone who

likes a novel which predicts how things could be

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