Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury is one of the greatest writers of our times. Readers appreciate his wisdom and optimism in Dandelion Wine, his deep and humanistic philosophy in The Martian Chronicles and his fantasy and imagination in many-many tales and novels. With all his heart, the writer believed that human beings would choose the way of knowledge and progress. Among all of his works, Bradbury left us one terrifying and prophetic novel, which is called Fahrenheit 451. This temperature is enough to ignite paper. Though the title is not correct from the physical point of view and it takes 30 more degrees for paper to autoignite, the writer showed the persuasive picture of the lawful society that is obsessed with entertainment and ignores the cultural legacy. The novel was written more than 60 years ago, when the world was constantly changing in the attempt of overcoming the war and adapt to the current political, economic and demographic situation. The 20th century was the time revolutions, wars, innovations, and reconsideration of the previous values. Probably, Ray Bradbury was concerned with the changes he encountered and wrote his best-seller novel in order to warn the future generations about the consequences of their actions.
Fahrenheit 451 tells the story of a humble and hard-working man called Guy Montag. He works as a fireman somewhere in the US in the futuristic society. His main responsibilities are to fire and destroy buildings of the specific group of criminals, those who keep books at their homes. According to Montag’s boss the progress made the books unnecessary as they include outdated and unimportant information. However, some people did not want to fire the works of writers. Thus, the books were banned, and special squads of the firemen were hired. Guy Montag has a wife, Mildred. She does not have a job and spends the whole days in front of the “parlor walls”. These are the large TV screens hanging on the walls of the living room. Every set shows a different picture, and Mildred can simultaneously watch several shows and news channels. She is indifferent to the real life as shows take all her attention. Though Guy is a diligent worker, the author shows him as a doubtful and thoughtful person. First, he meets his neighbor, teen-age girl Clarisse, who tells him about her interests and views on the fireman’s profession. She believes that destroying books and house is a bad thing. Montag starts hesitating whether his job is useful for the society. Then he sees a woman, who burns herself when her books are on fire.
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