Guy meets a teenage girl named Clarisse who changes his outlook on life and makes him want to read and gain knowledge. Unfortunately, that was frowned upon in the society he lived in, so he had to be sneaky. Eventually, he was caught and forced to set his home as well as his books on fire. He then killed his boss then escaped a huge police manhunt. After escaping the police, he joined up with other scholars and tried to save his city.
Commentary #4. The most important theme of Fahrenheit 451 is restriction of freedom of speech because of the fear to offend another person in the society. There are strict censorship laws in the totalitarian society of Fahrenheit 451. In the novel the job of a fireman is to start a fire and watch the forbidden literature burn, these firemen had never read the books they burn nor were they all allowed to keep one for more than 24 hours. “It was a pleasure to burn”, the opening line of Fahrenheit 451 clearly states that the destructive firemen enjoyed lighting fires.
Bradbury also uses the motif of fire to show the dangers of censorship. At the beginning of the book, fire shows destruction. “ A great nuzzling gout of fire leapt out to lap at the books and knock them against the wall” (Bradbury 3.29). The is a literal act of censorship. The books are being burned so people are unable to read them.
But in the novel, they burn all the literature showcased in the world. They believe books are cause of all bad things. But this is not true. People have lost so much. Guy Montag is the only one that realizes this due to a couple of people.
The main character in “Fahrenheit 451” is Guy Montag. One of the main things I understood about him as a person before was, he enjoyed burning books and houses, as quoted “It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.” (Bradbury 1) But then he meets a girl named, Clarisse McClellan, and she asks if he was “happy.” At first he said to himself he was but soon, he realized that he wasn’t. He was not happy. Since then, his belief and everything he stood up for all turned upside down. He started seeing a new perspective of his life, but in his dystopian society your own point-of-view and opinion is not allowed, which he fears for his own life.
In the book, firemen are manned with flamethrowers instead of fire extinguishers to burn books. People are brainwashed that books are dangerous and that they must be destroyed. Several book burning incidents in his lifetime had influenced Bradbury to plot the story in this way. According to Weller (2013), Bradbury wrote about the influence of Hitler’s and Stalin’s book burnings in a later introduction to Fahrenheit 451 which was published in 1966. This clearly shows that book burning was at the forefront of his mind when he wrote his novel.
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, is a uniquely shocking and provocative novel about a dystopian society set in a future where reading is outlawed, thinking is considered a sin, technology is at its prime, and human interaction is scarce. Through his main protagonist, Guy Montag, Bradbury brings attention to the dangers of a controlled society, and the problems that can arise from censorship. As a fireman, it is Guy's job to destroy books, and start fires rather than put them out. After meeting a series of unusual characters, a spark is ignited in Montag and he develops a desire for knowledge and a want to protect the books. Bradbury's novel teaches its readers how too much censorship and control can lead to further damage and the repetition of history’s mistakes through the use of symbolism, imagery, and motif.
The world in this novel has fallen to shreds at the hand of technology and its unbreakable control over people. We live in a world now where we control the technology, while they live in a world that is controlled by the technology. The people are lost without their “seashells” and “families.” They don’t know how to make a genuine human connection and care for someone. That part of their human nature has been stolen by the technological advances that have taken over their minds, so much so that people will try to get one another killed just for the television entertainment. They’ll turn in their neighbor and watch their house burn down because there is just no civility
The reader sees the true identity and belief of curiosity that has been hiding in Montag and the treacherous side of the once trusted Captain Beatty. When Montag’s wife reports him to the authorities Beatty has his own words to share with Montag, “A problem gets too burdensome, then into the furnace with it. Now Montag, you’re a burden. And fire will lift you off my shoulders, clean, quick, sure.” His words pierce Montag as Beatty then commands him to burn down his own home to clean up his own mess. Montag’s character takes a turning point in the falling action as he turns the flamethrower on Beatty killing him right then.
Dystopia is a society of human misery in which squalor and fear are rampant as the government enforces absolute power over its citizens, controlling them both physically and mentally. Dystopian literature is a style of fictional writing that explores societies crippled by deprivation and oppression. Since the citizens live in constant terror, rebellion is a natural consequence for citizens who want to survive. Winston is a citizen of Oceania who refuses to accept the conditions in which he lives and fights back. Rebellion is an element of dystopian literature that George Orwell uses throughout the novel 1984.