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Review: Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 takes us into the heart of a world where knowledge has been outlawed. People are consistently brainwashed by giant tv screens fitted to the walls in their homes. Everyone is desensitised, conversations are sound bites and books are banned. The story follows Montag, a fireman who’s role is to  root out books and destroying them. Unlike tradition firemen, the ones in this novel set fires rather that put them out. 

For a bibliophile the concept alone is upsetting and it really made me considering our current reality. I recently watched a documentary about rampant illiteracy in the modern world and it grieves me to think that people can’t experience the joy of reading. It worries me on a real level that some children are never read to at home and I fear this could be symptomatic of our societal ideas about the importance of books as a whole. #tinhat? As well as this we continue to see technology evolving and many of us now accept that it steals our time. In this regard the novel sits uncomfortably close to reality, particularly with character being voluntarily enslaved to their televisions. 

I found it a fascinating read that kept me involved throughout. Bradbury explores the idea that all independent thought can be abolished through collective ignorance. The people within the society don’t appear to to remain ignorant due to fear of punishment. They seem instead frightened and overwhelmed by ideas. Anything that may challenge their accepted norms makes them frantic and uncomfortable. The suggestion that people evolved to reject knowledge as appose to it being forced on them by a regime is terrifying and an interesting shift of responsibility.

One of the best characters in the novel is Clarisse. A odd seventeen year old who bumps into Montag in the street and from there begins walking him to work daily. She’s fascinated by nature, the world and why things are the way they are. She questions her environment in a way that Montag has never experienced. Through these interactions Montag begins to express himself as a human and his curiosity appears to be awoken. This sounds the beginning of his fall from grace and ultimate salvation. 

Having found the first part of the novel really intriguing and pacey, I found the ending to be unexpectedly philosophical. It moves us onto ideas about they cyclical nature of life, which I found to be a bit on the airy side. Overall a great read with plenty of large themes in a small package of 165 pages. 

Have you read Fahrenheit 451? 

What did you think? 

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8 thoughts on “Review: Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

  1. Ray Bradbury was a genius and way ahead of his time with Literature & story-telling.

    Fahrenheit 451 is one of my favorite books of all time. I read this book back in 2001. I still own it and still is amazing and scary if what’s always been happening. And speaking of Fahrenheit 451 HBO is adapting it into a movie starting: Michael B. Jordan & Michael Shannon. I’m very curious how HBO is going to pull off a movie like this. Hopefully, they keep it true and also, relevant to what’s happening today in our world.

    It’s sad, and that’s where everyone is headed. Can’t do anything to stop it or change people’s perception. Great review. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. He’s fantastic, I read it in a day. Very compelling. I read that it’s an amalgamation of some short stories he wrote. I like that he’s just like “yeah, I just threw it together” ๐Ÿ˜Ž when in actuality it’s more likely the result of a lot of deep thought over a lot of time. There’s been some awesome tv adaptations recently, Handmaidens tale is so good, my friend is raving about American Gods too. Hopefully they’ll do it justice! Fear of discomfort is the driver of all manner of terrors. & I think this book pays great homage to that!

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      1. Correct. The future looks scary and it will keep everyone at a paranoid level of this actually happening in the near future. Laws can be broken and changed over night. Our government is tricky that way.

        I have heard the ‘Handmaidens tale’ is good. I’ll have to watch it on hulu. American Gods for some reason does not peak my interest, but I’ll try and give it a chance.

        P.S I posted a new poem today if you want to stop by and laugh. ๐Ÿ™‚

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