In this American novel written by Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 is set in a dystopian future is said to perhaps be his best writing, because the novel attracted and still catches the attention of people today. At the time of the novels release , Ray Bradbury had taken witness to the inclination of Americans towards book burning in the 1950’s. In today’s society the relevance towards the novel stands prevalent in the fact that most of today’s writing are shortened into highlights leading to shortened truths.
The first character that is presented in fahrenheit 451 is Guy montag. Who is a thirty year old fireman in the twenty-fourth century. In this representation of the future , people relief day to day stress in ways such as speeding down blocks in jet cars and with parlor walls. Parlor walls are televisions that take up the space of an entire wall and the only broadcast that are available are for entertainment and for propaganda that is produced by the government.
Although in present time the job of a firefighter is to put out fires , in the 24th century represented in this book houses have been fire proofed with a thin layer that surrounds an entire building making them resistant to catch flames. A new job has been placed upon firefighters, which has them build fires in order to burn books with tools like a hose that was once filled with water is now filled with kerosene to drench books making them highly flammable.
We see montag begin his day like any other typical day with a call that a hidden collection of books has been discovered. Arriving to the address with montag’s team, they see a woman in the entrance who is kneeling. At the time the gentlemen think she spouting nonsense in her grief of being caught. The men kick the books into a pile and douse the mound with kerosene, whilst ordering the woman to leave the house or else she will be burned with the books. The woman refuses to leave and instead of the men just torching the books , she reveals a match and burns the books along with herself.
This event jump starts a transition within Montag that has him questioning many of the normal things in his life, like why would a person die for books ,and to even to go far into his personal life to question his love for his wife. Montag says “Well, my wife, she . . . she just never wanted any children” (Bradbury, 26)proving that their connection isn’t whole because she see no need for a family. The excessive use of the Parlor wall has given his wife a fake “family”.After coming home from the traumatic day he questions his wife so much that they both can’t remember how they first met. These distortions in montags thoughts cause him to become curios and he starts to collect books himself from his job before burning most of them. He shows his wife the collection of books and they begin to read them , all of them but also trying to best hide their secret from mtags boss the fire chief. Another worry is formed from a mechanical dog that patrols the neighborhood in search of books. They are discovered eventually by the chief and in a spite of rage montag burn the chief alive instead the books he had collected. When he was given the option to do so. With the help of a friend montag comes into contact with an organization that can not only hide him from the police but also encourage his curiosity for the information of “destroyed” books.
Although this novel was based in a supposed future , the ideas are similar to events in the early 1950’s . The Women’s Auxiliary of the American Horde of Norwich, CT ,advocated the burning of ‘graphic’ comic books in 1955. The organization asked children to bring 10 comic books to burn, in place for one “clean” comic Book ”. The Women’s Auxiliary was an organization that was first gathered in order to help the veterans and the community.
Graphic novels like that of comic books were booming especially in the 1950’s around the time of the creation of the organization. With the vast success of these upcoming comic books children were accused of becoming delinquent from the readings within the books. The uproar of negativity towards the writings came from psychiatrist and doctors alike saying that the villance that was represented in the novels was intent for children to repeat them. With this rise of the idea that comic books caused bad behavior in children many artist and writers lost their jobs for “conspiring”.
Just like in the novel , how information like propaganda was sent to the american people through their parlor walls this occurred in the early 1950’s. The Us Senator at the time Joseph McCarthy created a list of screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and through other platforms of American entertainment authorities that he claimed to be communist allies but without any real proof or hard evidence. This gave life to an age of paranoia called McCarthyism. This lead to propaganda being spread across america with the help of radios , newspapers , and even television broadcast.
This novel was and always will be very compelling in its argument that america’s censorship could and is leading to dangerous ideas. With complete censorship like in novel that is done by the government , this action ratifies the basic american writes of freedom of speech. The freedom of speech really and truly is the basis of our country and with the downfall of that, also will come the downfall of our individualism and idealism for a great melting pot of a country.
Ray Bradbury’s, Fahrenheit 451 novel tells the outlook of a possible dystopian future that states that reading books are bad and that most reading should be censored. Overall, Ray Bradbury poured his thoughts onto paper and portrayed a very realistic world that connects with so many events in recent history. He also represented on how dangerous the advance of technology in the future could cause such dependence that people would eventually no even be needed for strenuous task like that of an EMT or even doctors.