Ray Bradbury And Fahrenheit 451

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Author Ray Douglas Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois, to Leonard Spaulding Bradbury, a worker for power and telephone utilities, and Ester Moberg Bradbury, a Swedish immigrant. Bradbury enjoyed a well childhood in Waukegan, which he later incorporated into several semi-autobiographical novels and short stories. As a child, he was fascinated with magicians, and was a faithful reader of adventure and fiction. Bradbury could not afford to go to college, so he went to the local library instead. 'Libraries raised me,' he later quoted. 'I believe in libraries because most students don't have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression, and we had no money. I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.' Bradbury wrote well into his 80s, talking for three hours at a time to one of his daughters, who would put his words to the page. Though halting most of his public appearances, he granted several interviews in his later years and helped raise funds for his nearby library.

Albert Einstein once said, 'It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.' Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” a futuristic fiction written in 1953, is a book about the future of humanity where people have restricted freedom. It is a society where order and peace are present at the cost of individual rights. Back then, before all these new technological advancements there was very little technology controlling humanity. Now, phones are becoming more and more mainstreamed around the world. Considering this, what does our future hold?

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, depicts a world where technology goes beyond its limits. Many times throughout the book, Bradbury proposes the idea of carelessness of mass culture. This comes as a potential warning to societies considering one day that could be the unfortunate reality. Bradbury shows that the definition of happiness changes along with interest and care. Humanity no longer seems to care about anything. The definition of knowledge is also altered. They no longer read books. This novel was written when television was first released, and understanding how technology is molding society today, this book is a warning novel. Their happiness, ability to think and mindset is all changed due to technology. Fahrenheit 451 is set in the 24th century. If we look at our society today, we can easily find many similarities. Reality TV shows, lacking connection with real people and nature, sitting in front of screens, always looking for new facts, not stopping to think, less and less reading physical books. We can say that the future has already come upon us.

The main character, Guy Montag, a fireman whose job is to burn houses that contain books instead of normally putting out fires, realizes that people live shallow lives and is willing to change that. It is almost impossible to find people who understand him and it is also the case with his wife who spends most of her time watching television on the walls or listening to the radio.

After leaving work one day, Montag meets Clarisse, a teenage girl who has an eye for nature and asks him if he is happy. At home, he finds that his wife, Mildred, has swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills in a suicide attempt. After he calls for help, two men arrive and revive her. The next morning, Mildred acts as though nothing happened and watches as usual the shows on the television screens that make up three of the walls. Even though Montag and Mildred have been married for years, Montag realizes, after the incident, that he doesn't really know much about his wife at all nor is he actually in love with her. In contrast to Mildred, Bradbury portrays a growing attraction between Montag and Clarisse. Clarisse is represented to be spontaneous and curious whereas Montag is insincere and close minded. Clarisse has no worries or daily priorities: Montag is a follower of habit. Clarisse speaks to him about the beauties of life, the man in the moon, the morning dew, and the enjoyment she receives from smelling and looking at certain things. Montag, however, has never bothered himself with such 'insignificant' matters. Then, Montag starts to develop a deep sense of dissatisfaction with his life and profession. Some weeks later Clarisse suddenly stops meeting him, and Montag is depressed and concerned.

The firemen are then called to a book hoarder’s house. The old woman in the house refuses to give up her books so the firemen break in and begin to tear the house apart. In the house, Montag steals a copy of the woman’s Bible. The old woman then shocks the firemen by setting herself as well as her books on fire. A few days later, he hears that Clarisse has been killed by a speeding car. Montag’s discontent with his life increases more and more, and he searches for a paradise in books that he has stolen from his own fires and hidden inside an air-conditioning vent.

One day, Montag fails to show up for work, his fire chief, Beatty, decides to visit his home. Beatty tells Mildred that it’s normal for a fireman to go through a curiosity phase of what books have to offer. Then Beatty explains why books came to be banned in the first place. Beatty tells Montag to take twenty-four hours or so to see if his books contain anything useful and then turn them in for incineration.

In a hurry to read the books, he meets a retired English professor by the name of Faber. Faber agrees to help Montag with reading his books, and they came up with a dangerous scheme to change the idea of books. Faber will find a printer and begin producing books, and Montag will place books in the homes of firemen to make profession unworthy and to destroy the machinery of censorship. Faber gives him a radio earpiece called the green bullet so that he can hear what Montag hears and talk to him.

Montag goes to the fire station and hands over one of his books to Beatty. Beatty confuses Montag by bombarding him with contradictory quotations from books. Beatty does this to show that literature is unhealthy and too complex, and that it deserves to be burned. Suddenly, the alarm sounds, and they rush off to answer the call, only to find that the alarm is at Montag’s own house. Mildred gets into a cab with her suitcase, and Montag realizes that his own wife has betrayed him.

Beatty forces Montag to burn the house himself; when he is done, Beatty places him under arrest and instagates Montag causing him to turn the flamethrower on his boss and burns him completely. The Mechanical Hound, a machine that Beatty has set to attack Montag, injects Montag’s leg with a large dose of anesthetic. Montag destroyed the hound with his flamethrower; then he walks off the numbness in his leg and escapes with books that were hidden in his backyard.

Montag goes to Faber’s house, where he learns that a new Hound has been put on his trail. Faber tells Montag that he is leaving for St. Louis to see a retired printer who may be able to help them. Montag takes some of Faber’s old clothes and heads down to the river. Montag changes into Faber’s clothes to disguise his scent. He drifts downstream into the country and follows along a set of old railroad tracks until he finds a group of intellectuals called the Book People. The Book People are led by a man named Granger. They are a part of a huge network of book lovers who have memorized many great works of literature and philosophy. They hope that they may be of some help to mankind in the afterworks of the war that has just been declared. Montag’s role is to memorize the Book of Ecclesiastes. Hostile jets then begin to appear in the sky and completely destroy the city with missiles. Montag and his new group move on to search for survivors and rebuild a new society.

Montag is first presented as a normal citizen of a world where books are treated as morbid. The famous opening line of the novel, “It was a pleasure to burn,” is written from Montag’s view. He experiences a sudden downfall, thinking that he is splitting into two people. This experience of splitting comes to defi Montag. Until the end of the story, Montag indulges in the idea that he is not responsible for his own dangerous acts. It is not until the end of the novel, when Montag attacks Beatty, that he finally accepts his active role in his own life. The reader can understand Montag’s mission, but the steps he takes toward his goal often seem misguided. Faced with the complexities of books for the first time, he is often confused. At times he is not even aware of why he does things, and that his hands are acting on their own.

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Ray Bradbury And Fahrenheit 451. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/ray-bradbury-and-fahrenheit-451/
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