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What Makes Fahrenheit 451 A Piece Of Great Literature?

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From Shakespeare to Dickins, literature has been of great importance for centuries. Literature is not only an excellent form of expression, but it is also a way for our society to understand humanity from a different perspective. Fahrenheit 451, written by Ray Bradbury in 1953 is the epitome of great literature; a timeless novel that demonstrates the ramifications of a bookless world. This novel depicts a range of themes, however the themes that will be touched on during this presentation are the themes of life, knowledge and rebellion. This book is relevant to todays society due to its unambiguous morals that can be derived from the themes that I will discuss during the course of this presentation, being the themes of life, knowledge and technology.

The theme of life is often presented in many different novels; however, Bradbury’s presentation of the theme is very unique from your everyday novel. Bradbury describes life and death in a figurative sense rather than a literal life and death sense. For example, in one instance in the novel, Bradbury describes Mildred as ‘both living and dead,’ due to her absent mindedness. Mildred is seen to be constantly watching television and remains in a state of ignorance. Throughout the novel, Mildred refuses to acknowledge that there is a life outside of her room. This mental imprisonment is what Bradbury means by ‘death.’ This simple theme is one of the greatest philosophies of life, being that ‘existing is being but being is not living.’ This philosophy applies to our daily lives, especially to the 21st century millennials in the era where social media is more important than current global issues that we are facing. It is important that these ideologies are relayed to society in all forms- Bradbury relayed this message impeccably.

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The theme of knowledge, in a sense, goes hand in hand with the theme of life and death. Bradbury demonstrates the theme of knowledge alongside the theme of ignorance. Throughout the entire novel, it is seen that Montag seems to be the only person amongst his society that embraces knowledge and frowns upon ignorance, whereas the society he lives in embraces the latter. Bradbury uses Montag as a personified form of knowledge and uses the fireman as the embodiment of ignorance. It is evident that Bradbury wanted the reader to extract a message about knowledge and ignorance from the book. The author uses this theme to allow the readers to question their care for being knowledgeable and their fighting of ignorance. This is a vital theme that should be taught in society due to the fact that in this day and age, it is quite difficult to get a person to look up from their device and to be aware and informed about the world they live in, which is why this book is incredibly relevant to our society.

Unlike many other science fiction books, technology makes civilization worse in Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury sets the scenes to the 24th century where technology has completely taken over the globe. Bradbury portrays television to be the enemy where large rooms of television literally brainwash the viewers. Parents begin to stop caring for their children and society begins to wholeheartedly indulge themselves in technology. Bradbury makes it that the only possible way for society to get back on track is for technology to be completely annihilated. Books have been memorized by the drifters Montag encounters in the wilderness, where they plan to share their knowledge with a new civilisation. This theme is possibly the most reiterated theme throughout the novel which is understandable due to its relatability to our modern-day society. Bradbury shows that the future of the people from Fahrenheit 451 could indefinitely be the future of our society if technology completely revolutionises our civilisation as we know it- which is why this novel is of high importance to be read.

This novel’s portrayal of the aforementioned themes is what uniquifies it to the extent that it is at. The themes of life and death, knowledge and technology all present a perspective of life that is not often confidently portrayed in books. Through the introduction of this book in school, students are not only introduced to impeccable writing, however are introduced to a completely different interpretation of the government, authority and overall, life. I believe it is greatly important that this book is read by the greater society and that the themes that are portrayed in this book are relayed to humanity.

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What Makes Fahrenheit 451 A Piece Of Great Literature? (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 29, 2023, from
“What Makes Fahrenheit 451 A Piece Of Great Literature?” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
What Makes Fahrenheit 451 A Piece Of Great Literature? [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Jan. 2023].
What Makes Fahrenheit 451 A Piece Of Great Literature? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2023 Jan 29]. Available from:
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