Fahrenheit 451, the temperature at which book-paper catches fire, and burns. A good
warning for aspiring librarians! In Ray Bradbury's futuristic fiction Fahrenheit 451, we are faced
with the issues of book burning and censorship, also with the problems that the ignorance caused
by these two things creates.
The story is of Guy Montag, a fireman. A man who loves to burn books, or so he thinks.
In his generation, the world has gone to pot. Idiocy and bliss run wild through the television sets
of future day America. His wife is hooked on the 'tube', and they have been breed to believe that
books are evil things. However, just as in all situations of this kind real or fictional, there is a
certain spark misssing in life. We see it in George Orwell's 1984 and we also see it in the
literature, motion pictures and art of the 20th century Chinese civil war.
He lacks the bit of
understanding in his environment, that makes his life hollow. Then we are introduced to Clarisse
McClellan, a young woman who opens his mind, teaches him to walk in the rain and rub
dandelions under his chin. More and more he drifts from where he should be to stay alive in a
comfortable way, and heads toward a realization of the lacking in his life. As he examines his
world he finds that the only thing he really knows is missing from his life are the books, the books
that he burns as an occupation. To find out whether or not this is it, he steals books as he
destroys them and eventually is caught by his fire chief, Beatty. Beatty plays an important part in
this tale as he serves to show him the flip side of realization. Beatty...