Fahrenheit 451, the temperature at which book-paper catches fire, and burns. 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. He lacks the bit of understanding in his environment, this 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 realized his lack in life and also read the books, but he was not strong enough to step away from the conforming mold of the flock of mankind. He uses his knowledge to confound Montag, although he is very lenient about the situation.
However, the story moves on with Montag running away from his life, his job. He meets a man named Faber, who was a professor at Cambridge before the big Ban. Faber helps him, he points him in the right direction...