Fahrenhiet 451

Essay by QT4NatJunior High, 9th gradeA+, May 2004

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Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, is a fascinating novel with many twists. This novel provides a glance into a bleak world similar to our own where war is common, feelings are shunned, family is non-existent, and thought is no longer a free right. Books have been banned, condemned to be burned on sight along with their owners. And who should be the policemen of this world of ignorance? The "firemen." Not unlike the firemen in our world today, they dress alike, drive big trucks, and wail their loud sirens. There is one fundamental difference, however-these firemen start fires; they burn the evil books because of their sin. And who is the heartless, unfeeling, cold-warm fireman, Guy Montag. His father was a fireman, and his father in turn, so what other job could there be for a man like him? Guy Montag has trouble answering that question and goes through many changes.

As mentioned, Montag is like all the others at the commencement of the novel: loving his job, never questioning an authority that has never given him any reason to obey. This all changes though when, while walking home from work, he encounters a young girl named Clarisse, who, through her innocence and oblivion to the world around her, shows him that society is crumbling around him and that he can be a part of the solution, not as everyone else is-the problem. For the first time in his life, he questions what he sees around him: his wife overdosing on pills, Clarisse getting hit by a speeding car and killed, and even the book burning which he does every night for money.

Then, curiosity gets the better of him as he "steals" a book from a raging fire during one of his raids. As he looks at...