Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

RATING: 4.8/5

SYNOPSIS

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television ‘family’. But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people did not live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.

REVIEW

“Fahrenheit 451: the temperature at which book-paper catches fire and burns”

Dystopian fiction is one of the genres that I loved other than fantasy. I picked this book up after constantly seeing it being listed in the Top 3 or Top 4 of the “Best Dystopian Novels” list. And i think it deserves such high praise. 

Imagine a world whereby possession of books is illegal, a world whereby a fireman’s job is to burn books rather than putting out fires, a society which resorts to the shallowness of media over books., a society without individuality, knowledge or freedom of thought and is in a state of complete utter innocent ignorance. Beware, Ray Bradbury has predicted our society to move towards such a state since 1953.

We follow the story of Guy Montag, a fireman whose sole job is to burn books. His life is mundane although he tried very hard to believe the propaganda that without books, men can find happiness. Such belief was shattered after his encounter with Clarisse McClellan who stimulated his curiosity and thought process resulting him to question his role as a fireman. The character arc of Guy Montag was brilliant as we can feel his internal struggles through Bradbury’s beautiful writing. 

In the world created by Bradbury, books have fallen out of favor as other mediums (in that society, radio and television) have taken over. What makes this dystopian novel great is that it is still relevant to the current society even though it was first published in 1953. In 2019, social media, Internet, technology has prevailed over books rendering us to have shorter attention span. 

“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”

“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”

While we are scrolling over our Instagram or Facebook posts, please do not give up reading books as well. Definitely a strong 4.8/5 star rating for this book. 

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